Teen Angst Parenting: Guide To House Rules

No One Likes Surprises Or Change

Set the rules up front and tell teens about plans that may effect them.
Set the rules up front and tell teens about plans that may effect them.

It's been said that when dealing with teenagers you have to choose your battles wisely...But...

How easy is it to choose when you're face to face with a teen determined to wear you down?

Start by being prepared:

Write Down Your Limits

Before any professional goes to the bargaining table, they already have a set of terms that are not negotiable.

This same strategy helps parents determine what kinds of things they're willing to let slide and which things they will not tolerate before they're in the middle of a heated discussion.

Then use your personal limit list to create a set of house rules.

Write A List Of Consequences

One of the hardest things parents face in this world full of commitments are realistic consequences.

In the heat of the moment a parent might say... "You're grounded Saturday"... only on Saturday

Top Ten Conflicts

Where do your priorities fall?

  • Curfews

  • Disapproval of Friends

  • Clothing/ Hair

  • Dating

  • Money

  • Jobs or Allowance

  • Grades

  • Daily Hygiene and Chores

  • Attitudes

  • Use Of Free Time

a nephew is receiving his Eagle Scout Award, and the whole family is expected to attend.

It would have helped to have thought about realistic consequences in advance to avoid conflicts, and unfair or ineffective punishment.

Think about what your teen values.

Shortened internet or game time, and relinquishing the cell phone a few evenings is like doing hard time for some teens.

Share The House Rules

Lawmakers know that sharing rules, limits, and consequences are important if they want people to abide by the rules. If they didn't, people would break the rules... then rightly claim innocence through ignorance.

Teens are quite skillful in this art.

Be Your Teen's Role Model

Set the standard for good behavior and remain calm, listen, and really absorb what your teen is saying to you.
Set the standard for good behavior and remain calm, listen, and really absorb what your teen is saying to you.

If you let a teen know ahead of time that all gadgets will turn off at 10pm on school nights, or... they will have turn in all portable devices every evening until Friday, they will routinely start to wind up their textings and phone calls before the 10pm.

Knowing what to expect also prevents emotional flare ups because there is no surprise element to trigger a negative response.

Set A Good Example

Teens are watching adults and learning from their behavior.

Seeing adults do things like, talking on their cell phones in areas where it's prohibited sends a bad message.

Show that you follow policy, and your kids will be more likely to respect your house rules.

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