7 Respectful Ways To Set Healthy Boundaries With Parents (With Examples)

Last Update on May 16, 2022 : Published on May 16, 2022

Parents are our first friends, teachers, and guides. Without our parents’ support we might’ve not become the people we are today. However, sometimes, the relationship we share with them can turn unhealthy without having set boundaries with our parents.

Not having set boundaries with parents can lead to a dysfunctional relationship in the family. Family boundaries are as important as any other boundaries to protect not only the relationship at risk but also to protect one’s mental and emotional well-being.

No matter how hard we try, in the end, setting boundaries with parents can be quite challenging. Why? Because, one, they are our parents and parents will never stop giving us advice (even when we don’t ask for it), comment on little things, make suggestions we might not agree with, or take charge of a situation we might not want them to.

Why To Set Boundaries With Parents?


More often than not, this parental involvement comes from doing their best for us but sometimes, it can be something that stops us from being independent. Parents face a lot of trouble giving up control, even when their children are adults.

When our parents begin to challenge our limits or ignore our wishes then it can make for an unhealthy parental relationship. Showing disrespect for boundaries you set can cause you distress and tension that can further damage the relationship.

No one, including parents, have the right to disregard boundaries. Healthy boundaries with parents are important as they encourage respect (on both ends), nurture an understanding of each other, and help lead a positive or productive relationship.

Parents have been and always will be a part of our lives – no matter how old we are. However, when you’re an adult (with children of your own) you might need to step away from being a child to your parents and be an individual personality.

Setting boundaries with parents is a healthy habit to maintain a positive dynamic between you and your parents. Some parents try to control their children’s lives even after they’ve started their family and while it might be done with good intentions at heart, it can still not have the benefits the parents might be imagining.

It’s OK. Remember, our parents do what they do out of love and protection. They might worry about your being independent but you need to also remind them that you’re an individual personality now and your needs have changed.

Examples Of Boundaries With Parents

It’s OK to set boundaries with parents. It is not disrespectful to respect your needs or set boundaries. While many people may not agree with setting boundaries with parents, doing this can help you grow as a person and help keep the relationship you have with your parents healthy and evolving.

What you do need to keep in mind is to be respectful, thoughtful, and understanding. Show your appreciation for them, for the love they’ve given you, and the dedication they’ve shown you.

Here are some examples of setting boundaries with parents:

  • When your parents visit you uninvited and use your keys as they wish, you can respond with: “It’s good to see you but it would’ve been better if you told me you would be stopping by. It’s not the right time for me to entertain you. Can you make sure to give me a heads-up before visiting the next time?
  • When your parents give unsolicited advice or make comments on your daily behaviors, you can respond with: “Thank you for the suggestions. I really appreciate and value what you’ve said but I have this under control. I’ll ask for your advice the next time I need it.

What you should remember is to be mindful of your thoughts before having the conversation on setting boundaries with your parents. Understand and jot down what’s bothering you about them or their actions, keep your words respectful, clear and defined. But most importantly, remember to be firm yet polite in your conversations.

Below, I’ve listed 7 respectful ways to set healthy boundaries with parents to protect your autonomy while helping the parents in your life foster a mutually respectful relationship.

How To Set Boundaries With Your Parents?


1.Always Be Respectful

When setting boundaries with parents always be respectful and positive. If possible, be funny too. Keeping a positive take on such a heavy conversation can help enforce the boundaries better. Make sure you know and keep their love and care for you in mind as you set boundaries. Talk about your needs but don’t be argumentative.

2.Keep The Conversation Open

Communicating your needs and wants is crucial when setting boundaries. To set boundaries with parents, you need to keep the conversation open, honest, and clear. You can use “I” statements too. For example, “I feel you’ve stopped…” etc.

3.Find A Mutual Compromise

When parents are too involved in their children’s lives, it can make boundaries difficult and invisible. Here, setting boundaries can help set a reminder that you’re an adult and can make your choices. Come to a mutual compromise. Maybe you’re not willing to share intimate details with them but can still give them a brief overview of the subject? Make them feel involved without involving them.

4.Avoid Feeling Guilty

It’s OK to feel anxious and a little bit worried when setting boundaries with parents. You love them and don’t want to hurt them, right? Well, you won’t. Remember that boundaries are good for you and the relationship you’re trying to protect. You don’t have to feel guilty about the boundaries you set with your parents. You’re not doing anything wrong.

5.Ask For Space

Your parents may not always listen to you or agree with the boundaries you set. A good step to take here would be to ask for space. Make sure you let them know the consequences and stick to your words. It might not be easy but to maintain a healthy parental relationship, this needs to be done.

6.Be Firm Yet Polite

After your conversation with your parents, if they continue to behave the same, then you have two choices. You can either give up, bite your tongue, and accept that they might not change or you can stay firm and polite in your choice and let your parents know that you’re serious about these boundaries.

7.Ask Professional Help

Setting boundaries with people you love can be challenging. If you’re facing trouble, then a mental health professional can offer the support and help you need. With a therapist’s guidance know what healthy boundaries with parents look like, how to recognize unhealthy patterns, and how to set boundaries with parents.

Healthy boundaries with parents can help protect your emotional needs and space. If you’re looking for professional guidance, you can connect with BetterHelp’s professionals by signing up below.

Visit BetterHelp

Remember, parents are an important part of our lives but they don’t always have to be in control of how you run your life.

I hope these ways how to set healthy boundaries with parents will help you start the conversation with your parents. For more, you can write to us at info@calmsage.com or DM us on social media.

About The Author

Swarnakshi Sharma
Swarnakshi Sharma

Swarnakshi is a content writer at Calm sage, who believes in a healthier lifestyle for mind and body. A fighter and survivor of depression, she strives to reach and help spread awareness on ending the stigma surrounding mental health issues. A spiritual person at heart, she believes in destiny and the power of Self. She is an avid reader and writer and likes to spend her free time baking and learning about world cultures.

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