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How to set boundaries with you Teenagers

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

It's a common refrain heard in many households: "You just don't understand!" yelled by a frustrated teenager, followed by a weary sigh from an equally exasperated parent. The adolescent years can be a challenging time for both parents and their children. One of the most effective ways to navigate these tumultuous waters? Setting clear, consistent boundaries.


However, the mere mention of the word "boundaries" can sometimes elicit eye rolls from youths and uncertainty from parents. So, let's dive deeper into the world of boundaries, why they're crucial, and how parents can set them effectively.



1. Why Boundaries Matter


Boundaries are not about control, but about creating a safe environment. They:

  • Provide Security: Knowing there are limits helps youths feel secure especially in this age of social media. It's akin to understanding the rules of a game. When everyone knows the rules, the game runs smoothly.

  • Teach Responsibility: Boundaries help young people understand that actions have consequences.

  • Cultivate Self-Respect and Respect for Others: They teach youths the importance of mutual respect in relationships.


2. Steps to Setting Effective Boundaries


  • Communicate Clearly: The first step in setting boundaries is clear communication. Instead of simply laying down the law, explain the reasons behind each boundary. For instance, instead of saying, "You can't go out after 10 PM," you might explain, "We want you home by 10 PM because we care about your safety."

  • Be Consistent: Once a boundary is set, it's essential to be consistent. Consistency helps reinforce the importance of the boundary and reduces confusion.

  • Re-evaluate as Necessary: As your child grows and matures, it's essential to re-evaluate and adjust boundaries. This shows your child that you recognize their growth and maturity.

  • Empower with Choices: Instead of just imposing rules, give options. For instance, "Would you prefer to do your homework before or after dinner?"


3. Setting Boundaries is a Two-Way Street


Remember, boundaries aren't just for youths. Parents also need to set and respect boundaries for themselves. This might mean giving your teen privacy in their room or not reading their diary. By respecting their boundaries, you're modeling the behavior you wish to see in them.


4. Handling Pushback


Resistance to boundaries is natural. Here's how to handle it:


  • Stay Calm: It's essential to remain calm and avoid escalating the situation.

  • Listen Actively: Allow your child to express their feelings without interruption.

  • Reaffirm the Reasoning: Gently remind them of the reasons behind the boundary.


5. Celebrate Growth

As time passes and your child respects boundaries, celebrate these moments. Recognizing and rewarding positive behavior can be more impactful than punishing negative behavior.


Setting boundaries with youths can seem daunting, but it's an essential step in nurturing their growth and fostering a harmonious household. By being clear, consistent, and compassionate, parents can set the stage for a more understanding and respectful relationship with their teens.


Here at Genie, we care for our students beyond academics. Click here to find out more about us.


All the Best to you on your parenting journey!

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