On April 19, we hosted our Monthly Pathway Session on setting boundaries with Amanda Craig, PhD. It was a great success, as over 50 people attended–mostly parents and recovery coaches. Given that many parents are challenged with a child living at home who is in active addiction or early recovery, this discussion was extremely useful.
Amanda started off sharing how her personal and professional experience qualifies her to talk about boundaries, and her style was interactive which allowed for active participation from our audience. She emphasized how all of us have the freedom to choose where our boundaries end and the other person begins. Your neighbor should NOT be “spraypainting YOUR fence.” Amanda also reminded us that we are not responsible for other people’s actions.
Every healthy boundary has a “why” behind it. For the parents setting a boundary, they don’t have to compromise their values. And they can communicate the boundaries to others, which helps increase the probability of holding to them. Don’t overexplain, apologize, blame or give in. And be sure to keep enablers out of your support system!
The session came to a close with each parent being given a worksheet for a specific boundary. With a good boundary a parent can: 1) explain the boundary in a sentence or two; 2) give a WHY; 3) articulate what can be an obstacle to success, like fear; and 4) determine ways to fight against the obstancle, like turning off your cellphone after 11am at night no matter what.
I personally very grateful to have gotten to know Amanda both ahead of and during the session. For her slide deck from the session, click here.