Kids are out of control. At least this is what the media tells me. TV tells me that every teenager on the planet is engaging in games of knockout, getting pregnant, and dropping out of school so that they can sell drugs with their former chemistry teacher. That is how it is portrayed, and who are we to question the media? Despite what you hear, there is no right way to raise your child. They are all different. What worked with your eldest child, may not work for the youngest. This may lead to some tough decisions when it comes to setting the right boundaries for your teenager and you.
Teenagers are at that time where they start wanting to be trusted more and more. But when does trust become an issue? How do you know if you are trusting your children too much, or not trusting them enough? The best way is to just know your kid. While you are not there with them at all times, you should know what to worry about, as well as what to trust them with. As a teenager, my parents knew if I was out with my friends, they could trust me to make the right decisions. This is because I knew what was fine, and what was off limits. It had less to do with my parents, and more to do with my personal values. I was actually a rather boring kid to raise because of this. Secretly, I sometimes think my parents wish I was more rebellious so that I could add a little bit of excitement to their lives!
What about the kids who want to rebel? How do you keep the boundaries up on them? From my experiences growing up, a lot of the people I knew that lived life much further along the edge than I did, did so because their parents tried to set these boundaries high. The parents paid so much attention to what they did not want their kids to do, that the kids decided that those were the exact things they did not want to do.
What it all comes down to, is knowing your kid. Some kids will respond well to the boundaries you set to them, while others will constantly try to test how firm those boundaries are. Teenagers are on that road to adulthood. Because of this, it may be a good idea to guide them there. The best way to set the boundaries may just be to not have them at all, but instead, let them know the consequences of not setting their own.