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Chapter 10. Supporting Your Teenagers > Balancing Freedom with Responsibility

Balancing Freedom with Responsibility

Just because you're willing to make some adjustments to your family's schedule to support your teenager's growing independence doesn't mean that you have to—or should—rearrange your family's schedule to accommodate everything your teenager wants to do. If you've shown respect for your teen's scheduling needs, your teen should show a reciprocal respect for the rest of the family's schedule. You should have an understanding with your teenager that any of his activities which will impact the family's schedule must be communicated and incorporated into your family's planner with as much notice as possible. If a scheduling conflict is apparent, it should be resolved well in advance of the conflicting activities. Because sometimes teenagers don't think broadly enough to realize that their plans affect others, you may want to specify which activities require advance notice. Here are some examples:

  • Not eating a meal at home

  • Having guests for a meal

  • Wanting to use a family car

  • Having friends spend the night

  • Doing anything that will preclude the teen from completing assigned chores on time

  • Needing to use anything that belongs to the family collectively (computer, television, workbench, tools, oven, and the like)


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