How to Teach Your Teenager to Set Healthy Boundaries

Photo by Duy Pham | Unsplash

Parenting is a restless and complex job – you’re a teacher, a judge, and a counselor. Not to mention that you have to balance your daily job. It’s not easy, but you’re learning to execute all those roles correctly along the way. When your kids go into their teenage years, all your jobs become ten times harder. It’s not easy explaining complex things to a walking hurricane of hormones, but it’s necessary for their well-being. All the chemical processes in this development period can cloud their judgment, and it’s up to you to teach your teenager to set healthy boundaries. If you’re clueless (as to be expected) about how to do it, we got you.

Defining the boundaries of a friendship

Teenagers often fall prey to the misconception that they must constantly adapt to their peers’ needs. They want to blend in so much that they often forget that being unique is way better and healthier. Emphasize that they should expect their friendships to play unique roles in their development.

Let them know that, to be a good friend, they don’t have to always see eye to eye on everything. Having people in a relationship with contrasting viewpoints is what makes them fascinating. Allow your adolescent the freedom to be themselves and to interact with others positively.

Teach your teen to put feelings into context

Although it may appear simple, learning to identify and name particular emotions is challenging. Your adolescent must especially put forth the effort to reflect on their feelings. They may be aware of their emotions, but they may not be able to focus on what is bothering them. The first step in establishing limits is being aware of their emotions. Teach them to be confident in their feelings.

Following their instincts

Instill in your adolescent the value of listening to their gut instinct. In cases when you have the uneasy feeling that something is awry, it probably is. No matter what anybody else says, they are not exaggerating or being too sensitive. The key is for people to act by their values and identities rather than those of others. Also, if you want to bond with your teen, ensure that you listen to them and give them appropriate affirmation. 

Assist them in recognizing unacceptable actions

Sometimes young people require guidance in defining a good friendship or connection. Have frequent discussions with them about what is expected of each person in a friendship or a romantic relationship. And also what respect means. This will immensely help them set healthy boundaries and avoid abuse. 

Teens often lower their standards of value when they tolerate the negative actions of others. They should be reminded that they, like everyone else, need to be treated with compassion and respect and that they may need to establish some boundaries if someone is being disrespectful to them.

The peak of pressure in the teenage years

As teenagers’ primary concern is to fit in, they are more likely to ignore and even participate in unacceptable behavior, such as:

  • ditching classes
  • underage smoking
  • taking drugs
  • underage drinking

They often don’t care about the consequences of underage drinking. Sometimes, they only want to look cool to their friends. In order to prevent this, you need to understand that many factors can cause this and investigate what could trigger your child to behave in such a manner. If you suspect that your child might be involved in dangerous substance abuse, contact therapists and the right professionals to help you solve the problem.

Consider the value of virtual walls as well

In modern relationships, the internet plays an important role. Have a conversation with your child about online conduct, sexting, and the dangers of online dating. Help them learn to recognize and avoid potential risks while online and establish appropriate limits with those who cross those lines. 

Also, make sure to talk openly with your child about cyberbullying. This problem is not always so easy to spot since you won’t see any bruises on your child. But cyberbullying is a problem that, if unsolved, can be much worse than a physical one since most of your teenager’s self-image is online.

Honoring individual spaces

We’ve dedicated this article to your huge ”bundle” of joy. But, walls of boundaries cover two streets, not one. Your adolescent has to learn to respect the limits of others as much as they learn to create their own. Truth be told, regular two-way dialogue and mutual regard are the cornerstones of every good partnership. So, teach your adolescent that respecting other people’s space is just as vital as having them appreciate their own. Make sure that they get how important that is to work generally in a healthy society. 

Talk about the dangers of not establishing limits

When a friend or a romantic interest crosses the line, it might be simpler for a kid to let it go or say nothing. While not establishing limits may seem safer, it increases the danger they face. The friendship may be damaged even if nothing major occurs if boundaries aren’t created. Make sure that they get it and talk about their feelings freely. You’ll probably get something like: ”Yeah, right, mom, whatever”, but if you constantly show it through your example, it will stick somewhere in their head, and they’ll naturally follow in your footsteps. 

Teach your teenager to set healthy boundaries and – step aside

This job is rugged and long-lasting. But, once you teach your teenager to set healthy boundaries, you must learn to set one on your own. It will help if you let go of your protective instinct to hide your almost grown-up kids from all the dangers. You need to let your birdie spread their wings and hope that they picked up on the things you talked about and won’t hit too hard on the next rock that suddenly arises in front of them. That is probably, the most challenging job of all, but it’s a beautiful part of this ever-spinning wheel called the circle of life.


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