Boundaries with Kids: How Healthy Choices Grow Healthy Children

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Overview

What the award-winning Boundaries has done for adult relationships, Boundaries with Kids will do for you and your children

Here is the help you need for raising your kids to take responsibility for their actions, attitudes, and emotions. Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend take you through the ins and outs of instilling the kind of character ...

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Boundaries with Kids: When to Say Yes, When to Say No, to Help Your Children Gain Control of Their Lives

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Overview

What the award-winning Boundaries has done for adult relationships, Boundaries with Kids will do for you and your children

Here is the help you need for raising your kids to take responsibility for their actions, attitudes, and emotions. Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend take you through the ins and outs of instilling the kind of character in your children that will help them lead balanced, productive, and fulfilling adult lives.

Learn how to
• set limits and still be a loving parent
• bring control to an out-of-control family life
• apply the ten laws of boundaries to parenting
• define appropriate boundaries and consequences for your kids
… and much more.

“Boundaries with Kids helps us give our kids the skills they need to live realistic and full lives in meaningful relationships. Not perfect—but healthy!”
—Elisa Morgan, president of MOPS International, Inc.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
Want to Paint a Happy Future for Your Children?
Start Drawing the Line Today.

? recognize the boundary issues underlying child behavior problems
? set boundaries and establish consequences with kids
? get out of the "nagging" trap
? stop controlling your child—and instead help your child develop self-control
? apply the ten laws of boundaries to parenting
? take six practical steps for implementing boundaries with your kids

Author Biography: Dr. Henry Cloud is a popular speaker, licensed psychologist, cohost of the nationally broadcast New Life Live! radio program, and cofounder of Cloud/Townsend Resources. He maintains a private practice in Newport Beach, CA, and is a best-selling coauthor (with Dr. John Townsend) of a number of books, including Boundaries in Marriage, Boundaries with Kids, The Mom Factor, and the Gold Medallion Award-winning Boundaries.;Dr. John Townsend is a popular speaker, licensed psychologist, cohost of the nationally broadcast "Minirth Meier New Life Clinic" radio program, and cofounder of Cloud/Townsend Communications. He graduated with a doctorate in clinical psychology from Rosemead Graduate School of Psychology, and maintains a private practice in Newport Beach, CA. He is the best-selling coauthor with Henry Cloud of several books, including Safe People, Twelve "Christian" Beliefs That Can Drive You Crazy, and the Gold Medallion Award-winning Boundaries.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310243151
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 11/1/2001
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 80,593
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend (www.cloudtownsend.com) are popular speakers, psychologists, cohosts of the nationally broadcast New Life Live! radio program, and cofounders of Cloud-Townsend Resources. Both graduated with doctorates in clinical psychology from Rosemead Graduate School of Psychology at Biola University and both maintain practices in Southern California. They are bestselling coauthors of a number of books, including Raising Great Kids, Boundaries in Dating, Boundaries with Teens, The Mom Factor, and Safe People. Dr. Cloud is the author of Changes That Heal and Dr. Townsend is the author of Hiding from Love.
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Read an Excerpt

The Future Is Now

It was a normal day, but one that would forever change my friend's parenting.

We had finished dinner, and I (Dr. Cloud) was visiting with my friend, Allison, and her husband, Bruce, when she left the dinner table to do some chores. Bruce and I continued to talk until a phone call took him away as well, so I went to see if I could lend Allison a hand.

I could hear her in their fourteen-year-old son Cameron's room. I walked in to a scene that jolted me. She was cheerfully putting away clothes and sports equipment and making the bed. She struck up a conversation as if things were normal: "I can't wait for you to see the pictures from our trip. It was so much --"

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"I'm cleaning up Cameron's room," she said. "What does it look like I'm doing?"

"You are what?"

"I told you. I'm cleaning up his room. Why are you looking at me like that?"

All I could do was to share with her the vision in my head. "I just feel sorry for Cameron's future wife."

Allison straightened up, froze for a moment, and then hurried from the room. I walked into the hall to see her standing there motionless. Not knowing what to say, I said nothing. After a few moments, she looked at me and said, "I've never thought about it that way."

Nor have most of us. We parent in the present without thinking about the future. We usually deal with the problems at hand. Making it through an afternoon without wanting to send our children to an eight-year camp in Alaska seems like a huge accomplishment! But one goal of parenting is to keep an eye on the future. We are raising our children to be responsible adults.

Parents interact with their children in a way that comes naturally to them. For example, Allison was by nature a "helper," and she gladly helped her son. Others have different parenting styles. Some, who are more laid back and uninvolved, leave their son's room alone. Those who are stricter inflict heavy punishment for a less than regulation-made bed.

Certainly, child rearing requires many different interventions. There are times for helping, for not getting involved, or for being strict. But the real issue is this: Is what you are doing being done on purpose? Or are you doing it from reasons that you do not think about, such as your own personality, childhood, need of the moment, or fears?

Remember, parenting has to do with more than the present. You are preparing your child for the future. A person's character is one's destiny.

A person's character largely determines how he will function in life. Whether he does well in love and in work depends on the abilities he possesses inside. In a world that has begun to explain away people's behavior with a variety of excuses, people are left wondering why their lives do not work. Most of our problems result from our own character weakness. Where we possess inner strength, we succeed, often in spite of tough circumstances. But where we do not possess inner strength, we either get stuck or fail. If a relationship requires understanding and forgiveness and we do not have that character ability, the relationship will not make it. If a difficult time period in work requires patience and delay of gratification and we do not possess those traits, we will fail. Character is almost everything.

The word character means different things to different people. Some people use character to mean moral functioning or integrity. We use the word to describe a person's entire makeup, who he is. Character refers to a person's ability and inability, his moral makeup, his functioning in relationships, and how he does tasks. What does he do in certain situations, and how does he do it? When he needs to perform, how will he meet those demands? Can he love? Can he be responsible? Can he have empathy for others? Can he develop his talents? Can he solve problems? Can he deal with failure? How does he reflect the image of God? These are a few of the issues that define character.

If a person's character makeup determines his future, then child rearing is primarily about helping children to develop character that will take them through life safely, securely, productively, and joyfully. Parents -- and those who work with children -- would do well to keep this in mind. A major goal of raising children is to help them develop the character that will make their future go well.

It wasn't until Allison saw this future reality that her parenting changed. She loved helping Cameron. But in many ways her helping was not "helping" Cameron. He had developed a pattern in which he felt entitled to everyone else's help, and this feeling of entitlement affected his relationships at school and at church. Allison had always been glad to help Cameron through the messes he was creating. Another undone project was another opportunity to love him.

Yet Allison was not only a mother, but also a grown woman and a wife. When she looked into the future and saw a time when Cameron would be leaving responsibilities for others to do, she became concerned. What a mother doesn't mind doing, others deplore. She glimpsed the reality of character destiny. And she changed how she interacted with Cameron to help him develop a sense of responsibility, to help him think about how his behavior affected others and whether or not others would want to be a part of his future.

It is in this sense that we say the future is now. When you are a parent, you help create a child's future. The patterns children establish early in life (their character) they will live out later. And character is always formed in relationship. We can't overestimate your role in developing this character. As Proverbs says, "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it" (Proverbs 22: 6).

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Table of Contents

Contents
Introduction..... 7
Why Boundaries with Kids
Part 1: Why Kids Need Boundaries
1. The Future Is Now..... 13
2. What Does Character Look Like?..... 23
3. Kids Need Parents with Boundaries..... 38
Part 2: Ten Boundary Principles
Kids Need to Know
4. What Will Happen If I Do This?..... 57
The Law of Sowing and Reaping
5. Pulling My Own Wagon..... 73
The Law of Responsibility
6. I Can’t Do It All, But I’m Not Helpless, Either..... 87
The Law of Power
7. I’m Not the Only One Who Matters..... 103
The Law of Respect
8. Life Beyond “Because I’m the Mommy”..... 120
The Law of Motivation
9. Pain Can Be a Gift..... 134
The Law of Evaluation
10. Tantrums Needn’t Be Forever..... 147
The Law of Proactivity
11. I Am Happier When I Am Thankful..... 163
The Law of Envy
12. Jump-starting My Engine..... 177
The Law of Activity
13. Honesty Is the Best Policy..... 192
The Law of Exposure
Part 3: Implementing Boundaries with Kids
14. Roll Up Your Sleeves..... 207
The Six Steps to Implementing Boundaries with Your Kid

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First Chapter

Boundaries with Kids

We want to hear from you. Please send your comments about this book to us in care of zreview@zondervan.com. Thank you.

The Future Is Now
It was a normal day, but one that would forever change my friend's parenting.
We had finished dinner, and I (Dr. Cloud) was visiting with my friend, Allison, and her husband, Bruce, when she left the dinner table to do some chores. Bruce and I continued to talk until a phone call took him away as well, so I went to see if I
could lend Allison a hand.
I could hear her in their fourteen-year-old son Cameron's room. I walked in to a scene that jolted me. She was cheerfully putting away clothes and sports equipment and making the bed. She struck up a conversation as if things were normal: 'I
can't wait for you to see the pictures from our trip. It was so much---'
'What are you doing?' I asked.
'I'm cleaning up Cameron's room,' she said. 'What does it look like I'm doing?'
'You are what?'
'I told you. I'm cleaning up his room. Why are you looking at me like that?'
All I could do was to share with her the vision in my head.
'I just feel sorry for Cameron's future wife.'
Allison straightened up, froze for a moment, and then hurried from the room. I walked into the hall to see her standing there motionless. Not knowing what to say, I said nothing. After a few moments, she looked at me and said, 'I've never thought about it that way.'
Nor have most of us. We parent in the present without thinking about the future. We usually deal with the problems at hand.
Making it through an afternoon without wanting to send our children to an eight-year camp in Alaska seems like a huge accomplishment!
But one goal of parenting is to keep an eye on the future. We are raising our children to be responsible adults.
Parents interact with their children in a way that comes naturally to them. For example, Allison was by nature a 'helper,'
and she gladly helped her son. Others have different parenting styles. Some, who are more laid back and uninvolved, leave their son's room alone. Those who are stricter inflict heavy punishment for a less than regulation-made bed.
Certainly, child rearing requires many different interventions.
There are times for helping, for not getting involved, or for being strict. But the real issue is this: Is what you are doing being done on purpose? Or are you doing it from reasons that you do not think about, such as your own personality, childhood, need of the moment, or fears?
Remember, parenting has to do with more than the present.
You are preparing your child for the future. A person's character is one's destiny.
A person's character largely determines how he will function in life. Whether he does well in love and in work depends on the abilities he possesses inside. In a world that has begun to explain away people's behavior with a variety of excuses, people are left wondering why their lives do not work. Most of our problems result from our own character weakness. Where we possess inner strength, we succeed, often in spite of tough circumstances.
But where we do not possess inner strength, we either get stuck or fail. If a relationship requires understanding and forgiveness and we do not have that character ability, the relationship will not make it. If a difficult time period in work requires patience and delay of gratification and we do not possess those traits, we will fail. Character is almost everything.
The word character means different things to different people.
Some people use character to mean moral functioning or integrity. We use the word to describe a person's entire makeup,
who he is. Character refers to a person's ability and inability, his moral makeup, his functioning in relationships, and how he does tasks. What does he do in certain situations, and how does he do it? When he needs to perform, how will he meet those demands?
Can he love? Can he be responsible? Can he have empathy for others? Can he develop his talents? Can he solve problems? Can he deal with failure? How does he reflect the image of God?
These are a few of the issues that define character.
If a person's character makeup determines his future, then child rearing is primarily about helping children to develop character that will take them through life safely, securely, productively,
and joyfully. Parents---and those who work with children---
would do well to keep this in mind. A major goal of raising children is to help them develop the character that will make their future go well.
It wasn't until Allison saw this future reality that her parenting changed. She loved helping Cameron. But in many ways her helping was not 'helping' Cameron. He had developed a pattern in which he felt entitled to everyone else's help, and this feeling of entitlement affected his relationships at school and at church. Allison had always been glad to help Cameron through the messes he was creating. Another undone project was another opportunity to love him.
Yet Allison was not only a mother, but also a grown woman and a wife. When she looked into the future and saw a time when
Cameron would be leaving responsibilities for others to do, she became concerned. What a mother doesn't mind doing, others deplore. She glimpsed the reality of character destiny. And she changed how she interacted with Cameron to help him develop a sense of responsibility, to help him think about how his behavior affected others and whether or not others would want to be a part of his future.
It is in this sense that we say the future is now. When you are a parent, you help create a child's future. The patterns children establish early in life (their character) they will live out later.
And character is always formed in relationship. We can't overestimate your role in developing this character. As Proverbs says,
'Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it' (Proverbs 22:6).
Preventive Medicine
In 1992 we wrote Boundaries, a book about taking control of one's life. In Boundaries we talked about how to repair the brokenness in character caused by a lack of boundaries. Since that time, through workshops and on radio and television, we have spoken to more than a million people about creating boundaries in their lives. Thousands have told us that creating boundaries has enabled them to love and to live better, some for the first time. Nothing is more exciting than to see people grow and change.
But from our own experience and that of our audiences and readers, one thing became obvious to us. Adults with boundary problems had not developed those problems as grown-ups.
They had learned patterns early in life and then continued those out-of-control patterns in their adult lives, where the stakes were higher. They had learned the following boundary problems as youngsters:
* Inability to say no to hurtful people or set limits on hurtful behavior from others
* Inability to say no to their own destructive impulses
* Inability to hear no from others and respect their limits
* Inability to delay gratification and accomplish goals and tasks
* Tendency to be attracted to irresponsible or hurtful people and then try to 'fix' them
* Taking responsibility for other people's lives
* Ability to be easily manipulated or controlled

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 12 of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2003

    this book is for the parent as much as the child, they don't come with instruction

    I have read the book several times to help me understand that the way my parents raised me is not the way I should raise mine or interface with any child. This book helped me realize there is no one way to deal with any child. People and children have different personalities which means there are billions of ways to deal with a child. The one solid thing this book taught me was to deal with each situation, evaluate the situation and use this book as a set of guidlines and rules to deal with children. Every child requires dealing with differently but consistant rules and guidelines in their life helps them sort and deal with thier problems as they grow. Allowing them to only take on what they are required to at certain ages. This allows good growth, stability, responiblity and many aspects of their life to become very solid as they grow into teenagers and young adults. It also resolved for me my failures in life in my relationships not only with children my exwife, in business, and all other relationships. Bounderies with kids shows us how to build our childrens character, other childrens character and to also build our character where we are lacking due to many reasons. Over all I would give this book a top rating for improving relationships with any person you deal with. When we have a rule and guideline based character life children will find us safe and know where they stand with us and are able to be more open and real with us about there everyday stuggles and triumphs, which creates a safe and secure home for them mutual trust and respect. I cannot type enough about these books and authors I am reading and collecting all of them and give extra copies I buy to friends, business contacts, anyone and family as gifts. They didn't come with an instruction book but there are after market books and these are the ones. My final note: I am intellegent and successful at many things but I was a failure at dealing with my family and children. I was to proud to read a book to save my marriage and also to proud to read a book to save my childrens dysfucntional ways that we passed on to them and struggled with. I have been greatly humbled by these books. I read everything I can get my hands on about excelling in buisness and have for years. Now I also read everything I can about raising my children to be successful at life and relationships which creates sucess and leadership in them and other.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2007

    Fantastic

    This is BY FAR the best parenting book I have ever read. I found it highly useful and practical with lots of useful information and tips on dealing with strong willed kids. It really helped me not only learn HOW to be a better parent, but it helped me see what my own parents did wrong so that I can correct those things in myself. I learned a lot from this book and I recommend it to EVERYONE who ever says they are looking for a good book on parenting and discipline.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Your yellow highlighter will be busy when reading this book!

    This book is one that you will want in your library if you have kids! It does bring up scripture throughout, but it doesn't use it in a "preachy" way, so that didn't bother me while reading it. What you will learn in this book applies to how we are as parents and what we want to model for our kids so that their lives when "out of the nest" will be healthy.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2009

    A Great Book to Help a Parent Deal with Problem Behavior

    This book deals with the fundamental issues with behavior and their short-term and long-term consequences. It is a must-read for any parent who has children of any age. Even parents who do not have behavior problem with their child, should read this.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Is an awesome book/series!!!!

    I would recommend all the books by Dr. Cloud and Dr. Townsend

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2001

    Outstanding

    This book can help you awoid getting stuck in power-struggles with your kids, and for that alone it is worth the price. It is based on a logical-consequences type of approach to parenting that is really helpful in getting kids (and even spouses!) to be responsible. I would consider it essential for any parent who wants to sta

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    Great book...very informative.

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