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Why You Need Tough Love: Setting Teenage Boundaries

Updated on July 28, 2016

The Goal of Caring Parents

Guidance and Direction from Caring Parents should leave the teenager with the knowledge of three important points: that rules and regulations

  • Are devised for their own safety and security
  • Helps them make quality choices within their lives
  • Prepares them for good citizenship and prosperity in adulthood



Parents who set boundaries for their teenage sons and daughters demonstrate the importance of good judgment and authority within society. More specifically, parents must challenge their children to make choices that will lead to success in the community and to avoid decisions that might go against the law of the land. This knowledge can possibly protect adolescents from falling into serious trouble later on in their adult lives.

In today’s society, adolescents are known for staging various degrees of rebellion within their homes, such as mouthing off to parents, slamming doors, running off with friends, staying out too late at night, experimenting with drugs, alcohol or joining gangs and getting into all sorts of trouble with the law. Besides all this confusion, parents cannot discipline their teens with paddles and straps without the possibility of being accosted by law enforcement. So setting boundaries must be done with a sense of firmness and tough love.

Call for Firmness

Parents must be decisive when setting boundaries. They must not be deceived by the illusion that they are making their children suffer emotionally. Sometimes when our teen ages cry and mourn, we feel sorrow for them and give in to their pitifulness. Don’t! As a parent, you weakness toward their emotions will only spoil them if you give in. You must think of the important life lesson you are attempting to teach them in order to prepare them for a successful and progressive adult life.

When parents refuse to set boundaries for their teenage sons and daughters, they prepare them for a life of chaos and disaster. Discipline starts within the home. Parents must get teen ages to respect the rules and regulations in the home first in order to persuade adolescents to respect the laws and rules of the greater society. If teen ages can not obey their parents, then they will have trouble displaying good citizenship in community. Therefore, if parents desire to avoid the shame and confusion that comes with disciplining troubled teen, parents must make boundary setting for their children a priority.

Types of Boundaries

Many types of boundaries are available for parents to consider when their adolescents step out of line, and they will time after time. Boundaries can range from mild to harsh; depending on the intensity of the message you want to send to your child to destroy a bad habit.

Restricting Social Media

Restrictions on twitter and face book privileges are a good place to start. Adolescents can spend hours and hours of time interacting with friends on face book and twitter. These are social network sites that can introduce your child to a variety of shocking ideas and images, including sexuality, bullying and violence. Although you don’t have to be intrusive, you may want to restrict your child’s time on face book and twitter to one or two hours a day. They must know that there are more important things to do in the course of a day, such as completing homework and taking care of chores.

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Setting Curfews

Another boundary which parents must not be reluctant to set is a curfew, especially if their teens are dating or hanging out with friends on late at nights. Because times are becoming increasingly dangerous adolescents shouldn’t be out pass midnight. Very traumatic events often occur in the early hours of the morning between 12:00 A.M and 3:00 A.M. The longer teenagers stay out passed mid night, the greater the chance of something going wrong. Often people are full of alcohol or drugs and are pronged to make bad judgments, especially on weekends. According to Healthychildren.org “curfew and bed times are two of the most negotiable household rules.” But if teen-ages break such rules, parents must not fail to administer logical consequences.

It is extremely heart breaking to listen to parents who have received phone calls around 3:00 A.M. in the morning only to find out that their teens won’t be coming home again. It is a major emotional scar that a parent can never overcome in life. Because of these kinds of misfortunes, it crucial for parents to take the lives of their teen ages seriously. Teaching them to make the right decisions may have to be seasoned with a bit of tough love, but it must be done if they want to best for their teens.

Importance of Investing in the Lives of Teenagers

It is difficult for adolescents to set priorities for the most important things in their lives. Parents must firmly guide them in these areas. Therefore, parents must assess their own degree of involvement in their teen’s lives, identify the gaps that need attention and address them as loving parents. Also, parents must make time for their teens, holding quality conversations with them as least twice a month. Most teams resent the fact that their parents are too busy to attend a sports event or spend a fun weekend at the movies with them. Balance is very important in raising teens. Setting boundaries must be balanced with spending quality time together as well.

Discipline pays when it comes to raising adolescents. Many usually end up thanking their parents for the strictness displayed upon them when they were young. An adult child will most often thank their parents for three things:

  • Applying Discipline when necessary
  • Constant correction when it came to making bad choices
  • Over protection when it came to making friends

Children who are never disciplined by their parents often express disappointment with parents later in life.

Investing positively in the life of your adolescent will not be in vain. One day your son or daughter will make you very proud that you set boundaries for them. The success and prosperity within their lives will be the result of the path you help set for them. They will appreciate you for teaching them how to make good choices and how to be a value to the community as well as the greater society.

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      Ander 4 years ago

      David Ortiz just got exposed. He was horblrie to start the year, everyone wondered why, and now with the steroid allegations out, it really looks like his stats in previous years were juiced and it significantly affected his performance when he stoppedBasketball requires skill. Steroids can't help like they do in other sports. Right?

    • profile image

      Mario 4 years ago

      I appreciate your kind and gerouens advice a lot!. I have been trying it hardly and did not get those amazing results!. It is nice to see that you got my comment in a good way!God bless you!VA:F [1.9.10_1130]please wait VA:F [1.9.10_1130](from 0 votes)

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Setting boundaries for teenagers is so important! We don't realize how important we are to our teens. As their parents, we are the only buffer between them and the rest of the world. What we do matters a great deal! Our efforts at developing relationships with them while they are young will pay off in the teen years. We cannot allow ourselves to be lax in this area. Well written!

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