Lack of boundaries lands older kids into trouble.
One of the reasons that so many teenagers end up as juvenile delinquents
is that they finally discover a boundary at the point of becoming a
delinquent. There should have been several boundaries well before this point. But since there were none, tragically, it takes a jail cell to manifest the ultimate clear boundary. A jail does not yield or give in, and in jail,
rules are rules!
It does not necessarily mean that these teenagers consciously seek
out this situation. On the contrary, if more parents and educators had
made more effort at an earlier stage to be stricter and at the same time
more loving, then – as one often sees – it might not have had to come
Furthermore, the world of criminal gangs is extremely clear about
rules and boundaries. Their acceptance is often unconditional, as is the
love in whatever form it may manifest itself. And love manifesting itself
as acceptance is what teenagers have an inexhaustible need of. While it
is not my intention to exalt criminal gangs, I do want to draw attention
to the importance of rules even in this most unlikely of places. Breaking
rules has enormous consequences in the underworld, leading to severe
punishment – even death.
The lesson here for families is that you can forge strong bonds and
become united, provided you take two matters highly seriously: love
(unconditional acceptance of each other, and loyalty!), and law (rules
and boundaries as well as the related consequences). From this clearly
established base, this code of conduct for your family, you can then create
a common family identity, a strong bond, and clear characterization of
how that defines you.
This creates a strong shield against the outside world that, due to an increasingly fast culture and loss of values, has allowed negative influences on family life to proliferate.
There are more specific tools you can use to make your parenting
stronger, more loving, and more effective. For those who might have
problems with the word effective, by this I mean that you, as a parent,
are not just able but actually empowered to give your child all that your
loving heart wants him or her to have.
As a parent, you have the ability to pass on to your children those values that you would like them to develop and embody.
You can find more out about my parenting methodology in my book, Oops The Parenting Handbook.
If you would like a free coaching consultation with me click here to find my calendar.