Boundaries Blog — teenagers
What to Do When Your Teen Is Struggling at School
Make no mistake. Your kids are under more academic demands than you were. For better or for worse, the learning curve is steeper, and they have to study more than we did. Subject matters are more advanced. Projects, reports, and term papers require much more advance planning and steady work over time. If you don't build boundaries with teens early, the situation can get out of control.
I (Dr. Townsend) can remember how jarred I was when my kids started bringing back homework assignments from junior high and high school. We were in a whole new world, and a much harder one. When I saw how far ahead my kids had to be planning their reports, I called my mother and said, "What do you remember about my high school days, like how far in advance did I write reports?" She said, "You wrote them in the car on the way to school."...
Are You the "Easy Mom?" How to Build Boundaries with Teens
I (Dr. Townsend) remember overhearing my kids and their friends making plans to go to a movie. It was one of those last-minute decisions that teens often make. None of them were of driving age yet, so they were trying to solve that first obstacle.
One boy, Ted, said, "How are we going to get there? The movie starts in fifteen minutes." His friend said, "Call your mom; she's easy."...
Four Boundaries Principles to Apply in Difficult Situations
"What happened?" I asked.
"Well, I sat down and told her, 'Things are going to have to change around here. I'm going to set some boundaries with you. This is for your own good. You need to stop the ditching and drinking.'"
"What happened then?"
"She got mad at me, yelled, and left the room….”
Jill had thought that simply being direct and honest was all that was needed to set boundaries. But it isn't. There are four necessary principles that must be used in order make boundaries succeed in difficult situations ...
How to Determine the Right Consequences When Setting Boundaries
Not long ago I (Dr. Townsend) took my kids and some of their friends to a major league baseball game for an outing. While we were watching the game, a young boy sitting behind us was making everyone miserable. He was out of control, loud, and rude.
His parents did try to manage him, but their efforts were ineffective. They shushed him, praised him when he was quiet, bribed him with food, and threatened to take him out of the game. Nothing worked....
Let Go of Guilt-Centered Parenting
"I wasn't there for him, so I avoided setting limits with him." Ray was talking to me about his son Brad, who had begun drinking and running with a bad crowd. However, in assuming he would solve one problem, he actually created a second problem, and now his son was worse off.
Fortunately, Ray saw the flaw in his thinking. A self-diagnosed workaholic, Ray had, from his own report, been too wrapped up in his career to connect adequately with his son. However, now that Brad's problems were serious, Ray had reprioritized his life and was making up for lost time....