Heart-to-Heart Connection

To inspire and be inspired!

Boundaries With Teens — Parties, Peers, Phone, Runaways, Sex, Silence (9/10)

“Teens seem to appreciate and respond to adults who won’t judge them, who love them, but who are also willing to confront them.” (J. Townsend)

No wonder I’m glued to this book! 

A two year old can share his piece of mind.  Author and psychologist, Dr. John Townsend imparts his wisdom and expertise on how mature, understanding adults carry themselves:

  • Parties — with your teen, define the problem (alcohol, drugs, sex, troubled youths), set ground rules, and follow through on consequences.  Furthermore, contact the other parent.  Your child doesn’t go to parties until the parent is contacted.  Ask your child’s friend’s parent, “Can I help?”, “Are you going to be at the party the whole time?”, “Is X or Y coming?”  The more parents require teen parties be safe, the more likely they will be. 
  • Peers — we can’t be with our kids 24/7 but we want them to be safe.  So, what tools can we give them?  Here’s one example: “I’m not trying to control you.  I care about you.  You can spend time with X in a group but not alone.  I will restrict your privileges if you choose to do so.”
  • Phone — life comes first.  Ground Rules: Use the phone after finishing homework and chores, use the phone as an answering machine (except call from parents), limit phone time, limit the number of cell phone minutes used, require and role play phone etiquettes (e.g., “Hi, this is Julie.  May I speak to Pam?”)
  • Runaways — it’s a premature way to leave home.  Possible Causes:  Home problems, undeveloped coping skills, substance abuse, sense of entitlement.  Possible Solutions: Get your teen home, get to your teen’s heart, require responsibilities, follow through on consequences, give as much additional structure as necessary, and change whatever you need to change.

Whew!  Parenting — it’s definitely for grown ups!  We can only parent to the level of our maturity.

  • Sex — confront any sexual activity you know about.  Establish consequences — if necessary, take away your teen’s freedom to socialize.  Discuss masturbation (not physically harmful), consequences of sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancies.  Let your child know you love and accept her, and you want to help her find help, hope, and a new start (if she is in way over her head).  
  • Silence — Possible Causes: Withdrawal from an intrusive parent, limited ability to describe experiences and emotions, fear of emotion, depression, passive punishment.  Possible Solutions: Discuss with your teen his reason for silence, require dialogue (“You don’t have to tell me everything about your life but I do need you to talk to me — at least when I want to know what you’re doing.  If you choose not to talk to me, you’re telling me you don’t take your responsibilities for being in our relationship seriously, and there will be consequences.”)  

“Being responsible for adolescents tend to expose our weaknesses in ways few experiences do.  Parenting is all about character.  When you work on character issues, you are also working on parenting issues.  As you get healthy, so does your parenting.  So get in touch with people who are mature, loving, and truthful — and use what you learn.” (J. Townsend)

Yes sir! 🙂

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September 18, 2009 - Posted by | Attitude, Book Review, Change, Education, Health and Wellness, Heart, Introspection, Leadership, Love, Mind, Passion, Peace, Purpose, Self Help, Soul, Spirit, Stress, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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