The essence of a happy life is found in the quality of our relationships!
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
How to Set Boundaries And Curfews for Teenagers
Making the transition from childhood to adolescence can be difficult for both parents and kids. At this time, the parent-child relationship changes. Teenagers seek greater independence, which is a natural and normal part of development.
Parents often struggle to find a balance between giving their child greater freedom and setting necessary boundaries. Although it can be a challenge, parents need to let go and help their teen make good, responsible decisions. Since teenagers are changing rapidly, it is normal for parents to feel a lack of control and for family conflict to increase.
Clear communication and understanding boundaries, such as curfews, can help to ease some of this discord.
Create boundaries and rules in conjunction with your teenager. Set rules and discuss them with your teenager. Make sure that he understands the reasoning behind these rules and you come to an agreement that works for everyone. Teenagers respond well to parents who have high expectations, but also grant them a certain amount of autonomy.
Be straightforward. Avoid being sneaky or manipulative. Manipulation will make your child question whether he can trust you, and he may avoid discussing important topics with you. It will also increase arguments.
Set curfews together. Setting curfews is an important way to keep your family culture intact and create boundaries for your teenager. Allow him to have a say; this will increase his feelings of independence and effectiveness and create greater respect for the new rule. Create a curfew time that is age-appropriate, but don't be afraid to compromise if necessary. Discuss consequences of breaking this rule. It is important that your teen feels that the consequences are fair and make sense.
Remind your teen of the curfew you have agreed upon before he goes out for the evening. This will help to reinforce the agreed-upon rule. You can do this by posting a reminder on the family calendar and offering a gentle verbal reminder.
Enforce consequences for broken rules, but avoid dogmatism. Allow a buffer of a few minutes, particularly if your teen is driving. This will let him be late without speeding. Discuss the reasons that he is late and allow him to explain his tardiness. Remember that everyone faces issues such as traffic jams and flat tires at times. If he continues to break the rule, remind him of the consequences and enforce them.