Heart-to-Heart Connection

To inspire and be inspired!

Set Boundaries With Your Teen (4/10)

My facebook friend recently shared how her fifth grader had become SO defiant, she was tearing her hair out!  “Grounding isn’t working anymore!  Help!”

I hear ya!  Thankfully, my fifth grader still alternates between rebellion and compliance; nevertheless, I sure can relate to her cry!

I think the best school in the world — life — is trying to tell us something:  Set firm, realistic boundaries with your teens.  AND empathize and love your child!  (I’m going to need multiple personalities to pull this one off.)

‘Guess it’s time for tough (and soft) love. 

Psychologist Dr. Townsend advises:

  • Dig beneath your teen’s problems — ask why your teen is feeling a certain way.  Empathize with his struggles.  If necessary, see a doctor.  Your teen may need medical and psychiatric help.
  • Love — tell your teen you love him but that his behavior is unacceptable; with privileges come responsibilities.  Love helps the teen begin to see that his behavior is the problem, not him.
  • Empathize (Contain your teen’s reaction) — the adult allows himself to experience the teen’s wrath, fury, and disappointment in you.  Containing involves maintaining eye contact, being warm, and not being overwhelmed, defensive, or disrupted by your teen’s emotion.
  • Communicate specific rules and requirements — natural or externally imposed (by an adult), consequences are a fact of life.  Good behavior brings good results.  Bad behavior brings uncomfortable results.  Be consistent.  Always follow through.
  • Let consequences fit the crime — Best consequences are those which matter to the teen.  Give the most lenient one first.  Turn up the heat as necessary.
  • Consequence Listsocial access (ground your teen, restrict phone, uninstall instant messaging, restrict driving), media (restrict access to TV, music, computer, and video games), tasks (assign extra chores, additional homework, community service) 

I take comfort in knowing I am not alone.  🙂

September 11, 2009 - Posted by | Attitude, Change, Compassion, Education, Health and Wellness, Heart, Introspection, Mind, Passion, Purpose, Self Help, Soul, Spirit, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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