Healthy Boundaries for Teens

Healthy Relationships

What are Boundaries?

Setting boundaries is an important part of any relationship. To have the healthiest relationship, both partners should know each others wants, goals, fears, and personal limits. Each person should feel comfortable communicating their honest needs without being afraid of what the other person might do in response. If a partner does not respect those needs, or goes against what the other person is comfortable with to a point where they don’t feel safe, than that’s a sign of an unhealthy relationship and crossing personal boundary lines.

Emotional
Choosing what to share when ready | Spending time apart | Allowing others to feel upset without needing to “fix” the situation  in some way.

Physical
Self-Care | Greetings and interactions | Personal body space

Digital
Posting relationship status or personal details | Using each others devices | Sharing passwords

 

 

Examples of Healthy Boundaries

#1 Respect Each Other
By asking what the other person what it is they want to do and by not trying to control one another. Show you care for each other by truly listening and sharing thoughts and feelings.

#2 Have Common Interests
In order to do so, first you should understand yourself and the personal goals or values you have for your life, but at the same time trying to do things that the other person enjoys as well.

#3 Stand up for Yourself
If someone crosses  a boundary of yours– whether its once, twice or repeatedly and its something you’re not comfortable with. Than be affirmative and assertive that you wont tolerate being treated in that particular way.

#4 Have a Personal Life
Outside the relationship, each person should feel free enough to have their own friends and interests. Make sure you keep up with schoolwork, friends, and other activities you’re interested in.

#5 Settle Disagreements Peacefully
It is only natural for people to disagree. The important thing is trying to reach an agreement with a good attitude– whether its about movies, music, favorite sports, or even where you want to go or what you decide to do together.

 

 

Examples of Unhealthy Boundaries

  • Putting yourself down
    • Prior to any friendship/relationship did you feel good about yourself? But now feel lower and think less of yourself because of someone else’s opinion.
  • Controlling behavior
    • A  little bit of jealousy is normal, but too much jealousy can turn into needing to know where each person is at all times, and also not allowing time with other friends.
  • Pressured into giving in
    • Saying “if you really cared” or “I would do it for you” shows someone does not respect boundaries.
  • Letting others determine who you should be
    • Controlling what to wear or how to act is
  • Trying to change someone else
    • One person tells the other, “its my way or no way”
  • Being held back
    • Someone doesn’t want the other to succeed, or are made to feel guilty about doing things that interest them.
  • Making excuses or Blamed for other persons problems

 

 

Crossing the Line

Verbal Abuse
Being put down or putting someone else down does not solve our issues. It takes honest conversation to work things out.Pushing, Shoving, Hitting or Kicking in Anger When a relationship becomes physically abusive its gone too far. Seek advice from trusted adults, counselors, or coaches to help separate.

Controlling Behavior or Forced Sex
When physical attraction or affection are the only thing,

Threats
If one person doesn’t get their way, and threats are made to hurt the other person or yourself

Blame or Shame:
Making excuses for your partners behavior, and blaming yourself for being mistreated only keeps you in an unhealthy relationship.

Digital Privacy
Controlling one another’s social media accounts by insisting to have access is a form of digital abuse

Photos & Sexting
Once you’ve  hit send on a photo or text, you lose control over who sees it. If someone tries to demand, manipulate, coerce, or even threaten with sending or forwarding a sext they can face criminal charges.

 

Resources:

www.loveisrespect.org
Resource to empower youth to prevent and end dating abuse. Features Online Chat 24/7/365, hotline number, and text line.

www.commonsensemedia.org
Helps families  make smart media choices, and offer the largest, most trusted library of  independent age-based and educational rating and review for movies, games, apps, TV shows, websites,  books, and music.

www.athinline.org
MTV’s A Thin Line campaign empowers parents and teens to identify, respond to, and stop the spread of digital abuse in their life and amongst peers.

www.breakthecycle.org
Inspires and supports young people to build healthy relationships and create a culture without abuse. Learn warning signs, legal protection, and research.

 

 

If you are interested in learning more about Setting Boundaries and Healthy Relationships please feel free to contact Crime Victim Center’s Prevention Education Department to schedule a free presentation.