4 Tips for Boundary Setting With Your Teen

You’re here because you’re curious to know how to set boundaries with your teenager. As our children grow and hit puberty, they experience a lot of chemical and hormonal changes. Puberty can cause your teen to experience anxiety, angst, or depression. Although you were once their age, you’re not sure how to navigate it. 

Maybe they have become more isolated or withdrawn. They may be more outgoing or seeking independence. Conversations may be difficult if they do not want to listen or engage. Rather than feeling upset or angry towards your teen, it’s important to understand them. 

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Teenagers are at the point in their lives where they are taking on more overwhelm. Navigating friendships and relationships, school, or jobs can be stressful. It makes it more stressful for teens when they don’t have a sense of support in their parents.

Maybe you don’t understand them, even disagreeing with them at times. There becomes some sort of power struggle between the two of you. Things may feel tense, short, or hurtful. In order to have your teenager work with you, you need to work with them as well.

Raising a teenager can feel stressful. You may wonder if you’re doing the right thing. Making the right decisions. Wondering if you are a good parent. There’s no manual on raising a teen. Sometimes, it can be a roller coaster.

Family therapy in person in Simi Valley, Ca, can help bring your family back together again.

4 Tips for Boundary Settings With Your Teen: Practicing what you preach

As parents, our children look up to us. From the moment they are born, they are watching our every move. When we do something, they consider it and do it as well. The behaviors we exhibit make an impact on our children.

It’s important to ensure you are modeling proper behavior for your teen. If you want them to be more honest about things in their lives, you need to be honest with them as well. If you’d like them to speak more calmly in conversations, keep your tone of voice low and calm. 

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Parents who live and lead by example show teens that they’re able to live within your boundaries. If you want all electronics off by 10pm, make sure you are always abiding by that. Your teen is less likely to understand the boundaries if they see you breaking them. 

When parents live within the boundaries they set, the teens feel more comfortable with them. It won’t feel like a punishment or being unfair. Being able to reason with your teen and practice what you preach is important.

Simi Valley Teen therapy in person in Simi Valley, Ca, can help your teen communicate their feelings better.

4 Tips for Boundary Settings With Your Teen: Make sure they understand a privilege versus rights

Things such as having shelter over their head, clothing on their back, and food in their mouths are rights. Having brought the child into the world, it is necessary for you to provide these things to them. You cannot hold their rights over their head as a consequence. It is not right to threaten to kick them out of the house or withhold meals from them.

Things such as a cellphone, using the car, or staying out late with friends are privileges. Teens can work towards a goal of having a cellphone, for example. Maybe they have broken your trust and now are unable to stay out late with friends for the weekend. Having balance in disciplining is important.

Make sure your teen understands the true nature of their consequences. They may find it unfair that their phone is getting taken away. However, if you explain your valid reasoning, they will understand.

This could look like your teen on TikTok while they are supposed to be studying for a final. Taking the phone away for an appropriate amount of time will help install that boundary to do their work. Maybe they took the family car out when they weren’t allowed to. Now, you can make that boundary by not letting them drive it for a reasonable amount of time.

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In person therapy for teenagers in Simi Valley, Ca gives them a safe space to talk about their feelings.

4 Tips for Boundary Setting With Your Teen: Do it at the right time

Setting boundaries can be especially hard when times are tense. If you and your teen had just gotten into a heated argument, a boundary will feel like a consequence. Whether or not it truly is a consequence, establish it at the right time.

In moments of tension, vulnerability, or anger, it will be harder for your teen to understand why. You also don’t want to be in a bad mood and try to establish that boundary. They will not take you seriously. 

Make sure that when you talk about boundaries, you and your teen are on the same page. You are both in a calm, composed state of mind. Choose a time when your teen is alert, relaxed, and awake. Try to also let them know the time you plan to have this conversation with them. Having respect for them to be in a good head space, as well as for yourself. You will just feel even more exhausted if you are already upset, trying to talk about it. 

Setting a boundary with your teen at the right time can do wonders. They will not feel attacked or threatened. It will be easier for them to understand and agree with your boundary. It won’t be perceived as a consequence or bad thing.

Teen therapy with a Simi Valley therapist helps your teen better understand themselves and their needs.

4 Tips for Boundary Setting With Your Teen: Remind them you love them

At the end of the day, you know you love your teen with your whole heart. You would do anything for them; and just want to see them prosper. You know that they haven’t been treating you with the kindness you deserve.

However, it won’t help your boundaries to return that energy. Understand that teens are stressed and overwhelmed. They need your help, even if they don’t want to show it. It’s important that you continue to show love and care in everything you do for them.

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Use love to explain your boundaries. “I don’t want you to stay out past 12am because I care about you”. “I don’t want you glued to your phone because I want to see you succeed in school”. “I’ll only allow you to use the car 3 days a week to ensure you are driving safely.”

Raising a teen is not an easy job. Starting the conversation off with something positive will help it go over easier. Such as “I know you are already working so hard in school. But I’m going to limit TV time this week for your finals”. Or something like “I am so proud of you for getting your license, however you need to ask before you use the car”.

You understand that your teen wants to go out and do their own thing. They crave independence. You want to give that to them, but you care so much that you want them to stay within safe boundaries.

Family therapy in person in Simi Valley, Ca, provides a safe space for everyone to share their concerns.

You don’t have to feel at your wits end when trying to install boundaries with your teen. Contact Simi Psychological Group today to get started on in person and online therapy.

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At our therapy practice in Simi Valley, Ca we offer Child therapy and family counseling, Teen therapy, Anxiety Treatment, Depression Therapy, Marriage Counseling, and Neuropsychological Testing.