How much freedom should rents give their children?
The answer depends on variables such as the individual teen, their life experiences, the amount of family support they have, their level of responsibility, their level of maturity, whether they have siblings or not, and other factors. Parents want to protect their teen from painful life experiences, especially if the parents had to face many challenges during their adolescence.
Sometimes, being too protective can backfire, and children will rebel and act out of line. If parents are insanely strict and do not let their offspring do what they want, the child will do something the parents do not want. If a child acts out, it causes the rents to have to punish them or limit what they’re allowed to do going forward.
Parents should give children as much freedom as they deserve to have based on how responsible they are. “The way I see it, my parents will give me as much freedom as I can prove to them that I can handle. If I show that I am responsible and do the things that they ask, then I anticipate that they will give me a little more freedom,” junior Alex Cohen said.
Parents may be concerned with their child’s grades, and that determines how much freedom they will give. If they are not up to the parents’ standards, the kid may have restrictions on what they can do. Also, if they feel that their child isn’t holding up their end of the bargain, expect them to have consequences. “If I slip up I may be punished, but I know I would be able to gain my freedom back quickly because my rents are not that strict,” freshman Min Ye said.
While many parents underestimate their teen’s readiness for certain privileges and freedoms, most teens overestimate their readiness to take on those privileges and responsibilities. Typically, freedom equals responsibility, meaning that one needs to demonstrate responsible behavior before expecting to have certain freedoms. For example, if I am to have the freedom of driving a car, I need to demonstrate that I am responsible enough to follow traffic laws.
Parents are often responsible for instilling values in their children about what is right and what is wrong. Given that teens sometimes feel a sense of entitlement to make decisions about issues that impact their lives, it is important for parents to have clarity about their authority and in which contexts they will allow more freedom. While teens undoubtedly will make mistakes, parents need to trust them to make some of their own decisions and to learn from their missteps.