6 Mistakes Most People Make When Setting Boundaries

6 Mistakes Most People Make When Setting Boundaries by Beth Rowles

Whether you’re trying to improve your relationship with your children, spouse, business partner, co-workers, or clients, setting boundaries and holding limits are essential skills that most of us struggle with.

There’s a difference between rigidly holding boundaries in an authoritarian way and teaching others how to love themselves, and you, through boundaries.

I’ve learned what it means to set boundaries rooted in love and how to hold limits with others in a loving way.

This simple breakdown allows me to confidently & quickly make decisions in the moment.

Whether it’s a kid not interested in bedtime, or a colleague who creates conflict, I can quickly assess how I need to move forward.

This course is for you if:

  • You aren’t even sure what a boundary is
  • You don’t know which boundaries to hold for your child
  • You struggle to create structure or routine
  • You’re indecisive and unsure what to do in the moment
  • You want to hold limits for your child but aren’t clear which are best for them based on child development

This course isn’t for you if:

  • You’re not ready to experience potential (and usually temporary) consequences of holding a limit
  • You’re too afraid of how others might perceive you or react to you
  • You are attached to rules and ideas of how everyone should behave


“Love what you are saying!” – Claire C.

“Love this information!” – Andrea L.

“Love this clarity.” – Lysa B.

You’ll Learn More About:

// Mistake #1: They Don’t Even Realize They CAN Hold Them

Because the old authoritarian parenting paradigm violated our boundaries as children, we may not even realize that we have a right to move away from behavior that violates our physical, emotional, intellectual, sexual, material, and time boundaries.

// Mistake #2: They Think A Boundary Means They Should Withdraw Love

Holding limits when others violate our personal boundaries teaches them how to love us. It doesn’t mean that we have to end relationships or storm off when they’re violated, it means that we clearly set expectations, communicate when their behavior crosses our limit, and move away from continued boundary-violating behavior.

// Mistake #3: They Create Too Many For Their Kids

Boundaries should teach kids how to love themselves. They can boil down to four basic boundaries. They are: Respect for Self, Others, Our Things/Space, and our Mind. This means that we hold limits for things like bedtime, brushing our teeth, tidying up after ourselves, school/higher learning, fighting, and more.  When their behavior doesn’t affect their health or well-being, we allow natural consequences to teach. We control the conditions when it comes to things like screens or food, not the child.

// Mistake #4: They Don’t Model The Boundary

Everything we want to teach our children or experience from those around us, we must first model. A parent that doesn’t tidy up after themselves cannot enforce a boundary with their kids to tidy up after themselves. Likewise, a parent that doesn’t speak respectfully to their child cannot enforce a boundary when their child speaks disrespectfully to them.

// Mistake #5: They Don’t Energetically Hold The Boundary

Part of understanding boundaries is understanding that we have an energetic boundary line. Hold your arm straight out and find where your fingertips end. Now imagine an oval that distance from your body all the way around it. When someone violates our personal boundary and we feel angry, that emotional energy should be channeled into our boundary, making it stronger, rather than expressed onto them, also violating their own boundaries. Keeping this energetic boundary prevents us from feeling the emotional energy of others as our own.

//Mistake #6: They Don’t Set Expectations

Sharing how, when, and why we’ll show up allows others to understand what we need from, and can give to, them. Without this information, it could be easy for them to violate a boundary without even realizing it.


Beth Rowles is a Certified Conscious Parent & Relationship Coach and the Founder of The Family Alchemists and FamilyBeing. She specializes in parents of children ages 0-6 and couples that are on the brink of divorce. Prior to moving into this field, she was a radio frequency engineer for a large wireless company for 14 years. She's been married for nine years and has two little children under six. They live outside of Cleveland, Ohio.


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