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Boundaries and Expectations Teens Need (part 2)

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More on youth development and the 40 Developmental Assets needed by 12 to 18 year olds, as described by the Search Institute

3) Neighborhood Boundaries: where neighbors take responsibility for monitoring young people’s behavior.
Tell other parents when you see their children being responsible or generous in their actions. Try to find opportunities to praise more often than you report misbehavior.

Make your home a place where kids want to come. If kids get rowdy in your home, be calm but firm in re-establishing order.

Meet the parents of your children’s friends. If your preteen wants to go with friends to a movie or the mall without you, call other parents first to agree on pick-up times and movie choices.

4) Adult Role Models: where parent(s) and other adults model positive, responsible behavior.
If you parent with a partner, make sure you work on keeping that relationship happy and healthy. You, your partner, and your kids will all benefit.

Know when to tell your children you’re sorry. Keep it honest and sincere, avoiding the temptation to soothe your own conscience by offering gifts or other indulgences unrelated to the situation.

Show them that you are brave enough to try again, even when you feel embarrassed.

Make sure children hear adults solving problems in peaceful ways — not with shouting, angry words, or hitting. If you and your child witness bullying or intimidation by adults or children, point it out, talk about it, and think of alternate ways the situation could have been handled.

Model a lifestyle of hard work, a good attitude, and respect for others for your children. Avoid bad-mouthing coworkers, sports teams or players, or anyone else with whom you compare yourself or compete.

Author

Gary L. Hopkins, MD, DrPH, MPH is currently an associate research professor at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan where he is also associate director of the Institute for Prevention of Addictions, Director of the Center for Prevention Research and Director of the Center for Media Impact Research.