Boundaries and consistency are what every teenager needs in order to feel loved and secure. Take away those boundaries and teens will do whatever they want, but in doing so they will be very insecure and unhappy.
This also applies to consistency as it creates a sense of security. Regular meal times, curfews, etc. Being consistent when a teenager misbehaves is also crucial. If you never follow through with a punishment your teenager will not respect you and in future may disobey you.
Teenagers Pushing boundaries
When your teenager was a child you had set boundaries and were consistent in all that you did. But what happens when they become teenagers? Do you let the boundaries down, stop being so consistent? You don’t want your teenager to hate you, so despite your misgivings, you relax the boundaries. Has this made your teenager happier, easier to live with? Your response would no doubt be a resounding no!
Although there is a natural progression for teenagers to break away from their parents and assert their independence, they also need to know (although they would never admit it!) their parents are still there for them.
Setting new boundaries for teenagers
You are now faced with setting new boundaries and letting go of some of the old ones. For example, if you try and force the issue of healthy eating on to your teenager you will get the ‘I’m not listening’ look! Instead, just ensure there is a variety of healthy foods available and when they are hungry they will eat! Often tending to eat little and often with endless trips to and from the kitchen.
Suggestions that they make a proper healthy meal were met with an ‘I’m too busy’ look! Even after a day spent snacking they still managed to eat their dinners and half an hour later were once again going back and forth to the kitchen!
why boundaries are still needed for teenagers
Teenagers still need boundaries. During the school week they need to be in bed by at least 9pm. Of course, they will argue that itís too early! That ís because they are either watching TV, texting, Facebooking and or Twittering, or all four! It is here where you really need to be consistent. They will hate you for ruining their lives because they canít talk to their friends! You can either insist that all gadgets and gizmos are turned off at 9pm or remove them from their bedrooms until the morning.
This ensures that your teenager gets some sleep safe in the knowledge that you have not taken their phone downstairs and are going through their messages. After a few days when they know you mean business, they will start handing other the gadgets without the declarations that you have ruined their life! During weekends and at holiday times you can relax the rules a little but always remember to go back to the 9pm rule on a Sunday night.