When my teen first entered teenhood I suddenly had this strong desire to tighten the boundaries. Just as he was getting those wings out to fly, I wanted to clip them! I think it's probably a normal reaction to your children entering high school and adolescence. If you have a teen, did you feel this way when they hit this age?
Love and Logic expresses the view that we (parents) should "Relax our grip". The result will be a fun, reasonable and responsible teen. As our children grow older the boundaries should widen and the choices more consequential. Our role is to advise, ask questions and present options to our teens. It is then up to the teen to decide what course of action they will take.
Control is about boundaries. The tighter your boundaries are the tighter your control is, but this causes many a teen to rebel. The wider your boundaries the looser your control. Too loose and the teen might think you just don't care. So, we let them know we still care and are still here for them by staying involved through giving choices and discussion.
Pick your battles wiselyNo parent wants to get into a fight with their teen, but I know of some teens that want to fight with us! If you find yourself arguing with your teen about music they like listening to, friends that they have, their school grades, clothing they wear, hair styles, silent walling you, outlandish remarks or anything else that is an expression of their individuality...DROP IT. Parents can't win these battles head-on. Parents can't monitor these things 24/7. If parents can't enforce something, teens soon lose respect for those parents.
There are some teens that WANT you to argue about these things. It's a smoke screen to stop you from spending your energy fighting the more important battles. Parenting Teens With Love and Logic deals with the topic of troubled teens on pages 104 - 107. The book also addresses rebellion on pages 127 - 129.
Three rules for teensOur boundaries as parents must be:
1. Respect from our children.
2. How our homes function. Doing chores.
3. Acceptable grades in school.
Foster Cline & Jim Fay suggest you use these as your three household rules for your teen.
Giving choices1. Only give choices that you as a parent like.
2. Only give choices where the consequence can be enforced.
3. Only allow choices where the consequence doesn't result in danger to your teen.
4. Use effective questioning. Never give them a choice where the answer can be "No!". They must make a decision.
5. Follow through on what you say.
Look out for the third choice that teens love to put forward! Foster Cline and Jim Fay suggest you just repeat, "What were the choices?"
How's your teen responding to you giving choices? I am finding it difficult to find good consequences that help teach the lesson. What are you finding that works for you and your teen?
Want more! For extra content or to just keep up with the mayhem, like Triple T Mum's Facebook Page!
Subscribe to Triple T Mum by Email