Boundaries in Relationships
Today’s teenagers are generally considered as being egoistic, uncaring, and insolent spoilt brats who do not own any redeeming qualities whatsoever. Contrary to the sceptics amongst us, this perception of teenagers is completely wrong in the majority of instances. Talk to your teen, on his or her level, about sensitive issues or family feud questions that need to be talked about within the family, and you will see that your son or daughter does rely on you, as a parent for guidance, and to ensure domestic tranquility. It is never too soon to start talking about sensitive topics, however, it can regrettably be far too late.
You may be pleasantly surprised to find that your teen really wants you to establish boundaries within the family. They may chew at the bit for a short time, but they’re really just trying you out to see how serious you really are about the boundaries you’ve set to ensure domestic tranquility. So whatever you do, stick to your guns!
Our children need to know, and they deserve to know where their parents stand on matters such as sex, drugs, alcohol, dating, and other topics. At the same time, they also need to know that you care about their concerns and thoughts. You ought to talk about matters with your teenagers, not just give them a list of rules they must follow to the letter, because we say so! Kids of all ages need some freedom to explore and grow, and all the while parents need to make sure that their teenage children can approach them to discuss anything whatsoever. If you cannot do that, there are enough outside influences just waiting to take your place.
* Tell your kids what you require of them both at home and in public.
* Respect them as the independent, young adults that they are and they will be a lot more respectful of you.
* If they need to unload on you or confide in you, be positive when they do approach you with problems or concerns.
It’s natural your teen will have queries about topics that they are interested in, and it is important that you never make your teen feel like their comments are stupid or their thoughts immature and don’t ignore these matters. Always be up front and be completely honest with them and express your concerns and share your experience with the subjects at hand. This is parent and teenager bonding at its best.
A great way to address your teenager’s problems, even before they rise to the surface is to practice with your partner asking questions your teen might ask you. Then discuss and find the answers that will cover their fears or concerns. By doing this, you will be prepared and will be better equipped to enter into a dialogue with your teenager when the situation arises. For obvious reasons, you don’t want your child to think his, or her, parents are making fun of them, so only indulge in role play when you are alone with your partner.
Now and again teens will ask questions at the most inappropriate time, much like a toddler will. Try not to be caught off guard too much. Be forthright with them rather than pushing the question to the side. Take the matter up at the time, rather than being forced to contradict any information they get from their friends, at a later date, or anyone else who are more than happy to talk with them about it.
Let your teenager know if you don’t feel comfortable discussing a particular topic, but emphasize that your relationship is more important than a little bit of discomfort. They may be uncomfortable bringing the subject up as well. Remember, you don’t have to spell out every single detail of your own puberty to your child, but using examples and lessons you have learned along the way should confirm that you wasn’t born the other side of the dark ages!
Teenagers may think they know everything, but they don’t. They need to learn as they develop into adulthood. Bear in mind, your responsibility as a parent doesn’t just stop when your child crosses the threshold into adulthood. On the contrary. In actual fact you graduate to a whole new level in your relationship. Take every chance to talk with your teenager about sensitive issues, puberty, boundaries in relationships, family feud questions and establish boundaries. Do it now while they are still at home, and before it’s too late to have an influence on them.