Drew Williams   -  

Hey parents, let me tell you a little secret about teenagers.

They’re not going to like that I told you this, so maybe make sure yours aren’t around for the next minute or two.

Okay, here’s the secret. Teenagers actually like — wait, let me rephrase that — teenagers actually value the rules and boundaries you put in place for them.

I know that sounds highly unlikely and I can see your dramatic eye roll from here, but hear me out — they may not always like them, but your boundaries communicate just how much you care about your kid. They demonstrate that you care enough about them that you want to protect them from unnecessary harm, and you love them so much that you’d even risk being the “uncool” parent in their eyes.

So don’t lose heart when your kid pushes up against those boundaries — that’s their job to test them. It’s your job to make sure they’re strong enough to bear their weight. With the right boundaries, your teen will actually feel safer when they know just how far they can go safely.

Now, that’s not to say they won’t overstep those bounds once in a while.

Of course they will.

But here’s a tip: stay the course, hold your ground, and know all of your effort serves a great purpose—no matter what might be coming out of your teenager’s mouth in the heat of the moment. This purpose will get you through the tough moments of tension when your kid doesn’t understand your reasons for having the rules you do.

Be wise and reasonable about the boundaries you set, but do set them. They show your independent teenager just how much you care.