3 Ways to Show Your Teen the Joy of Boundaries
If I see a sign that says “wet paint, don’t touch”, I have to touch the thing that has been painted. Most of the time, nothing happens and at most the paint is a little sticky. Other times, though, my finger gets paint on it. I know that boundaries are healthy for me, yet it is so tempting to blow right past boundaries.
As a parent of a teen, you know the benefit of boundaries for your teen. You know that God gives us as humans boundaries because He loves and cares for us. Yet, when it comes to conveying boundaries to your teen you might be baffled. You might wonder how you make your teen understand the joy of the boundaries you and God have given to them and to how to have them not just rebel against boundaries.
Below are 3 ways to instill the joy of boundaries to your teen.
Be On Constant Repeat One day when I was talking with a pastor friend of mine, he mentioned that a word that the Old Testament used over and over was “remember”, the Israelites were quick to forget God’s boundaries and why He had put them there. We are the same way and teenagers are the same. It can be annoying to repeat the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. I get it, with my son I have to constantly remind him to wash his hands with soap. But, if your teen is going to truly understand the joy of boundaries they are going to need you to constantly repeat the boundaries and that you and God put the boundaries there because you love them and want the best for them.
As You Are Going Often it is tempting to have big serious talks about the joy and benefits of boundaries, but usually, that doesn’t work the way we think. It is best to talk about things as they come up. In Leviticus, God tells His people to teach their kids His way as they are going about daily life. Teens remember and apply things better if what is being talked about deals directly with what they are dealing with at that moment. Yes, this is difficult to do, but the rewards far outweigh the difficulty.
Model It is tempting as a parent to say, “Do as I say, not as I do.” The reality is that your teen is going model what you do, if they see you experiencing the joy of boundaries then they are more likely to understand the joy of boundaries. The Apostle Paul says, follow me as I follow Jesus. It is the same for us, our children are going to model what we do. Are you modeling the joy of boundaries?
Start with these steps and see the change in how your teen sees and understands boundaries. Let me know how it goes.
What have you done that has worked for your teen to understand the joy of boundaries? Let me and the fellow readers know, so we can all become better parents.
Mike has worked with teens and parents for 13+ years. Mike has been married to Natalie for over 10 years. They love living near downtown Holland. Mike prides himself on being left-handed and even has a left-handed clock in his office that confuses the majority of those who glance at it!