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How To Balance Between Freedom And Restrictions With Your Teen

While your teenager is no longer a child, he or she is by no means an adult. Therefore, as a parent, you must provide your child with more independence while also watching out for his or her safety. Here are a few tactics that can be used to find such a balance.

Make Your Teen Earn the Right for More Freedom

If your child wants extra money to hang out with friends, your son or daughter should be required to get a job, or earn money around the home. If they want a later curfew, they may need to check-in with you more often or only go to certain friends’ houses or places. Overall, the goal is to teach your child that acting like an adult is the only way to be treated like one.

Teach Your Teen That There are Consequences for His or Her Actions

Taking away your teen’s cell phone after he or she gets caught drinking means that your teen learns to live without a phone for a while after a night out. However, allowing your teen to spend a night in juvenile detention or forcing your child to listen to victims of drunk drivers shows your teen why he or she shouldn’t break the law. By turning a mistake into a teachable experience, your teen will understand why it is important to be home after school or why it’s important to follow the law. This will lead to better decision making from your teen, which makes it easier for a parent to set boundaries for the child.

Allow Your Teen to Drive Only When Necessary

At the age of 16, your child may be able to receive his or her driver’s license. To help them prepare, use resources online where you can get ready for your Ontario G1 test. While most places restrict when teens may drive, you may want to add some restrictions of your own. For example, you may decide that your child only gets to drive to work, school or to social gatherings when approved ahead of time. Your child should not be allowed to use a cell phone while driving and any traffic infractions will result in driving privileges being placed under review.

Raising a teenager is not an easy task. Parents must find a way to allow their children to transition to adulthood while acknowledging that they lack the experience or wisdom necessary to make certain decisions on their own. However, by providing clear rules, firm boundaries and steady guidance, they will eventually find the balance that they are looking for.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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