They can dress how they want, but as soon as that clothing becomes immodest, they are stepping over a boundary, the modesty boundary.
If what they wear breaks the school’s dress code, they are stepping over the school’s boundaries.
First, outline what you believe the behavior in your home should be — your “beliefs.” Then, determine what rules are needed to support those beliefs.
You can develop behavioral beliefs and rules for any number of things, but I prefer to major on the majors, not the minors, so focus on areas such as modesty, honesty, respect, family contribution, curfew, use of the car, dating, substance abuse, church activities, abiding by the law, and education.
Here’s how one of your beliefs in the system spreadsheet could look for a 13-year-old child. 2nd Violation: You’re grounded Friday and Saturday night for two weeks.
Belief – At age 13, we believe nothing good can happen after 11 p.m., and that on weekdays kids should be home earlier to encourage a good night’s rest for school. 3rd Violation: Curfew will be pm every night for a month.
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.
Responsibility and a feeling of self-control begin with a child knowing and understanding the breadth of their choices within those boundaries.
It is your duty to enforce consequences without wavering, but it is also important to express your sadness when your teen experiences consequences. And they’ll help you maintain discipline without destroying your relationship.
Help them know you are on their side and rooting for them.
Boundaries don’t encumber your child; they free them and they boost confidence and self-control.
It’s like the difference between keeping a horse on a lead rope and letting him run freely in a fenced pasture.