Here are some astounding numbers: According to ParentFurther.com, less than 50% of teenagers in their survey said that their own families had clear, defined boundaries for behavior, activities, socialization, etc. These teenagers said they had no clear rules or consequences in their own families.
OK, let’s look at the numbers. There are approximately 21.5 million teenagers in the U.S. between the ages of fifteen and nineteen. That means there are about 10 million teenagers being brought up in this country who do not have a clear set of rules or a clear understanding of the consequences of their own actions. That is frightening.
Behavior, consequences, and the troubled teenager
Teenagers are very eager to take charge of their own lives and destinies. Because they have no real life experience, they don’t usually know the right way to go about doing this. Most teenagers become defiant teenagers because they just want some sort of control in their lives. Defying authority is a natural response to this need to find their own way, to be independent.
That’s all well and good until that defiance turns into open rebellion. This open rebellion can cause pain and turmoil in even the strongest families. So it’s important that these defiant teenagers learn that there are going to be consequences, sometimes serious consequences to their rebellious behavior.
The need for discipline in the lives of defiant teenagers
When defiant teenagers act out and begin getting into areas of behavior that can affect or even hurt others, they need to be aware of those sometimes serious consequences. This is were parents have the toughest time with most teenagers, especially a troubled teenager. It’s time to step up parents and begin to discipline your teens.
Discipline is not a dirty word. The actual definition is the practice of training people to stick to a code of behavior. You know, the very glue that holds society together. It’s certain behaviors that keep people from writing bad checks, beating their kids, or not committing a crime. Behaviors are taught by parents to their kids. Parents need to teach their kids that certain things are wrong or hurtful, and that there are consequences when teens engage in wrong behavior or behavior that is hurtful to others.
The time to discipline defiant teenagers is now
Your kids need boundaries because it is their nature, as teenagers, to find their own boundaries. When parents don’t teach boundaries to their kids, society as a whole ends up suffering the consequences of the bad behavior which will inevitably be the result. Yes, teenagers need to learn to be independent, but they also need to learn the boundaries.
It’s important to know that parents need to have their own acts together before ever attempting to help their own kids. If you, as a parent, have something that needs to be addressed, some behavior that needs to be changed, then by all means, do it now. Get the help you need, fix the problem you have, and then help your kids with boundaries.
10 million teenagers are relying on their own lack of real life experience to make real life decisions that have real life, life-long consequences. How many more school shootings will have to take place before we as parents realize how important these matters are. Teens need their parents and families to help them navigate through these very challenging times.