Want to Learn How to Set Better Boundaries?

A lot of parents of teens have asked me about setting boundaries lately.

And, I’ve seen a lot of parents make the mistake of trying to use boundaries to control their teens, and the truth is, that just doesn’t work. 

So, I’m thinking of putting together a free training that would help parents like you, set boundaries that actually empower your teen and help the two of you work together.

Would you be interested in attending a FREE training with me on Building Better Boundaries WITH Your Teen?

The Biggest Boundary Mistakes

By far the BIGGEST boundary mistake I see parents making is setting boundaries in an effort to control your teen. We’ll talk about this more later, but it’s one of the most disempowering things you can do to yourself and to your teen.

Another of the biggest mistakes I see parents making when setting boundaries with their teen is using the dictator mentality, which is the mentality that “I make the rules, and you have to follow them.”

Also, failing to set boundaries all together and letting your teen walk all over you is a huge mistake. Your teen may not like your boundaries, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t need you’re boundaries. Setting boundaries is an important factor with a huge impact on your teen’s development.

And, the last of the biggest mistakes that I see parents making when setting boundaries with their teens is setting boundaries because someone else is doing it, or because someone else told you that you needed to set specific boundaries with your teen.

The truth is, if you want boundaries to work for you and your teen, you’ll need to make them unique to you and your teen.

Boundaries Aren’t Meant to Control

“If you’re hoping your boundaries will finally get your teen under control, you’re misunderstanding and misusing boundaries.”

Ben Pugh

The hard truth is, your teen is out of your control, and that’s a really good thing.

One of the traps that a lot of parents fall into is the Controlling Parent Trap. And, it’s very confusing for your teen when one minute you want to control them, and you want them to do things your way, but then the next minute you want them to be independent, think for themselves, and be empowered.

Well, you can’t have it both ways. You can’t control your teen and have them be independent.

Plus, if you are in the Controlling Parent Trap, focusing on things outside of your control, like your teen, takes your focus off of the one thing you can control, YOU.

One of the biggest misunderstandings when it comes to boundaries is when parents think that their boundaries are meant to control.

The truth is, boundaries are just a guideline for YOU the person setting the boundary.

For example:

  • If you hit me, I will leave. I don’t hangout with people who try to hurt me.
  • If you don’t fill up the car after using it, I won’t let you borrow it next time you ask.
  • If you don’t clean your room, I won’t pay your cell phone bill.

You see how every boundary is more about what I will do, than it is about what you do or don’t do.

This is an important perspective when it comes to boundaries.

Have an Empowering Conversation

One of the biggest mistakes I mentioned earlier is setting boundaries while using the dictator mentality, which is the mentality that “I make the rules, and you have to follow them.”

There’s a simple way to get out of this trap. Start having empowering conversations with your teen about the rules, expectations, and boundaries in your home.

Some of my favorite things to ask in these conversations are:

  • What do you think would be a fair expectation when it comes to ?
  • What do you think would be some fair consequences, both positive and negative, when it comes to ?
  • What do you think would be a fair reward when it comes to ?
  • What do you think the hardest thing will be when it comes to ?
  • What do you think I’m most concerned about when it comes to ?
  • What are you most concerned about when it comes to ?

Lately, we’ve had to revamp, reinforce, and revisit some of our boundaries in our home with both of my teens.

We started out with empowering conversations similar to this.

Now, it’s important to remember that I’m in charge. I’m the parent. So, at the end of the day, I’m the one setting the boundary, but I do it after taking my teen’s thoughts into consideration.

Boundaries are Important, Especially Unpopular Boundaries

“Setting unpopular boundaries with your teens is important, because it models that it’s okay to set unpopular boundaries, even when the other person is mad at you.”

Ben Pugh

The truth is, how you set and uphold boundaries with your teen will model for them how to set and uphold boundaries with others.

I use my daughter for an example, but when I set an unpopular boundary with her, and she’s super mad at me, I want her to see that I’m sticking to it. And, she can call me names and yell at me, and I’m okay with carrying out my boundary.

Now, if she’s ever on a date with a boy, and maybe he’s getting a little frisky, and she want’s to stop. I want her to know that she can set an unpopular boundary with him, and he can be mad and call names and sulk, and it’s okay for her to stick to the boundary that she set.

Also, even though your teen might not consciously like your boundary, subconsciously boundaries make your teen feel loved, safe, and it gives them a sense of predictability.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to boundaries is not setting boundaries, especially the unpopular ones.

Your Boundaries are Unique to YOU

If you’re the type of parent who sets rules because it’s what your friends are doing, or it’s what your parents did, or maybe a church leader told you that you need to be stricter to be a better parent, this message is for you.

Set boundaries that feel good to you.

There was a time that we completely cut screen time out of our lives 4-5 days a week. My kids hated it. My wife hated it. And, I HATED IT.

So, why did I do it?

A friend told me that he had done it with his kids and it solved all of their problems.

The problem is that it was out of alignment with me and who I want to be.

Take the time to establish boundaries that work for you and your teen and that are unique to your individual needs.

Step 1 – Go take the parent trap quiz!

It’s free, easy, and will take you less than 3 minutes.

Step 2 – Use your quiz results to focus your energy on growing in the area indicated by your quiz results.

Step 3- Come work with me to help you up level your parenting!

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