Setting boundaries with teenagers

As parents you know enough about raising children, but an adolescent needs a completely different approach than a small child. Are parents too strict, too weak and do you always have to be consistent? Every child does things that parents do not approve of. They do this to distance themselves and form their own opinions. As a parent, it is your job to not let this get out of hand.

There is no puberty without struggle

Many parents find it difficult to remain consistent and to check whether their young person adheres to the agreements made. We are mainly talking about setting, enforcing and controlling boundaries. Most parenting problems occur in divorced families, living in the Randstad and with poorly educated parents. Being strict is sometimes compared to being consistent, while clarity is actually good for a child. Rules have a purpose and you do this for the well-being of your own child. Why do you come up with a rule, do you think it is important or does it just sound neat?

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Define borders

Setting boundaries is very important for teenagers. It ensures that they know where they stand and what is expected of them. They need boundaries in order to resist it. They will push the boundaries and also question your boundaries or resist. Young people want more and more independence, so it is up to parents to continually adjust the boundaries to accommodate them. You have to grow with them!
Do not ask the young person to do everything you want and take into account what they can and cannot do. Don’t focus on the negative, but turn it into something positive. If young people keep to an agreement, you will gain more confidence in them and you will dare to give them more responsibility and freedom. Explain this too! Let them finish and try not to shout or argue if an argument arises. Try to reach a compromise and make clear agreements about it. It may be that it is about something that is really far too dangerous, then sometimes you cannot ignore it, but try to explain this as best as possible! Try to explain why it is so important. After such a discussion, try to do something fun together to bring the atmosphere back into the house! Don’t linger in the negative atmosphere for too long.


If an adolescent does not adhere to the rule, explain clearly why the rule exists. Let it be known that you only warn once! Also explain clearly what the consequences are if that rule is broken. Explain again why you made that rule and come up with a punishment that is appropriate for age and level. The punishment must be related to the wrong behavior. Perhaps the young person can help think about a punishment. Examples:

  • Correct the behavior and tell them how you want to see it.
  • Take a time-out, then don’t focus on the mistake much, but look at the desired behavior.
  • To ignore
  • Not giving something. Only when the desired behavior has been achieved can you use it as a reward.



  • Pay attention and time to your child.
  • Show appreciation for all the good things they do.
  • Set clear rules and boundaries.
  • Be consistent when a rule is broken.
  • Take the age and aptitude of the young person into account.
  • Set a good example yourself!
  • If they start whining about the rules, try to listen, this is part of it!
  • Try to make it a discussion, this is good for both parties. Set your own limits.
  • They probably won’t tell you everything, but this is part of his new phase in life.
  • Involve them in the rules.
  • Give them space to explain why he disagrees!

In short, rules provide safety, provide guidance, stimulate self-confidence and teach your teenager respect!

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