Karen C.L. Anderson Featured in Article for The New York Times

Difficult Mothers, Adult Daughters author Karen C.L. Anderson has been featured in an article written by Julie Fingersh for The New York Times website, read it here!

How To Set Pandemic Boundaries For Relatives

You’d do anything for them in a crisis, but the crisis isn’t going away. Here’s how to get your life back.

By: Julie Fingersh

When pandemic-related shutdowns started, many people rushed to the rescue of their loved ones. They rallied to meet an extraordinary situation and extended themselves in deep and loving ways. They welcomed home adult children with open arms. They jumped to babysit for their grandkids. They volunteered to shop for neighbors and elderly relatives.

“At first, I thought, this is going to be great,” said Nancy Graham of Plainfield, Ill., about sheltering in place with her husband and their three adult children. “I bought puzzles. I bought stuff to make candles. I was like, let’s watch a documentary a week! Let’s learn something!”

Five months in?

“It’s awful,” said Ms. Graham, a real estate agent. “It’s been years since we’ve all been under the same roof for more than a week. I want to kill them, they want to kill each other, and my husband hides in his office.”

Indeed, with no end in sight, many people are wearing down. How long can they keep this up? Can they dial back their level of commitment, be it a pledge of time, money or emotional support? And why is it all so hard?

“As a social species, we have this powerful, powerful need for emotional closeness,” said Dr. Michael Kerr, a psychiatrist and the author of “Bowen Theory’s Secrets: Revealing the Hidden Life of Families,” based on the research of Dr. Murray Bowen, who viewed the family as an emotional unit. “And at the same time, we are allergic to too much of it. Therein lies the dilemma.”

Creating healthy boundaries is the antidote.

“People are afraid to set boundaries, because they think it risks the relationship,” said Karen C.L. Anderson, author of “Difficult Mothers, Adult Daughters: A Guide For Separation, Liberation & Inspiration” and a life coach specializing in family boundaries.

“When you want to say ‘no,’ to a loved one, you’re afraid that they’re going to make that ‘no’ mean that you’re a bad mother or grandparent or friend. You figure, I’m just going to say ‘yes,’ so I don’t have to feel guilty later,” she said.

“Boundaries create a context for the preservation of love and peace,” said John Townsend, a psychologist who is the co-author of the Christian-themed book “Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life and host of the “Dr. Townsend Live” show on Crowdcast.

“If you don’t have boundaries, you’ve got chaos,” he said. “Boundaries create an organized structure that people can go, ‘I can live with this. I can tolerate this. I can feel peaceful and still love people.’”

Read entire article here.


Difficult Mothers, Adult Daughters

A Guide For Separation, Liberation & Inspiration (Narcissistic Mother or Borderline Personality Disorder, Mother Daughter Relationship Book)

Difficult mother? The best news on the planet is that your mother doesn’t have to change in order for you to be happy. In fact, author Karen C.L. Anderson will take it a step further and say, your difficult mother doesn’t have to change in order for you to be free, peaceful, content, and joyful.