The Importance of Setting Limits for Tweens & Teens
Teenagers may resist the limits that their parents try to set for them, but parenting a teenager requires a balance of encouraging independent growth and keeping them in check so that they don’t make decisions that can have detrimental effects on their entire lives. While it can be hard for parents to make the tough calls and risk suffering the wrath of their teens’ emotional outbursts, one of the most important responsibilities of parenthood is the willingness to set and enforce a reasonable limit on behaviour and privileges.
Setting and Enforcing House RulesIn order for kids to behave as their parents prefer, they have to know what is expected of them. Rules are not meant to limit children’s creativity or force them into some type of rigid mold, but instead are put in place to keep kids and teens safe and to guide them toward responsible behaviours.
Ideally, parents should have had rules in place from the time that their children were very young, but some only come to the realisation that they need to implement limits once their pre-teens begin to display behaviours that they find unacceptable. While it is certainly easier to keep kids on the straight and narrow if they’ve always been accustomed to living within the guidelines that their parents set, it is never too late to make changes.
Teenagers are at a point in their lives when they are often faced with adult decisions, many of which can impact the remainder of their lives, so it is important for parents to provide thoughtful guidance during the teens and the years just preceding them. Kids and teens must make choices regarding drug and alcohol use, smoking, and sexual activity. All parents realise that very young children need close supervision, but many fail to understand that teens, too, need their parents to be closely involved in their everyday lives.