Being parents, especially of teenagers, is what I believe to be one of the most stressful periods in a marriage. In the unlikely event that you and your mate have twin parenting styles, you are a bit more ahead of the game than most couples. In reality, however, the majority of couples tend to have opposite parenting styles. One of you is more on the strict side and one of you is more lenient. Whether or not this is the case, you and your mate must learn to work as a team in raising your kids.
One of the hardest things to realize as a parent is that it is your teenager’s “job” to push the envelope. If your son or daughter said, “Yes, Mom and Dad, I will be happy to (fill in the blank), I’d be really worried about him or her. So expect your child to disagree and push you to the limit. Your job as parents is to set the boundaries for your teenager. Expect him or her not to like your boundaries. That’s okay. What’s not okay is for you to cave into your son or daughter’s desires just because of his or her anger.
Present your boundaries as a team by using the pronoun “We have decided,” “We prefer,” rather than saying, “I’ve decided,” or “I prefer.” As soon as you say, “I,” a teenager will work to create a chasm between you and your mate, sensing you are not on the same team. Showing your kids that you and your partner are teammates, is the best thing you can do for your children and for your relationship!
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