A question recently came up asking if there was such a thing as too much emotional support, at what time do you practice “tough love” and teach them to grow up? While there can be many different facets to this due to the various nuances of relationships, I’ll try my best to speak in general terms. First, there is no such thing as too much emotional support…if proper, realistic boundaries are kept in place. It is so important that a child (including an adolescent) feels unconditional love; that the love is not tied to their behavior. You want them to feel safe with you, to know they can come to you with anything and your love for them will not diminish. This includes not shaming them for their behavior. Remember, we all make mistakes and do things that don’t make sense – and their brains aren’t fully developed enough to always think things through. So, no, there is no such thing as too much emotional support.


However, there has to be a balance of proper, realistic boundaries. I have seen too many people who let others take advantage or manipulate them into doing things they either do not want to do or is unhealthy for them in some way (physically, financially, emotionally, or mentally.) Boundaries are a very personal thing. They will be different for everyone. Sometimes you may not even know a boundary is there! One way to tell an unknown boundary has been crossed is if you begin to feel frustrated, bitter, angry, or resentful. Take note of that feeling and what just happened to start that feeling – that’s your boundary. With children, you obviously wouldn’t let them do just whatever they want, so those would be some boundaries for them. It is important to make sure they are realistic and that they are fair. There is a lot more I will say about this in upcoming blogs, so keep an eye out!