Boundaries demonstrate what we think is acceptable, or unacceptable, in peoples’ behaviour towards us. Establishing boundaries can be a way of protecting ourselves. These resources will encourage your class to think about setting physical and emotional boundaries and why that is important.

Learning intentions

  • Understand the importance of knowing how to set boundaries
  • Explore different ways to clearly communicate different types of boundaries.
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Junior Cycle

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30 mins

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Team up

Eve's story

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In this scenario video, Eve is having difficulty defining healthy physical boundaries for herself.
Watch this scenario in class and ask students to discuss Eve's story or answer questions from the discussion prompts below.

Class discussion

When we are able to clearly state our boundaries it can help prevent feelings like anger and resentment from building up. Other people will respect us more if we can communicate in an assertive way.

  • How can Eve communicate to her friends regarding her boundaries?
  • Should Eve plan her response if/when a friend breaks the boundary she has set?
  • How long will it take Eve to get used to this new way of responding to others?

Sarah's story

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Sarah feels very lucky to have good friends. But when it comes to talking about money, she feels uncomfortable. Can Sarah set an emotional boundary without upsetting her friends?
Watch this scenario in class and ask students to answer questions from the discussion prompts below.

Class discussion

Whether you’re in a big group of friends or a small one, there will come a time when someone suggests an activity, event or a trip away that may be out of your budget. In this instance, for Sarah, talking about her finances can be difficult.

  • What alternatives can Sarah suggest to her friends when they are planning activities?
  • Can Sarah explain her personal situation to her friends and remain honest with them?
  • Can communicating honestly with her friends make things easier?
Further reading for students
picture of a person wearing converse runners standing on a white painted line

Maintaining boundaries

Boundaries demonstrate what we think of as acceptable, or unacceptable behaviour towards us. Read about how to set and maintain boundaries.
A young woman and man in a forest talking

Assertive communication

Assertive communication means expressing ourselves in a direct, open and honest way that is respectful of other people. It helps avoid confrontation.
Close up of someone's boots on a road in the direction of an arrow painted on the road

Feeling pressure

Life can feel full of pressure sometimes. Check out these tips from Jigsaw clinicians on coping with feeling pressure.