Establishing Rules and Boundaries With Your Teenagers
As a parent, managing a healthy relationship with a teenager can be difficult. This is a hormonal time for our little ones and they are likely to experience mood swings and ups and downs. This is also a time where they will test rules and boundaries, lashing out for more freedom and independence as they begin to feel more grown up and want to spend more time with their peers than at home with their families. It is really important that you set clear rules and boundaries with teenagers in order to keep them safe during this transitional time and to make sure that they grow into well rounded adults. Here are some top tips on this subject matter that should benefit everyone involved!
Make Reasons Clear
Many kids will rebel against rules when they can’t see the reason for them being in place. If a rule is meaningless or purposeless, they are much more likely to rebel against it, as they won’t see a problem with breaking it. It’s pointless setting pointless rules, solely for the sake of trying to control your teen. Instead, you need to make sure that your rules make sense, serve a purpose that benefits everyone and that this is clear to everyone involved. You’ll find that your teen is much more likely to respect a rule that they can understand.
Make Consequences Clear
It is also important that you make the consequences of breaking rules or boundaries clear to your teen. This will ensure that they are fully aware of what will happen if they ignore or break the rules that are laid out. Of course, consequences should be fair and realistic. You shouldn’t ground your child for a year for coming home five minutes late once, or not doing their homework. They should be severe enough that they pose a threat, but not so severe that they can’t be maintained. Your child can’t complain about facing a punishment that they knew they would face if they chose to break the rules regardless.
If your teen is going to spend time with friends, outside of the home, you should make sure to set a clear curfew. This is the time that they need to return home by. Setting a curfew can make sure that your kid spends time with their peers, at the same time as making sure they don’t disappear off into the night or come home too late. This can help to make sure they get plenty of rest, time to do their homework and anything else that needs to be completed before the next day ahead at school. Agreeing a curfew can cause teens and parents to butt heads, but you should find a fair compromise and balance. Many families find that location sharing also comes in useful when it comes to letting their teens spend time out of the house, unsupervised by them or other parents. Location sharing can give peace of mind and comfort, helping you to know where your teen is, so you can collect them or help them if needed. You can find one that works cross-platform if you have a different type of smartphone to your teen.
When kids are small, you will likely do everything for them. However, as your child hits their teenage years, it’s important that they begin to take on some responsibility themselves. This is where house rules can come into play. It’s important that your teen begins to be able to complete basic household tasks, picking up skills that they will inevitably need when they actually leave home. You will need to teach this skills and they will then need to keep them up. They should be able to tidy their own room. They need to know how to change their own sheets. Using a washing machine or dryer is useful. They should be able to make a few basic meals. They need to know how to wash up or load a dishwasher. That’s not to say that your teen is going to become a live in housekeeper. But they should be able to take care of certain elements of their own upkeep.
Make clear rules about smartphone, tablet, laptop and computer use. Kids are spending a lot more time online and you can fit filters to make sure that certain content is blocked, but you do need to make rules about what content is acceptable and what is not. Age restricted content should be discussed and you should do what you can to ensure they understand cybersafety. This means no talking to strangers online or sharing personal details online.
Rules and boundaries are essential to maintain a happy home when you have teens. Hopefully, some of the guidance above will help you to keep yours as safe as possible!
- Lisa has been blogging since 2013, and loves sharing resources and ideas for living a simple life. To get free printables, bonus words, and more - sign up for the newsletter.