The Importance of Setting Boundaries During the Holidays

Many expectations come with the holiday season. It can be the potlucks at your work, coworkers setting up a gift exchange, close friends planning get-togethers, and spending time with family both near and far. During this time of the year, it can be easy to overschedule or get overwhelmed. There could be times when a person will have to learn to say “no,” to participate in such events. 

Desiree Patrick is the Lead Residential Therapist with the Youth Crisis Center, and she says setting boundaries can be beneficial. According to Patrick, setting boundaries can help those who may find certain topics triggering. It can also help if they had family members who were involved or has contributed to a sort of trauma in their lives. Patrick says this also applies to kids in regards to sexual abuse by family members.

“It may be very important to set boundaries due to that trauma. Especially when that stems from family members not believing them or being upset with them for revealing that information.”

When it comes to setting boundaries for children, Desiree Patrick says it’s just as important to set boundaries for them as well. Patrick touched on the yearly reminder from the Girl Scouts when it comes to forcing physical contact. 

“You never want to put your child or any child in a position where they are uncomfortable. I believe that can be damaging especially if something has happened.”

Patrick recognizes that it can be viewed as disrespectful if a child does not want to be around certain people. She says we need to realize kids are people too. Patrick says sometimes parents forget kids have feelings and sometimes they do not want to be included in situations. Patrick recommends talking with your child and asking them why they are uncomfortable. It could be a handful of things such a child being shy or something that has happened and the parent is not aware of.

The Youth Crisis Center’s Outpatient Behavioral Health program

Are you concerned about relationship issues with your child or between family members? The Youth Crisis Center’s Outpatient Behavioral Health program provides comprehensive mental health and psychiatric care to children as young as 3, as well as their families. Parents may receive individual and family counseling services regardless if their child is a YCC client. 


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