Establishing healthy boundaries
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Establishing Healthy Boundaries. Molly Smith, DMH Clinician Karen Furman, School Social Worker. What are Boundaries?. Think about a map. When you look at a map, do you see boundaries? What are they?. Personal Boundaries. People have boundaries too. Knowing my boundaries means:

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Establishing healthy boundaries

Establishing Healthy Boundaries

Molly Smith, DMH Clinician

Karen Furman, School Social Worker

What are boundaries
What are Boundaries?

Think about a map. When you look at a map, do you see boundaries? What are they?

Personal boundaries
Personal Boundaries

People have boundaries too. Knowing my boundaries means:

  • Establishing limits

  • Knowing where I end and others begin

  • Understanding the difference between what is mine and what is not

  • Respecting people’s privacy

  • Being strong when other people try to take advantage of me

  • Not taking advantage of others when they don’t know as much about something as I do

Personal boundaries include
Personal Boundaries Include:

  • Your own body

  • Your own things

  • Your own space (can also be called Personal Space)

  • Respecting yourself enough to say, “No, leave me alone, I don’t want to, I can’t now, I want to talk to my friends now, etc.”


What does respect have to do with personal boundaries?


  • Showing consideration for myself and others

  • Treating myself and others with dignity

  • Understanding and valuing my boundaries and rights

  • understanding and valuing other people’s boundaries and rights


  • What does Power have to do with respecting personal boundaries?

Power continued
Power Continued…

  • Power means having control and influence.

  • People abuse this power when they take advantage of other people or violate the personal boundaries of others.

Ways that people can have power over another person
Ways that people can have Power over another person:

People who may appear to have power may be:




“Better looking”

More popular

Have more money

Not respecting the personal boundaries of others can be considered
Not Respecting the personal boundaries of others can be considered:

  • Peer Pressure

  • Harassment

  • Sexual Harassment

  • Bullying

Peer pressure
Peer Pressure considered:

  • Being forced or pressured into doing something because your peers are doing it or making you do it, not because you want to.

Harassment considered:

  • Persistent and unwanted behavior of an offensive nature intended to disturb or upset the victim.

Sexual harassment
Sexual Harassment considered:

  • Any unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature, whether the behavior is written, verbal, or physical such that the person is uncomfortable, intimidated, or threatened by the behavior.

Bullying considered:

  • When any word or action causes someone else harm.


    R – Repeated

    I – Intending to cause harm

    P – Power imbalance

Personal boundaries can be violated when
Personal boundaries can be violated when: considered:

  • You are touched by somebody else

  • You are verbally harassed by somebody else (this can also include over text, e-mail, Facebook, etc.)

  • Your belongings are taken or touched by somebody else

  • You are forced or pressured to do something that you don’t want to do

How does it feel to have your personal boundaries violated
How does it feel to have your personal boundaries violated? considered:

  • Uncomfortable

  • Confusing

  • Unsafe

  • Uneasy

  • Scary

  • Embarrassing

  • Vulnerable

  • Powerless

  • What else?

What do you do if your personal boundaries are violated
What do you do if your personal boundaries are violated? considered:

  • Say NO! Get away from the situation.

  • Tell the violator how you feel.

  • Tell an adult

  • Remember that it’s not your fault

Appropriate vs inappropriate
Appropriate vs. Inappropriate considered:

  • Appropriate means something that is suitable for the occasion or circumstances. It also refers to behavior that is respectful or socially acceptable.

  • Inappropriate means the opposite – something that is not suitable for the occasion or circumstances.

Example 1
Example #1 considered:

  • Jamal has a crush on Tamara. Tamara doesn’t know that Jamal exists. In order to get Tamara’s attention, Jamal sneaks up behind her at her locker and smacks her in the back of her head.

Example 2
Example #2 considered:

  • Lisa is late to class and needs a pencil. She cannot find one in her locker. She remembers Angela’s locker combination from the beginning of the year and decides to go help herself to a pencil from Angela’s locker. While she’s in there, she also decides to borrow some gum and lip gloss. Angela won’t mind!

Example 3
Example #3 considered:

  • Every day, Ken makes a comment about Diamond’s weight when he passes her in the hallway.

Example 4
Example #4 considered:

  • Jason is running down the hallway and accidentally runs into Ben, hitting Ben’s arm and knocking Ben’s books to the ground.

Example 5
Example #5 considered:

  • Albert and Rhonda are walking to Union Station after school. Albert reaches out and grabs Rhonda’s hand, which she likes. Then, he puts his arm around her, which makes her uncomfortable. Rhonda asks Albert to take his arm off of her, and he replies, “But you’re my girl.”

Example 6
Example #6 considered:

  • Tanya and Jess meet up on the playground before school. Tanya hasn’t done her homework, so she says, “Jess, why don’t we skip today.” Tanya knows that school is important to Jess, but she tries to convince her to skip anyway by enticing her with lunch at Chipotle.

RESOURCES considered:

  • DCPS Municipal Regulations

  • GOOD-TOUCH/BAD-TOUCH® Curriculum Guide