As a parent you want to do everything you can to help your child succeed in life. One of the most important life skills you can teach your child is how to set boundaries.
My boundaries worksheet is the perfect way to help your child learn about boundaries.
It helps children identify different types of relationships and the boundaries that apply to each. It helps them practice setting boundaries.
Boundaries Worksheets: Understanding The Impact of Poor Boundaries
Have you noticed yourself saying yes when really you wanted to say no?
Do you often feel taken advantage of?
Take a moment to reflect on how a lack of boundaries may have impacted you. Also reflect on the kinds of boundaries you want your child to have.
Then let’s get you both started on developing clearer boundaries so that you don’t need to feel this way any longer.
Poor boundaries can lead to difficult situations, such as being taken advantage of by friends. And of course, they can leave you feeling unpleasant emotions such as resentment or frustration.
Helping your child learn how to set boundaries is an important way to protect them and help them thrive in their close relationships.
These healthy boundaries worksheets are especially important if your child has special needs or is vulnerable in some way.
What Are Boundaries?
Boundaries are the invisible lines that we draw around ourselves to protect our physical, emotional, and mental health.
They help us to feel safe, respected, and in control of our lives.
There are different types of boundaries, including:
- Emotional boundaries are the limits we set on how much we share with others emotionally. This could include things like how much personal information we share, how much we confide in others, and how much we allow others to emotionally manipulate us.
- Social boundaries are the limits we set on our interactions with others. Setting appropriate social boundaries is one of the most essential social skills. It can include things like how much time we spend with others, how much we let others into our personal space, and how much we allow others to control our time and activities.
- Personal boundaries are the limits we set on our physical space. This could include things like how much physical contact we are comfortable with, how much we allow others to touch us, and how much we allow others into our personal space.
- Professional boundaries are the limits we set between our personal and professional lives. This could include things like how much we share about our personal lives at work or school, how much we allow our work or school to interfere with our personal lives, and how much we allow our personal relationships to affect our work or school performance.
Boundaries Worksheets for Keeping Safe and Maintaining Healthy Relationships
It is important to set boundaries in all areas of our lives. When we have strong boundaries, we are better able to protect ourselves from harm, maintain our sense of self, and build healthy relationships.
Download Your Boundaries Worksheets Here
The boundaries worksheet pack contains everything you need to begin your boundary-setting practice, including a blank worksheet and three case examples.
Boundaries Examples: Unhealthy Boundaries
7-year-old Jessica allows her older brother to hit her whenever he’s angry. She doesn’t tell her parents because she’s afraid of getting him in trouble. Jessica’s older brother has been hitting her for as long as she can remember. She’s tried to tell her parents about it, but they always tell her to just ignore him. Jessica is afraid that if she tells her parents again, they will just get cross with her and won’t do anything to help. So, she keeps quiet and takes the abuse.
10-year-old Twayne agrees to do anything his friends ask, even if it means doing something he doesn’t want to do. He’s afraid of losing their friendship if he says no. Twayne has always been a people-pleaser. He wants everyone to like him, so he’s always willing to do whatever his friends ask, even if it means sacrificing his own wants and needs. Even Twayne’s close friends know that he’s a pushover, so they often take advantage of him. They’ll ask him to do things that he doesn’t want to do, and they’ll make fun of him if he says no.
12-year-old Emily always feels like she has to be the center of attention. She is constantly talking and making jokes, even when it’s not appropriate. She is afraid of being ignored or left out. Emily has always been a bit of a social butterfly. She loves being around people and she always has to be the centre of attention. Emily’s friends often get annoyed with her.
14-year-old Michael is always giving away his money and belongings to people he barely knows. He doesn’t want to seem selfish and is desperate to be liked, so he always puts others before himself. He has never been able to say no to anyone, even if it means sacrificing his own needs. Michael’s friends often borrow money from him and never pay it back. They will also ask him for favours and never return the favour. Michael is starting to feel resentful of his friends, but he’s afraid of saying no to them.
16-year-old Chloe is in an abusive relationship with her boyfriend. She’s afraid of leaving him because she doesn’t think she will find anyone else who loves her. Chloe has been with her boyfriend for two years. He has always been controlling and manipulative, but Chloe has always made excuses for him. She thought that he would change, but he never has. Chloe is starting to realize that she’s in an abusive relationship, but she is afraid to leave him.
Boundaries Examples: Healthy Boundaries
Anya is a 13-year-old girl who knows how to set healthy boundaries with her digital devices. She knows that it is important to have a balance between screen time and other activities, and she is not afraid to say no to her parents when they ask her to use her devices for too long. Anya’s parents have taught her that it is important to use her devices in a healthy way, and that she should not let them take over her life.
Dante is fourteen and has learned to set healthy boundaries with his own time. He knows that it is important to say no to commitments that he doesn’t have time for, and he is not afraid to prioritize his own needs. Dante’s parents have taught him that it is important to manage his time wisely and to not overextend himself.
At age 12, Lily has a close relationship with her family members and is comfortable in her own skin. She sets healthy boundaries with her group of friends. She chooses only to hang out with those who act with respect and kindness. For example, if someone in her group is bullying another child or engaging in risky behaviors, she will distance herself from that person. She understands that this might even sometimes mean that she ends up alone or being the only person standing up for that particular view.
Jack, age 11, has a circle of friends from school and his neighbourhood. He understands the importance of boundaries around time and safety. Jack knows that he is allowed to go to the park with his friends but they must stay together at all times. He understands that he is not allowed to cross any main roads or talk to strangers and he must stay in public spaces. He uses a watch to tell the time and he is clear that he needs to be home by 6pm.
At age 16, Kai has learned to set healthy boundaries with social media. They limit their screen time and take breaks when they feel overwhelmed or stressed. They have a good understanding of both the positives and negatives of social media. If they go on social media they always set a timer so that they don’t lose track of time. They always leave their phone downstairs to charge at night.
TAKE THE QUIZ!
Preparing to Complete the Boundaries Worksheet: How Flexible Should Boundaries Be?
Healthy boundaries should be flexible, adaptable, and reflective of a person’s changing needs and social context.
If a child can tell the difference between a safe and unsafe social situation, their boundaries can be more flexible. If your child can’t tell the difference, you need to help them set super-clear and non-ambiguous boundaries.
The boundaries worksheet is the perfect way to do this!
The ability to adapt boundaries is key to maintaining healthy relationships and to personal growth, but it comes with age and maturity. Also, flexibility should not mean compromising our values or allowing others to disrespect personal boundaries.
Ultimately, people with healthy boundaries strike a balance between being firm and assertive while also being open to new experiences and perspectives.
When Boundaries are Too Rigid (Case Study: Ethan)
At age 10, Ethan has developed over-cautious, rigid boundaries around his safety and independence. He’s fearful of trying new things or going outside his comfort zone, even if it means missing out on fun activities with his friends.
For instance, Ethan won’t climb trees or ride his bike without training wheels, even though he’s physically capable of doing so. His parents have set firm boundaries around safety, which is important, but Ethan’s rigid boundaries have gone too far and limit his opportunities for growth and development. He lacks resilience because he avoids challenges.
While it’s important to have boundaries that protect our safety and well-being, being too rigid can limit personal growth and experiences.
To develop healthy relationships and experience new things, Ethan will need to learn how to be more flexible in his boundaries and get outside his comfort zone a little.
How to Use Your Boundaries Worksheet
The healthy boundaries worksheet is a brilliant tool for anyone who needs to set or understand clearer boundaries in their life.
The worksheet can be used by both kids and adults and there is no right or wrong way to use it.
Setting Boundaries Using The Worksheet
The boundaries setting worksheet consists of a circle chart with concentric circles.
In the centre you or your child will write your name or draw a self-portrait.
The concentric circles can be used to represent different levels of boundaries.
To use the worksheet, start by identifying specific situations where you would like to set boundaries. You will see different examples in your boundaries worksheet pack. For example:
Fifteen-year-old Jas wants to set clearer boundaries about who to share personal information with.
Forty-two-year-old Lisa wants to start saying no more often and thirteen-year-old Bradley is unclear about who he is allowed to hug.
Once you have decided which boundary to work on, consider what should go in each circle.
In Lisa’s example, she listed the types of events or situations she might be faced with.
The inner circle represented situations she always wanted to say yes to.
The middle circle was situations she needed to take time to think about before committing to.
The outer circle was things she had decided she didn’t want to do any more, and would say no to from now on.
Boundaries Worksheet: Summary
Setting and maintaining healthy boundaries are essential life skills.
Children must learn how to set boundaries and recognize when boundaries are not healthy.
Using my Boundaries Circle Worksheets, both you and your child can practice identifying and setting boundaries in different areas of your lives.
It’s never too late to start developing clearer boundaries. Doing so means you’ll be better able to protect yourself, build strong relationships, and live a happier, healthier life.
Dr Lucy Russell is a UK clinical psychologist who works with children and families. Her work involves both therapeutic support and autism assessments. She is the Clinical Director of Everlief Child Psychology, and also worked in the National Health Service for many years.
In 2019 Lucy launched They Are The Future, a support website for parents of school-aged children. Through TATF Lucy is passionate about giving practical, manageable strategies to parents and children who may otherwise struggle to find the support they need.
Lucy is a mum to two teenage children. She lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband, children, rescue dog and three rescue cats. She enjoys caravanning and outdoor living, singing and musical theatre.
Join They Are The Future’s free Facebook group for regular tips on supporting teens and pre-teens with their mental health! Join the group: Parent Tips for Positive Child Mental Health UK.