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20 Rules Teens Want Their Parents to Follow But Know They Won’t


Posted on by admin | in Babysitting Jobs

It’s not uncommon for parents to feel the warring urges to be both a “cool” parent and a strict, overly-protective authoritarian one to ensure that your child doesn’t make the same mistakes as his peers. With access to an entire world at their fingertips and social media that keeps them connected to their friends around the clock, it can also feel like today’s kids are growing up faster than ever. While most parents know better than to let their children set the house rules, these are 20 that most teenagers would put in place if they had it their way.

  1. “Don’t tell me what to do.” For kids just beginning to experiment with the boundaries of their world and who are starting to assert their independence, few things are as infuriating as feeling that they’re always being ordered around by their parents.
  2. “Don’t tell me who and when I can date.” – Even the most rational, sensible teen can seem to become a different person when they’re interested in dating. They also don’t tend to have much patience for their parents’ opinion of their new significant other.
  3. “Don’t assume you know what’s best for me.” – Teens may know that you have their best interest at heart, but that doesn’t stop them from feeling that your observations and ideas are wrong most of the time.
  4. “Let me make my own mistakes when it comes to tattoos, piercings, drugs and alcohol.” – It’s important to let kids make some mistakes so that they can learn from them, but it can feel like teens would request free reign to destroy their future if left to their own devices.
  5. “Never offer me advice, unless I ask.” – Unsolicited advice, even of the well-intended variety, isn’t always a hit with the teenage set.
  6. “Give me my own credit card… with no spending limit, of course.” – Unless your teen has a job or otherwise earns his own spending money, he may fall into the same trap as many of his peers: a fundamental lack of comprehension regarding the value of a dollar.
  7. “Don’t talk about your glory days like they are mine.” – Reliving your own touchdown pass or stint as Prom Queen, especially when you’re pointing out a teen’s lack of interest in such things, isn’t likely to win you many popularity points.
  8. “Give me the car keys whenever I ask.” – Teens want to be free to explore the world, regardless of the fact that they’re not great when it comes to controlling their impulses and are likely to make questionable decisions. In a teenager’s perfect world, she’d have unlimited access to a car with no questions asked.
  9. “Let me set my own curfew and don’t worry about where I’m going or who I’m with. And when I’m gone, don’t call me every 15 minutes to ask where I am.” – The concept of a curfew is a time-honored one, but has never been popular with the teenagers it’s imposed upon.
  10. “Don’t tell me how to dress.” – Whether it’s an outfit that’s too revealing or an outlandish style that you can’t comprehend, your teen would prefer to never hear your negative opinion on the clothes they want to wear.
  11. “Don’t meddle.” – You may think that you’re simply asking your teen about her day, but too many questions are likely to be met with accusations of prying during the tumultuous adolescent years.
  12. “Don’t embarrass me.” – The mere act of existing is enough to embarrass some teens, who would ostensibly prefer to pretend that they sprang, fully-formed, into existence and have no parents at all.
  13. “Don’t hug, kiss or hold my hand in public.” – Painfully aware of anything that might set them apart and label them “childish,” teens tend to eschew public physical contact with their parents.
  14. “Ask for my opinion on everything.” – Your teen wants to know that his opinions are valued and that he has some semblance of control over his surroundings, so he’d likely set a rule demanding that he be consulted before any big decision if he had things his way.
  15. “Knock before entering.The first sign of approaching adolescence is a new fanaticism about knocking on doors. It’s a matter of courtesy, but it’s also one that gets thrown to the wayside from time to time.
  16. “Don’t snoop through my room, phone and car.” – Privacy is worth more than gold to teenagers, even the ones with relatively little to hide. During a time of growth and self-exploration, it’s not uncommon for teens to treat their bedrooms and belongings like top-secret digs.
  17. “Don’t stalk me or my friends on social networking sites.” – If teens made the rules, creeping a Facebook page or following a Twitter account would be a punishable offense for parents.
  18. “Never ever use the excuse, ‘Because I said so.’” – Teens want to know why they’re being asked to do or not to do something, and vague answers like “I told you so” just wouldn’t cut it in teenager-run household.
  19. “Practice what you preach.” – The old “do as I say, not as I do” approach to parenting certainly isn’t new, nor is the universal teenage distaste for such behavior.
  20. “Trust me.” – Whether he’s earned it or not, your teen wants to know that he’s trusted. He also wants the freedom that comes along with unconditional trust, even when that trust isn’t warranted.

Many of the rules that a teenager would implement if left to her own devices are silly or downright dangerous, but others do hold varying degrees of value. Respecting her right to privacy by knocking on the door before you walk it, modeling appropriate behavior rather than demanding it while actively doing the opposite and allowing her a safe level of autonomy can do wonders for your relationship with your teen.

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One Response to 20 Rules Teens Want Their Parents to Follow But Know They Won’t

  1. Pam Watts says:

    Fun article! Thanks for posting.