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How to set clear boundaries for your teen

How to set clear boundaries for your teen

Parenting a teen can be hard. There are so many ups and downs that at times it’s hard to know which way is up.
What rules do you set? Is there a curfew? Should you let them drink in your home?
May all be questions that have come across your mind at one point or another.
Many of those questions will come from the culture you want to create in your family and other will come with time. But whatever rules you do choose, it’s vital to place boundaries for your teen.
Your teen needs a parent, not a friend.
It is your responsibility to set clear boundaries for your teen on 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 to develop an agreement between you and your child. This agreement should include your rules as well as consequences for breaking them.
These consequences could include a range of things. Your teen may lose cell phone data privileges, Netflix passwords or car keys for a week.
Talking to your teen about boundaries isn’t always fun, but the rules you set up now can protect your child. 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 in your family. No two teens are alike and so many rules may not always apply.
  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.
  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, I am here if you are ever uncomfortable or if you find yourself at a party where everyone is drinking.
Setting boundaries with your teen is a very important thing to do as a parent. While not always the most fun thing, it’s something that helps to keep them safe. At the end of the day, the most important thing is that your child learns the ways that you want them to stay safe and sober.
mackenzie
Mackenzie@missourisafeandsober.com
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