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Setting boundaries

Posted by Jennifer Turner on

I finally plan that special party for a family friend and invite my closest friends. Everything is going great as the evening proceeds. Wonderful food and laughter fills the room. Then the party gets the life sucked right out of it as my addicted child shows up wasted again. My guest don't know what to say. Awkward silence fills the air as my child belly's up to the counter and start helping themselves to food as their knees almost buckle.  My guest's attention turns toward this display of disrespect and outright rudeness and I just want to sink down into hole and hide. I would like to say this event only happened once but sadly I have had numerous celebrations ruined or dampened by the impaired behavior of one of my children.  

The last time this happened I told my child to leave.  I screamed and yelled and made them get out immediately.  I told them to never come back to my house drunk, high, or whacked out on anything. That was hard. Really hard. But I couldn't keep allowing my life to be so deeply affected by someone else's behavior.  Nor could I let my guest watch this sad scene.  I had to learn to set boundaries. After that I began informing my addicted child that I was having a gathering at my home and that they could come if they could come SOBER.   I also told them that if I suspected anything at all they would be made to leave.  This included events we had at family's houses for the holidays so they knew it just wasn't rules for my home but rules for any family function.  It only took a couple times to enforce this rule before they realized they weren't welcome inebriated.   After that they never appeared to family gatherings high.  We have a close family and we want all of our family there, but only if they are going to be truly present in body and mind.  

So I encourage you to set boundaries for what you will and won't allow in your home or functions you attend. It lets you enjoy your event and your child will know what is expected. The best time to start this is before you have a party.  Let your disobedient family member know exactly what isn't tolerated.  This includes the argumentative relative that likes to bring up past mistakes, or politics, or religion, or whatever and then start a heated argument about it.  Once they see that they aren't welcome when they are unruly then they will either conform or not attend. But you and all your guest will have a wonderful time.  God bless!!

1 comment


  • Tough love is harder on the family than the individual that crosses the line at any time, but it is the best interest of the family members that follow the rules. You absolutely did the right thing and should be proud of taking this step. 1 person should not be allowed to ruin a holiday or get together for the others. Good job Jennifer

    Terri on

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