“So…..this topic came up in my mind recently. Sometimes i want my parents to limit me because it shows they care, but other times I want them to just let a tiny thing slide. Which do you think is a better technique? Is there a possibility that you could have a good mixture of both? What are signs parents could use to figure out which approach would be best for a situation? A quote I found: “American teens are subjected to more than 10 times as many restrictions as mainstream adults, twice as many restrictions as active-duty U.S. Marines, and even twice as many as incarcerated felons.” From Psychology Today”
Yes! Teens also worry about this delicate balance. Let’s take a look at what teen’s had to say:
“Most teens want their parents to always let their mistakes slide.
I am not really treated like a teenager anymore even though I’m 16.
A lot of people my age ask me how I feel about being treated like an adult…
“Do you feel like your mom doesn’t care about you?”
I like it, actually. I don’t need my parents to punish me to show that they care.
They show they care about me by giving me my much needed freedom and space.
They put all of their trust in me and I enjoy that much much much more than being punished.
“I think it should be a mixture. Most of my friends’ parents were strict though and the problem with that isn’t just the restrictions, it’s the fact that parents are quick to say “NO!” and don’t take the time to calmly explain why they’re saying no. I think the same would apply to parents who lets things slide. If they’re going to do so, great, but they need to explain why. (Ex: I trust that you learned your lesson…blah blah blah) Otherwise it’d seem like they don’t care.”
I think that balance is always important. But, what I advise most parents is to make a list of their priority rules–things that are really important to them. And choose to be strict on these rules, and loser on others. This way you are keeping your priorities straight and choosing your battles.