Teenagers are so distracted with social media that their sense of reality has been negatively skewed. The pressure is on for parents to stay connected with their teenagers. However I have noticed that there are parents who would rather befriend their teen rather than discipline them. I think that teens need to know that they can trust their parents. In fact, it is crucial for teens to have a relationship of trust with their parents so that they can go to them for advice and knowledge and not their peers or tv.
What I struggle to understand are the parents that want to be a friend first, partaking in activities with their teens that are inappropriate. I have had parents come to me asking if they should give their teens consequences for bad behaviour and I always say yes! Without consequences there are no limits. Teens need to know that in life, there needs to be boundaries. The most interesting fact I can share is that almost all the teens I have had the privilege to work with always wished that their parents created healthy boundaries for them. One teen candidly told me that they wished their parents disciplined them more because it would show that they actually cared.
In a time where teens flock to their friends and the media for education it is more critical than ever to have an open dialogue with your teens. As parents, we need to make our teens feel that we are relevant by letting them know that we were once young and can understand the pressures that exist. Too many teenagers are not concerned with their future therefore making poor choices for instant gratification. Loving our teens does not mean spoiling them. We can be friends without being accepting of bad behaviour. Establishing healthy boundaries with your teen is as mandatory as consequences are for bad behaviour.
Adreen Murray is a Certified Professional Coach specializing in Teens and Pregnant Women. For more information on Life Coaching please visit www.coachingforcalm.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.