14 Worksheets for Setting Healthy Boundaries

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3 Printable Worksheets About Setting Boundaries With Family

While families can be a source of great support and comfort, they can also be challenging due to past conflicts and misunderstandings. Setting and communicating boundaries helps people move forward from past issues and create healthier relationships (Tawwab, 2021a).

The following three worksheets help set and maintain boundaries within families.

1. Visualizing your boundaries

Picturing the limits we set ourselves in family relationships can help us define what we do and do not accept more clearly.

The Visualizing Your Boundaries worksheet helps create a picture capturing what gives us energy, leaves us feeling drained, and makes us feel stressed, uncomfortable, or unsafe when we connect with relations.

2. State what you want

Perhaps because we have grown up around our family, we often don’t see the boundaries that are needed or state what we do and don’t want in our relationships with them.

In the State What You Want worksheet, begin by identifying and reflecting on your values. Then, when dealing with a complicated relationship or situation, state your preferences and needs using the following:

I’d like to …
I’d prefer to …
I’d rather …
I want to …

3. Setting boundaries with family

Inevitably in families, issues arise and boundaries can be damaged. Addressing problems as they appear is critical to maintaining healthy dynamics and reducing frustration.

In this exercise, we reflect on situations that occur within the family and how you can choose to respond.

For example:

You discover a family member is sharing your personal information with other relatives or friends.

Your preferred response:

I’ve heard that you have been sharing some of my personal information with others. I want to keep certain things private, and it’s important to me that my privacy is respected. Let’s agree to keep our conversations between us, or please ask me if you think you should share something.

To plan the most appropriate response to your challenging situations, use the Setting Boundaries With Family worksheet.

Implementing Boundaries in Healthy Relationships Worksheets

Boundaries in healthy relationshipsBoundaries in healthy relationshipsWhen people are unaware that treating others in a certain way is wrong, they may view it as an expected and acceptable part of a relationship (Tawwab, 2021a).

The following two worksheets focus on recognizing healthy and unhealthy relationships and choosing how we interact with others.

1. Identifying healthy and unhealthy friendships

Our relationships with friends grow and evolve over time. While they typically get stronger and deeper, they can also become damaging and unhealthy.

In this exercise, we look at signs of healthy versus unhealthy friendships.

Use it to identify the relationships you should continue to nurture and those you should step back from.

Here are some examples.

A healthy relationship:

Alex and I have been friends since college. We always support each other through life’s ups and downs, celebrating successes and respecting each other’s space and boundaries without judgment.

An unhealthy relationship:

Spending time with Morgan leaves me feeling drained. She shares my personal stories without consent and dismisses my concerns. The friendship feels one sided and lacking in trust.

Once completed, determine which friendships you should continue to nurture and which you may need to let go.

2. Choosing conversations to have

Our relationships all differ, so it doesn’t mean we enjoy the same conversations with all our friends.

In this worksheet, we identify what sorts of conversations we do and don’t like to have.

The exercise helps us recognize “hot topics” that can lead to upset on either or both sides.

For example:

I enjoy discussing our travel experiences, books we’ve read recently, and future goals with Emily.

I prefer not to discuss politics with Emily. Our views differ significantly, so it can lead to tension.

Reflect on your answers as you go through the exercise. Remember that it’s okay to favor specific conversations and steer clear of others.

Setting Healthy Boundaries With Parents

Setting boundaries with parents is vital to flourishing as an adult and aids in the development of all concerned (Innis, 2023; Tawwab, 2021a).

The following two exercises support positive boundary setting and clear communication.

1. Saying no

Confidently and respectfully saying no to parents can be difficult, but sometimes it is necessary.

In this worksheet, having visualized the boundaries and identified personal values, the individual practices what it’s like to refuse or decline to do something.

2. Setting healthy boundaries with my parents

Our parents do not always recognize who we are and what we have learned as adults. As a result, it may be necessary to revisit boundaries.

In this exercise, we identify areas where healthier boundaries are needed and learn how to articulate them more clearly.

For example:

I need to keep certain aspects of my romantic relationship private. I will share what I’m comfortable with, but I expect you to respect my privacy and not probe for intimate details.

Setting boundaries with parents is not easy, but it is essential for your autonomy and the health of your relationship.

Games to Teach Children About Boundary Setting

Boundary games for childrenBoundary games for childrenRole-playing games are excellent for teaching children about boundary setting. The parent, teacher, or coach can pitch them according to age and intellectual ability.

They also offer helpful ways for children to learn how to express their needs in a safe space.

Here are three possible game scenarios.

  • Scenario one:
    A friend wants to play with your favorite toy, but you’re not ready to share it yet.

Objective: Practice saying no to sharing a toy politely and suggesting an alternative toy or activity.

  • Scenario two:
    Someone is standing too close to you, making you feel uncomfortable.

Objective: Practice asking someone to step back and respect your personal space.

  • Scenario three:
    Your friend wants to play a game, but it’s not one you enjoy.

Objective: Practice expressing what you prefer to do and negotiating a game both of you would like.


  1. Explain the concept of boundaries.
    Begin by explaining what boundaries are in simple terms.

For example, “Boundaries are like invisible lines that help us feel safe and happy. They tell others what we are okay with and what we are not okay with.

  1. Introduce the role-play activity.

Tell your child you will play a game where you pretend to be different people in various situations.

The goal is to practice respectfully saying what we like and don’t like.

  1. Select a scenario.

Choose one scenario from the list above or create your own based on your child’s experiences and situation.

  1. Act out the scenario.

Take turns playing different roles in the scenario.

You might be a friend, family member, or anyone else involved while your child practices setting their boundary.

  1. Discuss the scenario.

After acting out each scenario, talk it through with your child.

Ask how they feel about what they could say or do in real life and emphasize the importance of respecting their and others’ boundaries.

What to Say When Someone Crosses Your Boundaries

When others cross our boundaries, it’s vital to “be clear, and focus on the solution, not the problem” (Tawwab, 2021b, p. 61).

After all, the boundary is the solution. It sets out what we want to happen and what makes us feel comfortable and safe.

We should aim to set our boundaries in one or two sentences by stating what we need and want or simply saying no.

Use the following phrases to help you speak your truth:

I want …

I want some time to myself on weekends. It helps me recharge and be more present during our time together.

I need …

I need to be told about family gatherings in advance. It helps me to manage my schedule and commitments more effectively.

I expect …

I expect you to ask before borrowing my things. It’s a matter of personal respect and privacy.

Next time …

Next time you want to discuss something sensitive, let’s ensure we’re both in a good space to discuss it. It makes the conversation more productive.

Note that “no” can precede any statements as appropriate.

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