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How do you keep structure and limits with your teen without them hating you?

They need it, but say they don't want it. My teen is often debating my reasons for our rules and limits...they are somewhere in the middle of her best girlfriend's parents rules (many) and her boyfriends and his friend's rules (not many). She has plenty of options, but is often pushing for more.

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Asked by Anonymous at 8:50 AM on Aug. 9, 2010 in Teens (13-17)

Answers (14)
  • You can't! they do not really hate you even if those words are spoken, stick to your guns, soon enough they will realize how much it was needed!

    Answer by older at 8:55 AM on Aug. 9, 2010

  • You're not there to be their friend and whatever you do, they will probably "hate" you for. Just stick to your guns, knowing that they will see (someday) that any rules were for their safety and out of love.

    Answer by Cindy18 at 8:59 AM on Aug. 9, 2010

  • they're not there to be your friend, you're there to be their parents. don't lose sight of that. of course they are going to try and push their limits, they don't want limits. just like babies and toddlers, no one wants to be told they can't do something or how long they can do something.

    Answer by angevil53 at 9:00 AM on Aug. 9, 2010

  • Be firm and consistent. Be polite to them, don't raise your voice, but no backing down from your policies. Sometimes I feel that the hate talk that they make is because internally they are out of control and it all bubbles out. I also feel that even though they may say they resent the limits you set, that somewhere in there they are comforted by feeling that you care enough about them to place the limits, and also that that question is answered- what should I do or not do.

    Answer by Bmat at 9:05 AM on Aug. 9, 2010

  • There times that if they don't hate you in that moment and time then you're not job. And they're not the ordinary teenager. In the long run they will thank you if you do it correctly. Like another said before. Keep calm give sound reasons and always try to keep the door to communication open.


    Answer by oldermomof5 at 9:11 AM on Aug. 9, 2010

  • If you have taught them since infancy that they are to respect their parents and to obey your authority, there will still be the occasional protest due mostly to the pressure they feel from their peers, many of whom have no restrictions at all. That being said, we actually had our teen-aged children ask us to do things and go places and they would want us to tell them they couldn't do it, so they could tell their friends they were not allowed to participate. When all is said and done, boundaries give security more than they cause rebellion. I can see where it might be a huge problem if parents suddenly started exercising their authority but if it has gradually been set in place, the protests will be more ritual than anything else. If I were you, I would just keep the family rules in place and be prepared to listen to the backlash. Teens need protection. They are not yet ready to resist the pressures that come!!

    Answer by NannyB. at 9:20 AM on Aug. 9, 2010

  • Teenagers almost never like the rules parents set. It doesn't matter what they think now. You are the parent, you should be the one to set the limits on anything they do. They may think you're ruining their lives now, but eventually they will thank you for keeping them in line.

    Answer by KJohnson4762 at 9:28 AM on Aug. 9, 2010

  • We go through this a lot with our 17 yo dd. She has limits and boundaries and there are not that many and should not be hard to follow. She does follow most of them but feels we should trust her enough to let the ones she doesn't follow be her call. It isn't enough for her that "because I am the parent and I said so!" So we have great debates!!! She knows what is expected of her and what her "rules" are and it is her choice to follow them or not. It is my choice how I react! Don't be surprised when I get mad! You had to know that was going to happen. I don't know how to make them follow the rules, I wish I did, But I do know that when I don't get what I want, she doesn't get what she wants and that usually works, Be fair with me and I will be fair with you. These are not easy years for them or us!!!

    Answer by wallmom1 at 10:23 AM on Aug. 9, 2010

  • Well sometimes you just have to give them some reasons why you do what you do and so & so isn't their Mother. You love them & are trying to put them on the right path, it's up to them to get on and stay there. If you try and be their friend your not going to be their parent, and they have friends, they need YOU to be the parent. They believe it or not want and need the structure in their lives, so just keep being the parent. It's very hard at times, but it's what we do, we had them to love and care for them until they are an adult.

    Answer by MyAngel003 at 10:40 AM on Aug. 9, 2010

  • They are going to be mad when they don't get what they want but it is your job to keep the healthy and safe not happy. ;) It is just typical at this age. We always explain why we have a rule or why we say no to our 13 yr old. And we tell her she is always welcome to respectfully question what we say. We will hear her out (as long as she comes to us respectfully) and we may give in, we may compromise or we may change nothing at all. But we will always hear her out as long as (I'll say it again! lol) she comes to us with respect. Whining and fits are NOT respectful.

    Answer by SoniaL at 3:04 PM on Aug. 9, 2010

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