North Star Youth Partnership

North Star Youth Partnership engages youth ages 11-18 through educational, recreational, leadership and service-learning opportunities. What started in 1997 as an educational program to prevent adolescent pregnancy in Yavapai County has expanded to 11 different programs serving youth in Central and Northern Arizona.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Setting Boundaries with Teens

Setting Boundaries with Teens ID 144583301 © Monkey Business Images |
Teenagers may act like they want to call the shots but deep down teens appreciate boundaries and want them. They want to know what they can or cannot do.
The boundaries you set may differ from one child to the next.
If you have tried setting boundaries with your teen, but feel like it’s not working, ask yourself the following questions:
• Are the boundaries clear, and does your teen understand the boundaries?
• Once you set boundaries, do you follow up with them?
• Have you been consistent with them as they were growing up?
Teens need to have a clear understanding of your expectations and the consequences of their actions. They also need to know they can count on the adults in their life to be consistent. If the rules always change, that instability will impact other parts of their life and relationships.

Creating New Boundaries with Teens

1) Try allowing teens to choose their boundaries.
Choosing their curfew, bed time, or social media time could be a good first step for your teens. Once they make a choice, discuss why it is or isn’t a good idea, and how that choice will impact them.
2) Discuss the importance of each boundary.
After a boundary is chosen, teens and parents need to have an understanding about why each boundary is important.
3) Determine the reward or consequence for each boundary.
Teens need to know what will happen if they keep or break a boundary. Are there rewards or consequences, and what are they? Some boundaries may have their own natural consequences. For example, if they stay up too late at night, they will be tired the next day. Other boundaries have bigger safety implications.
4) Once boundaries are set, be consistent.
Once parents and teens have set a boundary, both parties must be consistent. This is not the time to change your mind. If some boundaries aren’t observed consistently, teens could interpret that inconsistency as inattention or uncaring.

5) Allow your teen to learn from their decisions.
Teens learn that their choices have consequences. Learning to take responsibility for their actions and find solutions to solve the problem is a great lesson that will help them throughout their life.
Teens desire boundaries, but parents can expect to receive some push back. It’s important to be consistent with boundaries and the consequences that come with breaking them. When teens know that their parents will be consistent, they will be more likely to follow them.
Eunice Allen is a Health Educator with North Star Youth Partnership, a program of Catholic Charities.  She has spoken to thousands of youth about the importance of abstinence.  She has worked with youth for more than nine years at local nonprofits and her church. She is passionate about helping people improve their lives and encouraging people to thrive in life.

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