Rather than trusting their instincts, many parents turn to outside experts for advice on how to raise teens.
“Parents can tie themselves into knots trying to follow the advice they read in books,” says Robert Evans, Ed D, author of Family Matters: How Schools Can Cope with the Crisis in Child Rearing.
But protecting your child from the realities of life takes away valuable learning opportunities -- before they're out on their own.
If you suspect your child is using alcohol or drugs, do not look the other way.
If you put too much emphasis on obedience, you may be able to make your teen or tween fall into line -- but at what price?
Teens raised in rigid environments miss out on the chance to develop problem-solving or leadership skills -- because you're making the decisions for them.
Boundaries aren't the rules; they are the fence posts placed around behavior.
An example of a boundary might be: "We will treat each other with mutual respect." If you believe that respect for one another has merit (I certainly do), then your boundary will include showing respect to those you live with, and teaching family members to respect authority and those outside the family as well.
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Deep down, teens understand this, no matter how much they push against the rules, bend them, break them, and balk at them.
To be effective, rules need to be based on the boundaries you establish in your home, which are even more important and foundational for a child to learn.