How do you set rules for your teen?

Parents have to deal with the challenges of raising a teen, and one of the skills that they need to acquire is how to set reasonable limits and rules for their teen. Set rules and limitations to keep your teen safe and healthy, but involve them in making those rules and defining the consequences. Your teen should have a say and be able to voice an opinion on the rules and consequences that you set together in an open conversation. Respect your teen's point of view; teens are often rebellious and look for ways to defy their parents as they develop their individual identity, so setting one-sided rules that seem unreasonable to your teen may have a negative affect. Don't be too lenient either, so that your teen will understand that you are serious. Put rules in writing so they won't be selectively forgotten.

If you make your expectations clear, explain the importance of each rule, and are able to follow through with the consequences of your teens breaking the rules, you are on the way to teaching them how to be responsible adults. Set consequences that fit the "crime," so that they will be effective and your teen will learn from them. Be consistent, so that your teen knows what to expect. Don't challenge teens with ultimatums; stick to your values on important issues of health and safety, but give them a chance to negotiate on matters that you are willing to compromise on. As your teen proves that you can rely on his or her judgment, you can gradually become more lenient and grant your teen more freedom. Support your teens' efforts to comply with the rules and tell them how proud you are of them.




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