The moments spent hanging with my daughters brings me joy. I love it. We have inside jokes, favorite activities, shared interests and tons of laughs. As much as I enjoy their company, they are not and cannot be my friends. I am their parent, and they are my children. Setting boundaries is vital to uphold the parent/child relationship.
In order for our teens to grow into maturity, parents have to enforce discipline and rules.Teens will also cross those boundaries when acting out in rebellion. They will test their parents to see how far they can push it. This is perfectly normal. In order for our teens to grow into maturity, parents have the difficult duty to enforce discipline and rules. We have to set the standard of respecting authority in their formative years so that they may thrive later in their own careers, relationships, and parenting.
Here are a couple of things to add to your teen parenting plan. Never allow your teen to do these four things.
1. Disrespect You
Teen emotions are unpredictable. We have to be understanding of the things causing them stress and anxiety, but we must also demand respect from them with no exceptions. Never allow your child to curse at you, scream at you, or attempt to be physical. Take extreme care not to do those things at them either. Cultivate an atmosphere of calm dialogue that allows them to freely express their feelings, but doing so in a rational and respectful way. Most times they just need to vent.
2. See You as a Free ATM
If you desire for your child to grow to be fiscally responsible, never allow them to view you as a free ATM machine. Provide them ample ways to earn money and develop a solid work ethic. Completing their chores and being rewarded for good grades are standard ways to accomplish this.
3. Manipulate You
Your teens are craftier than you realize. As dads, we view our kids as those innocent little babies with the big eyes and heart melting smiles. They take full advantage of that and know our weak spots. One way they manipulate is by playing us against our spouse. For example, if your daughter wants a tattoo and expects you’ll say no, she’ll come with, “I asked mom and she said to ask you.” Now you’re the bad guy and feel outnumbered. Be generous and loving, but don’t cave in when you know what they want is not in their best interest. Don’t be manipulated. If we allow it now, they will be doing it their entire life.
4. Addressing You by Your First Name
Both my daughters have tried this sneaky little test. They typically get brave enough to toss it out around 14. “Daddy” is suddenly replaced with your name, usually in the form of a joke or a tease. For example, if you were to trip over something on the floor they might quip, “Way to go…Gary.” This is where that friendship/parent line is being tested. Nip it in the bud immediately. Never relinquish your authority.
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your wife tonight and make sure you’re both unified in how you are parenting your teens.