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Archive for the ‘Teenagers’ Category

Are You Their Friend or Their Parent?

June 19th, 2013 - Category: Teenagers

Do you find yourself giving in too often and expecting less of your kids to alleviate conflict in your home?  Maybe your permissiveness is getting in the way of their natural growth.

“Many parents today misunderstand their role,” says parenting expert Leonard Sax, MD, PhD, a family doctor in Chester County, PA.  “They often see their role as protecting their son or daughter from disappointment.  They are providing a safety net in situations where it might be wiser to let the kids experience the consequences.”

For many parents, life can be hectic and the last thing you want to do when you get home is start World War III in your kitchen.  But not following through with discipline or routines can create lazy, spoiled, children without schedules or responsibilities.

Here are a few tips to help you in your parent/friend relationship with your child.

It’s important to co-parent.  Be sure your partner is on board and work together to set appropriate routines and limits and then stick to them.  Stand as united parents so your kids aren’t confused or end up pitting you against each other.

It’s often easier to give in to your child’s demands rather than create more conflict.  Stick to your guns and follow through when a consequence is set.  Minor things can slide, but it’s crucial to your credibility as a parent to follow through on the things that matter.

You may think you are helping your child by doing their chores or letting them out of something.  They may even use schoolwork as an excuse and you may feel that you have to honor that excuse.  But throughout life there will always be excuses, and there will always be good, better, and best choices your child will have to make.  Just because their teacher assigns it doesn’t mean that it trumps what you as a parent have asked.  It just means that your child needs to prioritize their time so that they can accomplish both tasks.

We all want to be liked.  And being a parent is no different.  We want our kids to like us.  However, especially around when puberty hits, you need to be aware that there will be times when being a friend isn’t the best role to take as a parent.

That isn’t to say that you can’t be their friend.  Just the opposite.  At this age it is imperative that your kids know that you love them and are on their side no matter what.  But, they also need to know that you have certain expectations for them when it comes to family rules and responsibilities.

Effective co-parenting, following through with consequence, sticking to your routines and limits, and not letting them get away with excuses, are all beneficial skills when it comes to parenting.

Show your kids that you love them by being their parent when they need one.


Read a similar article here:  The Benefits of Being Consistent






Advantages and Disadvantages of Curfew Hours

April 16th, 2010 - Category: Teenagers

As your children reach their teenage years, perhaps even sooner, you may begin to wonder what are the advantages and disadvantages of having set curfew hours. As a child, my parents never set a strict curfew as to when we should be home. It seemed fairly implied that we were to be home at a reasonable hour and if we weren’t, the consequences that followed would remind you in the future that being home in a more timely fashion would be to your benefit.

I never questioned my parent’s style of not setting a strict curfew, probably because I was a teenager and didn’t want to HAVE  a strict curfew. However, as a parent, your thoughts about curfews for your kids begin to sink in a little deeper and you really start to wonder what is the most effective way to teach children responsibility. What are the advantages and disadvantages of curfew hours? Let’s look at a few of these and then let you decide.

First, let’s look at some advantages.

Parent’s Peace of Mind

Knowing that your teenager is home safe and sound at a specific time definitely beats waiting up every weekend until the wee hours of the night wondering if he/she is okay. So we start here with a benefit to the parent. :)

Safer Drive Home

If your teenager is of driving age, by setting a curfew, you know that they will be less tired during the drive home meaning they are less likely to be involved in an accident due to fatigue. Also, many states have laws and restricted licenses for teens regarding how late they are permitted to drive. Setting a curfew can help your child abide these laws and is a good way of justifying your having a curfew for them.


Keep in mind that curfews do not have to be the same every single night of the week. Many parents may choose to have a set curfew for school nights (weeknights) and another for weekends that may permit a bit of extra time with friends on the weekends. This way, you can promote more homework and family time during the week, and allow for rewarding your children with more friend time on the weekends.

Now let’s look at some of the disadvantages that may be present with curfews

Could Promote Rebellion/Disobedience

Whenever a law is put in place that someone doesn’t necessarily like, there is that much more incentive to transgress that law. It is the same with a curfew. Your teenager may not understand the rule even when you clearly explain the reasoning to him. By not understanding and not agreeing, there is a great risk that your child will end up sneaking out behind your back. This could potentially be worse than not having a curfew at all because then you don’t know where they are or when they are gone. If something bad were to happen, how are you to ever know?

Trust Issues

Setting an unreasonable curfew may cause your children to think that you do not trust them and they may use this as one of their key arguments against having a curfew. Though you shouldn’t give in just to show your child you trust them, it is a valid issue. Sometimes a little trust can go a long way in building your child’s confidence  and it may open up doorways of communication that weren’t there before between you and your child.

These are some of the advantages and disadvantages of having set curfew hours for your children. We invite you to consider them and share with us your thoughts on curfews and whether or not they have been effective in your family.

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