Set and Enforce Family Rules
My teenage son thinks I’m so unfair because I try to set and enforce rules like a reasonable curfew or no going out on school nights. He always argues that none of his friends’ parents set rules. Am I being too strict?
At some point in our youth, most of us tried to extend our curfew or get out of a chore by saying, “Well, so-and-so’s parents don’t have those same rules,” or “Everyone else gets to stay out later.” And I think we’ve all heard the dreaded response, “Well I’m not so-and-so’s parent.”
Times are different now, and with the prevalence of homes with two working parents, parents often don’t want to spend the little time they have together with their kids enforcing rules. Many parents are reluctant to set rules because they don’t want to seem “mean” or “uncool.”
But the fact remains that you know better than your son what potential dangers and risks lurk in the outside world. Your son is not an adult yet, and not ready to set his own rules. Therefore, you, not your son, must take responsibility for setting limits. And the next time your son tells you he’s the only kid in school that can’t stay out all night, simply respond by saying, “Well in our family, this is the rule we follow.”
We also recommend the Reality Check Program. Your son is probably making bad choices and he needs to see what will happen if he keeps making bad choices. The Reality Check Program is geared for people 11 and up. Click Here to purchase the Reality Check Program video. A good resource is “Identifying At-Risk Teens”, see how many warning signs your son has. Stay ahead of the problem and never give up.