Keeping Teens Healthy by Setting Boundaries — at a Glance
- We can follow a few simple guidelines that will make teens less likely to engage in risky behavior such as drinking, smoking, having unprotected sex, or having sex before they’re ready.
- Knowing where teens are, not allowing them to spend too much unsupervised time with other teens, and knowing who they’re spending time with can limit teens’ likelihood of engaging in risky behavior.
- We need to establish clear expectations with our teens and check in regularly to be sure those expectations are met.
As parents, we expect to keep a close eye on our infants and young children to care for them and keep them safe. As our children grow into teenagers, they gain a great deal of independence. That is a normal part of growing up. So, it’s easy for us to believe that there is less need to pay close attention to our teens. But in order to keep them healthy, we must still keep close tabs on them, set rules, and help them learn how to protect themselves. As they grow, our teens are increasingly likely to encounter opportunities for potentially risky situations. For this reason, we need to stay involved and actively check in with them.
Here are some questions and answers about how to keep your teens safe by setting boundaries.