Parenting a teenager can be tough – find the right balance between setting boundaries and allowing some freedom.
It's natural for a teenager to desire some autonomy. No matter what kind of rules you enforce, you'll probably hear this complaint a lot: "I'm not a kid any more!" This is the age when your children start picking up the final skills they need for adulthood. While experiencing a little personal responsibility is a great thing, the CDC reports that parents who monitor their teen's activities will help reduce their risk for injuries, pregnancy, smoking, drinking, and recreational drug use. Here are five reasonable ways to set the right expectations in your home.
- Don't let your teens blow off your questions. Reserve the right to know where your teen is spending his time, who he is spending it with, and what he'll be doing.
- Expect a response. If you call or text your teen while he is out, make sure he knows that ignoring you is never an option.
- Personalize your expectations for each teen. Each child is different, and rules should be determined based on their individual personalities, strengths, weaknesses, and past experiences.
- Be open for conversation. If you are parenting a teen, "because I said so" isn't going to cut it anymore. In a few more years, your child will be making decisions for himself. He'll benefit from knowing why you made the rules you did. Make it known that you are always willing to talk (not argue) about your expectations.
- Be clear and consistent about consequences. When you make a rule, make sure you immediately include a consequence to go with it – and don't back down if the rule is broken.
At LiveFree!, your teenagers are our top priority. We work to provide education, guidance, and support that keeps our teens safe and healthy during their adolescence. Learn more about our mission and vision at our website.