Regardless of how well-behaved your children are, they all go through the dreaded teen years. This is a period of great struggle for many. As a teenager (and mother) myself, I have followed and proved three great ways to establish positive boundaries for the teens in your home.
As a worried parent of a rebellious teen, it is your job to create a trustworthy environment. Set boundaries that are neither excessive nor degrading. Extend trust to your teen. Allow them to explore their world (with reason), and don’t negate the fact that your kids will disappoint you from time to time. Be sure your teens know that you do trust them until proven otherwise. The worst thing you could do to your teen is create a home of distrust because of your own doubt.
It’s important that your teen feels they can communicate with you — about the good and bad. As the parent and supporter, you need to encourage honest conversation with your teen. There will be less secrecy and deception when more is brought to the table upfront. When your teen feels he/she cannot talk to you about important decisions or mistakes, it creates a negative boundary of mistrust and dishonesty.
Be your teenager’s friend. Be the person they can confide in. Combine trust and honesty to extend friendship towards your teen. In return, you will reap the benefits of being actively involved in their lives. While you can be their friend, it is important to remember that firstly, you are their parent. This means that you must walk a fine line between the two. If your teen breaks a boundary that you have set for him/her, be a friend second and a parent first.
I have taken a couple courses at Liberty University on Child Psychology and Development. A book I was assigned to read, A Child’s World, by Diane E. Papalia and Ruth D. Feldman, states, “Effective monitoring depends on how much adolescents [teenagers] let parents know about their daily lives, and such disclosures may depend on the atmosphere parents have established.”