How and where the teen drives within those boundaries is up to them, as long as they follow other imposed boundaries, such as traffic laws.
We all have boundaries in our lives, so teens need to get accustomed to them.
Let your children help you establish the belief system and even the consequences. You’ll find them to be harder on themselves and suggest harsher consequences than you might have, so you’ll have to moderate those.
So here’s what happens: they either get totally frustrated and decide to go ahead and set off as many “mines” as they can or they hide, keep their distance, and try not to upset the apple cart.
They stay away from home as much as possible, become strangers, and turn into prolific liars.
As adults, we can’t just haul off and whack someone over the head if we don’t like them.
We can’t take a week off from work without asking our boss.
Within each category you may have several related rules, but keeping it simple will help your children remember them better.
When you develop this belief system for your home, insure that everything is age-appropriate (boundaries for younger kids are usually not the same for older kids), clearly understood, and mutually supported by both parents and everyone else involved, including your teenager.
So, the kids in those families don’t really know where the boundaries are any given day.
Like landing in a mine field, they don’t know what step to take for fear it will set off their parents.
Within the safety of the fences, the horse has the freedom to roam and even push up against the fences. Thank goodness teens are learning how to reason, so establishing boundaries and consequences will help them make better choices, versus the need for parental hovering, hand-holding, or physical barriers.
As you develop boundaries, I encourage you to make it a family project.
When they learn that you are serious about enforcing the consequences, they’ll become serious about maturing. It is simply knowing how to live successfully within the boundaries we all have in life.