Boundaries: The Giving Tree

Photo by Lucas Pezeta on

My previous blog post on “Boundaries: Love-Hate Relationship” attracted some personal text messages from friends who are readers. It does seem like enmeshment is a common problem that occurs in families, and many children struggle to maintain healthy boundaries with their parents. One of them sent me an alternate ending to The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, which I thought brought new life to the old stump that was left behind of The Giving Tree.

You can read the story, titled “The Tree Who Set Healthy Boundaries”, here. What struck me about this alternate ending was that the decision by the tree to set healthy boundaries, and the decision of the boy to respect them, produced benefits for generations to come. Generations – far-reaching, years down the road… So, if you are someone trying to set healthy boundaries, don’t give up. Press on.

By the way, healthy boundaries are not only needed between parents and children, they are also needed in all kinds of relationships – including those with your spouse, colleagues and friends.

If you have never heard of the original story of The Giving Tree, here is a read-along video of the book for you. Feel free to give comments below to share your own experiences and insights! I would love to hear them šŸ™‚

4 thoughts on “Boundaries: The Giving Tree

  1. It’s really not easy to learn how to set boundaries with our parents, but yet so important. I think, just like how setting healthy boundaries can have benefits for generations to come, the negative effects of enmeshment will also continue on to the future generations as well.

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