L & B Counseling

Teenage Boundaries

Why is it Important for Teenagers to Establish Healthy Boundaries?

 Healthy boundaries are essential for teenagers as they navigate their way through the complex and often challenging world of adolescence. Having healthy boundaries means setting limits and being able to say “no” when necessary, while still being able to have healthy relationships with others. Boundaries are an important aspect of personal development and self-care, especially for teenagers. 

 Types of Boundaries 

  •  Physical boundaries refer to the limits we set on physical touch and personal space. It is important for teenagers to understand that they have the right to say no to unwanted physical contact and to set boundaries on who they are comfortable being physically close to. This includes setting boundaries around sexual activity and respecting the boundaries of others.
  • Emotional boundaries refer to the limits we set on the level of emotional investment in a relationship. Teenagers should learn to set boundaries around how much they share about their own feelings and thoughts, as well as how much they allow others to share with them. This can help to prevent emotional burnout and protect them from being taken advantage of by others.
  • Mental boundaries refer to the limits we set on our own thoughts and beliefs. This includes setting boundaries around the types of media we consume, the people we surround ourselves with, and the kinds of conversations we engage in. It is important for teenagers to learn to think critically and to question information that is presented to them, rather than accepting it blindly.

In addition to these types of boundaries, it’s also important for teenagers to set boundaries around time and energy. This includes setting limits on how much time they spend on social media and other digital devices, as well as setting boundaries around how much time and energy they spend on extracurricular activities, social events, and other commitments.

Ultimately, setting boundaries is an ongoing process that requires self-awareness and communication. Teenagers should learn to listen to their own needs and communicate their boundaries clearly and assertively. It’s also important for them to respect the boundaries of others and to compromise when necessary.  

Tips to help Teenagers Establish Healthy Boundaries:

  1.     Teach them to be assertive. Assertiveness means being able to express one’s own needs and wants while still respecting the rights of others. This is an important skill for teenagers to learn as they begin to form their own identities and navigate relationships with their peers.
  2.     Help them learn to set limits. Teenagers need to learn how to set limits with their friends and family members, particularly when it comes to their time and energy. For example, if a teenager feels overwhelmed with schoolwork and extracurricular activities, they need to be able to tell their friends or parents that they need some time to focus on their studies.
  3.     Encourage them to speak up when they feel uncomfortable. Teenagers should be taught to speak up and express their feelings when they feel uncomfortable or upset. This can be difficult for some teenagers, but it’s an important step in establishing healthy boundaries.
  4.     Help them understand the importance of privacy. As teenagers begin to explore their own identities, it’s important for them to have some degree of privacy. This can be as simple as not reading their texts or social media messages without their permission.
  5.     Model healthy boundaries. It’s helpful for parents and caregivers to model healthy boundaries themselves. By setting limits with their own friends and family members, they can serve as an example to teenagers of how to do the same.

In conclusion, healthy boundaries are essential for teenagers as they navigate the complexities of adolescence. By teaching them to be assertive, setting limits, speaking up when they feel uncomfortable, understanding the importance of privacy, and modeling healthy boundaries, parents and caregivers can help teenagers establish a healthy sense of self and navigate relationships with others.


If you or a loved one struggle with setting healthy boundaries, please contact one of our trained specialists for assistance. 

 This blog was written by Brittany Preslar, LCSWA

For additional help, please reach out to one of our experienced therapists here.