Teenagers are free-spirits.
Which is why they need boundaries. After all, what are boundaries? If you have a fence for your property, you’re not only trying to keep your animals in and have privacy, you’re trying to keep things that might harm you out right? Boundaries are most certainly needed by all of us, including our teens.
Here’s a sobering thought. Our teenagers are only a few years away from heading out into the great big world and having to fend for themselves. Why not help get them there so they can handle it?
We’ve seen and heard of so many youth that have no boundaries in their lives. You know what they think about that? First off, they may think they’re lucky. But at some point (maybe not until they’re adults), they realize their parents just don’t care. Why would a parent let their kids stay out all night if they cared? Wouldn’t they give them a curfew of a reasonable time…say at least midnight?
One of the problems today -parents being so self-absorbed that they can’t spend time noticing their teens are there and need them. Sure it’s tough. Sure they have attitudes. Sure they never stop texting!
But one thing I’ve realized after raising 3 teenagers. It’s not my responsibility to be their best friend.
Not at this stage of the game.
It is my responsibility to communicate with them as best as I can. Sometimes that means listening to them and realizing when I’m being unreasonable myself. Other times it means I have to risk anger from them because, like my heavenly Father, I can see down the road. I know that molding them now will make them a better adult in the future.
It’s a fine line between being hard-fisted and a good disciplinarian. Enabling over and over just creates bad habits in both you and your teen.
Just remember, being firm, with love, is a great combination.
Ask yourself this. Do you have the right to speak into their lives? Do they know you, do you spend enough time with them to earn the respect you deserve as a parent?
When you send young Johnny or Sarah off to wed their respective other in a few years, how will they treat them? How will they handle responsibility? Could you be causing a detriment in their marriage before it even happens?
While this may sound like a major guilt trip, please note this.
Being a parent is the greatest responsibility I have ever had or ever will have.
I don’t want to have any regrets.