We’ve Been Talking Better Boundaries!

First off, if you haven’t listened to the past couple episodes about boundaries, you can click below to listen to them.

200 – How to Set Better Boundaries, go listen here!

201 – 3 Reasons Parents & Teens Hate Boundaries, go listen here!

202 – Need Advice about Boundaries? go listen here!

If you’ve been listening to my podcast lately, and if you’ve attended one of my Building Better Boundaries workshops, you’ve probably been working on improving your boundaries with your teen.

One of the things that I’ve got to tell you is that, what you give your attention to grows and expands. If you want better boundaries with your teen, git it your attention and energy.

One parent on one of the Building Better Boundaries workshops told me that after implementing what I teach about boundaries, her skill of setting boundaries went from a 3 or 4 out of 10 to a 7-8/10.

And, that’s just after a few short weeks of making better boundaries the intention, the focus, and the practice.

So, if you want better boundaries with your teen, keep making it a priority.

And, to help you do that, I’m going to give you a slightly different angle to approach boundaries with your teen.

Rights vs Privileges

This podcast idea came from a longtime member of IMPACT, like 2-3 years inside the membership. On a recent group coaching call, we were talking about “Rights vs Privileges” and this mom asked if I had a podcast about this, and I realized that I didn’t, So, Danielle, this is for you!

Anyway, there are a lot of teens who do not understand the difference between rights and privileges, and it makes sense because a lot of grown ups don’t seem to get it either.

So today, we’re going to talk rights and privileges, we’re going to talk about how to have a conversation about rights and privileges with your teen, and how rights and privileges can help you have better boundaries with your teen.

And, here’s a little secret hack. Before having this conversation with your teen, have it with yourself and if possible your spouse, so you can have some additional clarity and awareness around rights and privileges.

No “Right” or “Wrong” Answers

One of the first things that I want you to realize is that there are no “right” or “wrong” answers. What’s a right in my home, might be a privilege in yours, or other way around, and that’s perfectly okay!

The bottom line is, you’ve got to figure out what works best for you AND your teen, AND your family.

The other thing is, don’t try so hard to do this “right” that you aren’t willing to make mistakes.

This is a skill that, with practice, you’ll get better and better at.

What’s a Right and What’s a Privilege?

Keep in mind, this could look very different in your home and that’s okay. And, it could look different depending on the circumstances.

So, in my home, a right is something that I’m not going to take away. A privilege is something optional, extra, or something that I might take a way.

For example, in my home eating healthy food at meal times is a right. I’m not going to take away my kids’ rights to eat. I’ll provide the food, it will be relatively healthy, and it doesn’t matter how much trouble you’re in, you get to eat with the family.

Now, that doesn’t mean that my kids will like what’s being served, and they can choose not to eat if they’d like.

So, it might look like this:

Eating the dinner that’s been fixed, Argentine Ñoqui, is your right. Eating cold cereal because you don’t thing you’ll like it is a privilege.

Going to bed at bedtime is a right, staying out late or sometimes going to bed extra early are privileges.

Some other rights in my home include:

  • Food,
  • Water,
  • Shelter,
  • A bed,
  • Clothes,
  • The opportunity to wash your clothes and your wash days,
  • A bathroom,
  • Privacy,
  • And a few others.

Some privileges include:

  • TV time
  • Video games
  • Cell phone
  • Expensive clothes
  • Dessert
  • Alternative meals
  • Staying out late
  • Going out with friends
  • Skipping school
  • And tons more that I can’t think of right now.

Privileges are Earned

In my home most privileges are earned.

My teens get to stay out pretty late because they’ve earned that privilege by being responsible, doing chores, and staying out of trouble. If my wife and I don’t feel like they’ve earned the privilege, we restrict the privilege.

This is where boundaries come in.

I might ask my son, “What do you think would be a fair expectation for you to earn borrowing my car tonight to go hangout with your friends?”

Then we have a conversation and set some boundaries. He’s motivated to do certain things to earn the privileges, and I’m empowering him to have a conversation with me.

When Rights Become Privileges

Sometimes, rights become privileges. Here’s an example, we had a foster child who was on suicide watch until a bed opened up at a treatment center.

All of a sudden, this teen’s right to privacy became a privilege. In fact, we had to take the door of off their bedroom, give them a body check before and after using the bathroom, and limit bathroom time to a minimum before we had to enter and check on them.

Have a Conversation

If you haven’t noticed yet, I believe that empowering conversations with your teen are vital.

Want your teen to better understand rights and privileges? Have a conversation with them.

Go ahead and ask them, “What do you think the difference between rights and privileges is?”

Ask empowering questions like, “What do you think would fair when it comes to earning (specific privilege)?

One of the keys to building better boundaries is to have empowering conversations.

Rights vs privileges, is a simple, yet powerful, conversation that will empower your teen.

Plus, it’s easy to tie into boundaries.

There’s a Better Way to do Boundaries

There is a common belief among parents that boundaries are hard, and they suck, and they always lead to fighting.

It makes sense that parents would think this way, because a lot of parents experienced boundaries this way as teens, and they’ve gone on to handle boundaries similarly to how their parents did.

But, this doesn’t have to be true. In fact, it’s possible to do boundaries in a way that you and your teen both appreciate the boundary and feel like it’s fair and beneficial.

The truth is, if you’re tired of fighting with your teen over boundaries, your teen is most likely tired of fighting with you too! And, as much as you would like your teen to work with you and buy into the boundaries, your teen would like you to work with them and give them a reason to buy into boundaries.

So, do you want to keep fighting with your teen over boundaries that suck, or do you want to start doing boundaries in a better way that’s easy, that will empower your teen, and that will connect you and your teen?

Step 1 – Go Register for the FREE Workshop!

Step 2 – Block our your calendar so you can attend the workshop LIVE.

Step 3- End the fighting and arguing over boundaries FOREVER!

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