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How to set clear boundaries for your teen

How to set clear boundaries for your teen

Your teen needs a parent, not another friend. It is your responsibility to set clear boundaries for your teen regarding alcohol use. Don’t assume that your teen knows what you are thinking or already understands your rules.

As a parent you have the opportunity develop an agreement between you and your child. This agreement should include your teen’s rules as well as the consequences that they will receive if they choose to break them. These consequences could include losing cell phone data privileges, Netflix passwords or car keys for a week.

Talking to your teen about boundaries can be unpleasant, but the enforcement and discipline that you set up now will protect your child in the long run. Explain to your teen that the purpose of these rules is not to restrict them – but to keep them healthy, happy and safe.

Use the four following rules as a starting point as you work to develop clear boundaries with your teen. Feel free to add to this list if there are special circumstances that apply to your teen such as working, traveling with friends or spending time at friends’ houses frequently.

  1. Do not drink until you are 21 years old. Drinking before age 21 is illegal. Not only could you get in trouble with the authorities, you could also jeopardize your future college scholarships or job applications. 
  2. Never ride in a car with someone who has been drinking. One drink is one drink too many to drive. Do not put your life in danger by getting into this situation.
  3. Stay away from parties where you know there will be drinking. This atmosphere will only encourage and promote drinking. Choose to spend time with friends who do not have to drink to have fun.
  4. Call me if you ever need a ride away from a party or dangerous situation. Remember that I am here if you are ever uncomfortable or if you find yourself at a party where everyone is drinking.