Changing or holding to parenting limits

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Changing or holding to parenting limits

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When parents say to me their children are not following rules or consequences or not being responsible, I think parents have to ask certain questions. First of all, are the rules realistic? To give one example is if you've had a curfew for your 10 year old, and that 10 year old is now 15, and that curfew is the same curfew time, it's not going to be expected that the child or adolescent is going to follow rules. So we have to look at what the rules are, how fair they are. And that often means sitting down with the kids and hearing their point of view. The other issue that comes up a lot is I think sometimes there are very fair realistic rules, but parents have to learn to follow through on them. If a child is not doing something, there should be consequences. But unfortunately, some parents don't know what the consequences should be. Or some kids are great at saying, oh you don't love me. And all of a sudden, the parents are giving in. I say to parents, if rules are not being followed you have to be more firm about it. And also, once in a while you have to tolerate your children not being very happy with you, not even liking you at a certain time. But because there are some rules that really have to be followed. So we have to look at what the rules are, but we have to realize, are we being firm in following through? Or do we give in too easily?

See Robert Brooks, PhD's video on Changing or holding to parenting limits...

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Robert Brooks, PhD

Therapist & Author

Dr. Robert Brooks is a psychologist on the faculty of Harvard Medical School.  He has lectured nationally and internationally and written extensively about the themes of resilience, parenting, family relationships, school climate, and balancing our personal and professional lives. He is the author or co-author of 15 books and has also appeared in several videos pertaining to helping children to become more responsible, self-disciplined, hopeful, and resilient.

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