Do you remember that feeling of being a teen and longing for something awesome to happen on your weekend? Do you also remember that your high expectations were usually met with a reality check in the form of either nothing exciting actually materializing, or your parents shutting down the potential for excitement? It is important to remember that feeling so that we can remain an empathetic team player with our teen even when our answer is no. It is equally important to trust your gut and hold firm to your boundaries, especially when you know that your reason is life-giving and serves your teen's health, safety or growth in some way. We send a message that these boundaries are negotiable when we cave to begging. It is important to set the expectation that you you won’t cave and to remain calm when your teen decides to fight with you about your answer. It is possible to hold boundaries and preserve the relationship simultaneously.
Vashti Summervill is a PCI Certified Parent Coach and a certified teacher in the state of Idaho. She is the secretary of the Idaho Suicide Prevention Coalition and the co-chair of the St. Luke’s Pediatric Family Advisory Council.