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Setting rules and consequences with your teen

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Raising a teenager Teens and risk-taking behaviour

As teens grow up, one of the ways they start asserting their independence is by testing boundaries and seeing how people react. Which means there need to be some boundaries (or rules) for them to test! The teen years bring so many changes – emotional and physical – that having a sense of what’s expected of them can actually help them feel more secure. They may not act like it, but your teen still needs you!

Tips for setting rules with your teen

My teen feels out of control - what can I do?

Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, how many rules and consequences we put in place and however reasonable and supportive we are, it can feel as if our child’s behaviour has got out of control. Stroppiness, arguing, defiance and mood swings are pretty normal for teenagers. But things like habitually lying, stealing, getting into trouble with the police, problem alcohol or drug use and violence are not, and need to be addressed.

Our page on getting help and support raising a teen can guide you to organisations that can help, including your GP, helplines or a counsellor.

Last updated: 21 Nov, 2023