How to set boundaries for teens in the summer

Summer is a period of rest generally experienced with great enthusiasm by adolescents, among other things because it involves qualitative changes in their habits: trips, seeing friends who are away for the rest of the year, parties that only take place during the weeks of tourist activity, etc.

During this holiday period, the teenager has a lot of free time to do all the activities he wants and also to go out with friends of his age in different places in the city, but this it must be accompanied by a readjustment of the strategies for applying limits and rules, always created taking into account their interests. This is among the most beneficial and responsible parenting models.

    Setting standards in the summer for the education of our teenagers

    Here are some general tips on how to enforce rules and set boundaries as a parenting strategy for teens during the holiday season.

    1. Keep a schedule

    During summer vacation, it’s common for teens to spend the first few weeks watching TV, playing video games, or resting for long hours without attending to other daily obligations.

    Although it is necessary for the teenager to have time to rest after the school year, also they need to maintain a set schedule once the first days of unscheduled rest are over.

    This new summer schedule must allow the teenager to go to bed and get up later, but always with a time limit that our son must respect, as well as ensuring that other productive daily activities are carried out , in addition to watching TV or playing video. Games.

    We need to set specific homecoming times based on the teen’s age and make it clear that these must be adhered to, but we also need to explain why this is so.

      2. Assign chores they can help with

      One of the tasks that must be continued during the summer is housework, always consensual with the teenager. Involving young people in these activities generally has the effect of involving them more in the proper functioning of domestic dynamics.

      This means that no task should be imposed by force, but rather that we must negotiate the tasks that the child wants to do voluntarily in order to continue to collaborate in the good functioning of the house and the life in common.

        3. Systematically apply the rules of coexistence

        Although it is summer, it is necessary to respect the norms of coexistence that govern the family environment during the rest of the year, in order to maintain order, discipline and an effective educational model in our home.

        Some of the basic rules of coexistence that must govern our house are, in addition to the performance of domestic tasks, family meals, participation in family events and respect for scheduled family activities.

        It is also of great importance always maintain consistency in the rules or the sanctions we apply to children, do not fall into contradictions that can confuse our child and always act as authority figures.

        This means that if we have already said “no” to a teenager’s request, we remain firm in our refusal and make it clear that our decision must be respected before anything else.

          4. Lead by example

          As long as we enforce a rule or guideline of behavior, we must ensure that we are the first to follow it, unless it makes no sense for adults to follow it (for example, when putting in place restrictions on how long it takes to get home). In the latter case, the reason for this age distinction must be clearly specified. And it is that one way of educating children is to imitate them and act as role models for them.

            5. Avoid excessive sedentary lifestyle

            During the first days of vacation, it is normal for teenagers to rest and recuperate after the school year.

            This break consists of spending several hours on the sofa watching television or playing video games for long days, which can be acceptable for a few days, but should not become a constant all summer because it harms to your physical and mental well-being. and, in addition, it can lead young people to isolate themselves and feel alienated from the rest of the family.

            In order to avoid excessive sedentary lifestyle and the appearance of intra-family frictionswe can plan outdoor activities with the family or encourage your teenage son to spend a few hours doing sports of all kinds, either with his siblings, alone or with other friends.

            Although teenagers need time to socialize with friends and relatives of the same age, psychology professionals recommend that during the summer, activities be planned as a family.

            Spend time with family, play or do joint activities It is also very beneficial for adolescents, as it promotes the establishment of emotional bonds with their parents or siblings and promotes family cohabitation in general.

              6. Imposing proportionate sanctions

              Like the rest of the year, the punishments inflicted on our son must always be proportionate and based on a positive parental model, that is, without shouting or violence and always promoting communication between parents and children.

              If, for example, our son has had poor school results, the punishment will depend on whether it is a lack of studies or a good if it is the result of an internal problem you may have both in your abilities and in your emotional health.

              That’s why whenever something goes wrong, communication should always be the priority and we should try to know at all times what is happening to our son, if there is a problem or if he needs help. any help.

                7. Educate on healthy and positive lifestyle habits

                Summer vacation is usually a festive time when teenagers come together to dance and have fun in various nighttime environments, which also involves the consumption of alcohol and other substances that are harmful to the body.

                Instead of forbidding him to go out with his friends, parents should talk openly about the dangers of nights out in summer (preferably by giving examples and without giving too abstract explanations), especially for young people, and make it clear that they trust that their son will be responsible enough not to endanger his life.

                Some of the dangers you can talk about with a teenage daughter or son are drug and alcohol use, or night fights.

                8. Failing to Prioritize Academic and Study Work

                Sometimes it is recommended that teenagers have homework, but we must not forget that holidays are for disconnecting and for everyone to use their autonomy to pursue their hobbies. Fulfilling the scale of academic requirements will be perceived as an arbitrary imposition and an unfair “trap”, which may encourage a rebellious attitude towards all rules in general.

                  Are you looking for professional psychological help?

                  If you want to count on psychotherapeutic support, contact me.

                  I am a Generalist Health Psychologist federated by the FEAP and I take care of adolescents, adults and families.

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