to not have many rules for a 14 year old daughter....(26 Posts)
Just beginning to think we should have a few more! I'm keen to set some boundaries and establish things for the rest of her teens - while also wanting her to grow into a responsible adult who makes up her own mind about things. The thing that most concerns me is endless online stuff - we used to have a rule of only two hours a day, but this has broken down as she's got older with homework being done online, keeping in touch with friends, etc
What do you do? What rules have worked for you? Or not?
At the moment we just have:
- No technology for an hour before bedtime on school nights - and charge devices outside bedroom
- Needs our okay for sleepovers, parties etc - we're always reasonable about this
I don't think there's anything else - apart from no smoking and not having a motorcycle when she's older...
I bet you do have other rules.
- tidying up after herself / not leaving a trail of carnage?
- not being rude?
- something about letting you know where she is if not in by a certain time / having to be in by a certain time?
I agree that you probably have other rules, they're just implicit. Not needing more is a pretty good sign as long as your family feels harmonious. We are very similar.
If things are going wrong then impose more rules and boundaries. If it ain't broke though don't fix it.
One rule for me growing up that springs to mind though was when going out DPs had to always know where I was going, who with, how I was getting back and what time I'd be back. And if ever those plans fell through to give them a call.
I'm not sure I really had a set of "rules" to follow by that age, but things like telling my parents where I was going, getting to bed at a sensible time, and tidying up after myself were just implicit.
If there's a particular rule you feel you need to implement then do, but I don't think I would just make rules up in order to have rules iyswim. We have rules for DD, but she's only 4 so it's things like not jumping on the sofa rather than not getting drunk
Is there a certain job that she's responsible for? One did/do the recycling and bins + raking leaves & mowing the lawn. I'd always have to remind them, but it not only helped me, but (hopefully) put them in the frame of mind that we're all pulling together, and also - as kids can be pretty oblivious about what it takes to keep a home running - gives them insight into adult responsibilities.
I think keeping the rules to a minimum that is demanded by good manners is the way to go. If you don't fuss about small things, you still have some ammunition left when the big challenges arrive. I had a friend who insisted that their teenage son should not wear his woolly hat in the house and it became the son's weapon for getting at his parents - and they had got so steamed up about this little pointless thing that when the lad started taking drugs there was no distinction in the levels of anger. - they had no more powder left.
Also never forget that rules invite themselves to be broken, and the fewer there are the fewer battles there will be in your house!
There was a similar thread in Teenagers recently.
I think your rules are normal and good manners tbh the asking about sleepovers and parties is just curtesey (sp) really and just letting you know whats what. Devices is a given at bedtime imo
We don't have many explicit rules but have several that, as PPs suggest, are implicit.
The only explicit ones I can think of are that she can't have her phone in her room overnight on a school night, and she is supposed to go to bed at a certain time, but argues over it every night. A condition of her having her phone is that if we have any reason to be concerned about how she's using it, we have a right to ask to see it at any time.
Beyond that it's just implicit rules about politeness, etc. I expect her to do certain things like tidying after herself, some chores around the house, when I ask her to do them. I tried having a rule that she had to do X every evening, or before doing Y, but policing that is just another thing for me to do. So I just ask her, and if she complains about me nagging her I tell her it's my job. If she's rude I tell her off, so that's another implicit rule. And there's no point in setting down a rule that she mustn't get drunk or smoke or run around half the night, because she has enough brains to know she's not allowed to do that anyway.
Deeply reassuring comments, thank you all... yes you're right so many of the rules are implicit... and she is responsible for recycling, laying/clearing table/own room... and we're gradually adding more stuff in around cooking/washing clothes/etc....
I guess my two main concerns are
1. is there a better way to limit screen time? Can't help thinking it isn't great for her brain to use it so much, and I feel it cuts into her focus when she's doing homework and communicating with friends at the same time... though don't want to be too strict about this as she travels a fair distance to school and doesn't have the ease of friends on her doorstep
2. what's lurking round the corner? is there anything I should think about that's going to happen soon.... I recently got caught out when she went on a mixed sleepover (just 5 teens) for the first time and I discovered the parents were out of town - She innocently thought it would be fine, as 18 year old brother was going to be responsible adult in house - but he decided to go out after all!!!!!... I'd just assumed the parents would be there.... All fine and they relocated to another house with parents at home but it did make me aware how things could go wrong when I take my eye off the ball...
Phones and devices are tricky they seem to do all the socialising online and i personally dont think its that great for them however i dont think you can really police it as such what i used to do was try and get them to put them down while eating not do a 3 way thing if i was talking to them that sort of thing.
Sounds like you're doing what you are actually supposed to be doing, raising an effective adult, rather than managing children, which is all many of us manage.
I suppose you reinforced what a great decision it was to relocate... She's already making good decisions.
By 14, if you have done your job right, you shouldn't need explicit 'rules'
Dd1 went to mixed sleepover s with older sisters in charge I was a bit annoyed but I think your Dd and friends were more sensible than the 18yrold tbf .you can only regulate behaviour so far the rest is up to them I was strict but realistic and fair I think my dds may disagree but they are adults now and I didn't really have that much bother with them they knew the line might have teetered on it but really didn't cross it (much). My own parents were ridiculously strict I just snuck about lying about everything I didn't want that for my own DC
Other than the basics like be polite and keeping things cleans and tidy we don't have any rules for our 14 year old DD and haven't had any for a long while j don't think.
Our DDs have to clear table after dinner and load/unload dishwasher
Make their beds before going to school.
They can have as much screen time as they want, so long as they keep hitting all their tracking targets at school.
Be considerate and be respectful and be polite, please.
9pm bedtime on a school night.
Must eat 2 pieces of fruit per day.
Do NOT use Mummy's very expensive make up (epic fail on this one).
Our rules for our twins (14) are:
*Homework when you get it, not the night before it's due
*Tidy up after yourself
*Anything you want washed has to be in the laundry basket by Wednesday afternoon
*If you're going to be home late, text me or dad and let us know
*If you're bringing a friend home, TELL THEIR PARENTS
*Just act the way you think we would be proud of.
*Do not steal mum's galaxy, I will genuinely kill you.
*Don't let the dog eat your leftovers, you know she'll be sick.
That's it really. I'm sure there are some unspoken rules like "If you're going to have a massive party (unlikely) then please at least repair any broken windows and tell the police that we are formally reversing your adoption." (This is a joke between us, obviously!)
But really, they're not explicit rules, the only ones I have to keep reminding them of are nicking my chocolate and not giving the dog your leftovers. They never seem to learn that one!
Oh I do have to remind DS2 to text us if he's changing his plans, but only because he's on the autistic spectrum and it wouldn't occur to him otherwise. (As we found out when we were worrying where he was at 7pm one night - should have been home at 5 - only to find out he'd gone to my mum's!)
As an aside, I think we've done well with our kids. I remember being far more rebellious at their age, but one of my friends who's a child psychologist said the new way to rebel is by basically being straight edge and boring. I remember at their age going out on a weekend in a miniskirt and just laughing sarcastically when my dad said he'd be waiting up for me to get home.
It was a different time, full of white lightning and silk cut cigarettes.
just saying as a 17 year old,
having rules I find unfair and stupid makes me more likely to break them so dont just impose new ones without talking and giving a reason why
I would restrict screen time if it is affecting their health, education or family relationships in some way but if they are fitting it in with everything else then I wouldn't make it an issue.
Such great advice and feedback from everyone - thank you!
More than anything it's reassuring me that I'm doing okay as a mum - life moves so fast I often think I am missing stuff....
No motorcycles - because I had two friends die before their 21st birthdays on their motorbikes & I know how dangerous they are - DD godmum told me this was the only rule she gave her DS as a late teen and because it was the only one it stuck.... so following her advice and my fears...
And me too re strict rules and parents - it meant I lied and found ways round them... so so agree about rules that make sense ... and so glad most of you have implicit rules rather than fixed ones....
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