Sometimes a metaphor can serve as a powerful way to illustrate an idea.

In video 3 of my 8 part discussion with therapist, Amy Frisch, she compares parenting to the shoreline of the beach and how it shifts and changes, and how parents of teenagers need to shift and change like the ocean as their teens mature.

The importance of setting limits

We know that it is a parent’s job is to set clear limits, and it’s a teenager’s job to push up against these limits. Amy gives some good advice for how parents can navigate that dance as gracefully as possible.

“When you really know your child and have a strong connection, every disagreement does not have to be World War 3, but there do need to be consequences when teens do not follow the rules.” – Amy Frisch Click To Tweet

Boundaries are necessary because teenagers don’t always make the smartest decisions and we want to keep them safe. But how do you know where to draw the line with your teen?

My friend’s 3 boys

I have a friend who is about 67 and one of the smartest people I know. She has three sons. She told me once that when her boys were teenagers she wanted to let them make all their own decisions and to learn to trust their judgements.

She quickly realized that her boys had the “world’s worst judgement,” or that maybe she was naive in her expectations about her teenagers’ cognitive capabilities, and that it was necessary for her to carefully watch them and to help her boys make wiser decisions, (particularly ones where they could get hurt).

The changing tide

All the parents that I know want their children to be safe and happy. As kids enter the teenage years we know the decisions they make around things like sex, drugs, and even schoolwork can have serious consequences.

Parents can’t control everything their teenagers do, (nor should they try), but we need to stay involved, pay close attention, communicate as much as we can, figure out when to pull back and when to step in, and always keep a close eye on the ocean tide so it doesn’t catch us off guard.  

“Consciously Parenting Teens” Video Series

If you haven’t watched the video about, I encourage you to check it out. Amy has a remarkable way of speaking and framing parent/ child dynamics. There is a signup form at the end of the video, but in case you missed it, here it is again.

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