Basic Rules for Teenage Boys

Teenagers are tricky to handle at the best of time. There will always be inevitable conflict between a teenage boy and his parents. However, it is the responsibility of the parents to keep the child safe, even when that child is a teen and beginning to exert his own independence. This expression of independence is important as he begins to mature into the man he will one day be, but he is still a child. And children, no matter how big they’re getting, still need ground rules.

Determining these ground rules can be difficult. It’s hard to balance the control you need to exert as a parent with letting go. In order to avoid stifling your teenage son’s emotional growth, it’s best to stick to the very basics. Pick your battles, and most other things go.

The Rules of the House

Homes have rules, and your teenage boy is not exempt from these rules. Draw up a set of rules and expect that everyone, including your teenager, abide by them. These rules should include the appropriate use of language, chores, and other responsibilities that you want your son to have. Keep these rules simple, focusing on one or two things. For example, you might have the following rules:

Make your bed

Clean up after yourself

Keep your room tidy

No foul language

Choose those things that are most important to you as nonnegotiable. Don’t single your son out, however. Everyone should have to abide by the rules. If the rule is no one goes out until their chores are done, then that applies to your son, your daughter, your spouse, and even yourself. Respect runs both ways, and teenagers will rebel when they don’t feel they’re properly respected and listened to.

The Rules of Dating

Most teenage boys date. As a responsible parent, you should allow your son to explore the world of romance, but it has to come with rules. You cannot control every aspect of your son’s various dates, but you can dictate some basic rules.

Start with a curfew. Explain that you understand that he wants to be out late with his dates, but that it’s inconsiderate to come home at 2am, waking everyone in the process. Set a firm time that he must be home by and ensure he sticks to it.

You’re not going to be able to control everything that happens once he walks out the door, so don’t try. Instead, make sure you know where he’s going and who he’s with. Make supplying these crucial pieces of information mandatory, and don’t let him leave without supplying them. Also have a conversation about how ‘romantic’ he can get on his date. This will probably involve some discussion of sex, so be prepared.

The Rules of Money

For most teenage boys, money comes up at some point. They want money, they want it now, and they want a lot of it. Whether they work or they get an allowance from you, they probably won’t be satisfied with the money they have.

You can’t really control what a teenager does with his own money. But you can limit how much money you give him. Establish some firm rules regarding how much money you give him and when you’ll give it to him. Also explain what the money is for. If you give him money for new jeans and he spends it on junk food, don’t run out and buy him new jeans. He made a choice that you couldn’t really control. But you can control when the money is doled out.

The Rules of Driving

There are few moments as frightening to a parent as when their teenager gets his license. As a parent, you have some control over this, but exercising too much control will only lead to resentment and rebelling. Instead of exercising control, exercise caution. Discuss driving with your teenager before you let him get his license.

Make sure he realizes that it’s a responsible that cannot be taken lightly. Explain that once behind the wheel, he’s responsible for his own life, the lives of the other people in the car, and the lives of everyone on the street. If he doesn’t take this seriously, put off getting that learner’s permit for a few months. Make him understand that driving isn’t a right. It’s a privilege, and privileges can be taken away.

There are so many rules you could come up with to try to control your teenage son. However, in the end, you will have to realize that he’s growing up and will soon become a man. He has to learn to take responsibility for himself and his actions, and it’s your job as a parent to teach him this. Set the ground rules, impose consequences for not following them, and then let him grow up.