Setting Limits & Expectations for Teens
Adolescent and family therapist Yshai Boussi L.P.C. joined us today with great advice about setting limits and expectations for teenagers.
Here is what Yshai has to say:
Setting Limits for Teens
The topic that we have chosen to write about is one that's been staring at us a lot recently. One of the biggest challenges in raising teens is figuring out how and when to set limits and expectations. While teens need independence and opportunities to make their own decisions, they also require boundaries to moderate their lack of judgment and experience.
Teens are a moving target because of how rapidly they're changing. Not only are their bodies transforming before your eyes, but their moods, tastes and preferences are about as predictable as the weather here in Portland. In addition, they each have a unique temperament and constitution. This is why what worked with the first child (generally compliant and adaptable) may not work with the second (more challenging and oppositional) which may not work with the third (more sensitive and avoident). To make matters more complicated, we as parents carry our own baggage as well. All of us are impacted by our own upbringing in a unique way. Many of these early experiences have made us better parents, but most of us also carry left over burdens that cloud our ability to set effective boundaries with our kids.
How to do it in 2 steps
If you're like us or the many parents we've worked with over the years, you're already aware that knowing something and practicing it in the moment are two different things. However we hope you find that the more you practice these skills the better you will become. Teens are very forgiving and they are constantly giving us new opportunities to grow and try new things. It's never too late to try again and be a better listener, more calm, more clear, and more engaged with your teen.
To read more from Yshai Boussi L.P.C. check out his newsletters.