5 House Rules for Media and Teens
1. Choose shows the family can watch together.We have always enjoyed watching “our shows” with our teens during the week. We use the opportunity to discuss how the characters are behaving or interacting. We also laugh a lot at ridiculous plot lines and dialogue.
2. Have a “Work first - Then television or computer games” policy.This policy is tough sometimes for everyone in the family. We all deserve to take a break, don’t we? Having this “House Rule” helps with making certain chores and homework are done. A “Work First, Then Play” house rule will help your teen to develop a good work ethic down the road. tedious. After counseling teens for over 20 years, I also believe spot checking is less tedious than finding out they have an addiction or are into something that will cost a LOT of therapy for them to overcome.
5. Have “PG-14 Hours” For Older TeensWe had just one television in our home until our oldest son graduated from high school. When we had three adolescents in our home and one 9-year old, we had to make PG-14 hours for TV watching. The 9 year old could not watch what the older teens were interested in. It just worked to set PG-14 Hours for the shows our older teens could watch. Plus! We could join our older teens in watching programs we were interested in. Yeah!
Tightrope of Teen TherapyThe reason my curriculum is called “The Tightrope of Teen Therapy” might be obvious to you parents. Parenting adolescents and giving therapy to teens is a constant tightrope these days. Developing a relationship of trust and “you can tell me anything” is a fantastic goal. The reality is the adolescent brain is not fully developed until a teen is 23 to 25 years old. (Feel free to look back at my previous blogs to review the teenage brain.) Until the brain is fully developed, we parents are the “guard rails” for our teens. Adolescents are growing in the ability to think, “If I do this, then this might happen.” They can quickly get over their heads with media and life. We want them to “drive” their own lives and one day soar from our nests. I suggest we load the dice in their favor by monitoring their media exposure in a way that works for your family and teaches your teens. What do you think? How do you monitor the media in your family? Share some of your ideas below. And - If you found these House Rules to be helpful, be sure to hit "Share!"
The above isn’t professional counseling. It is good, sound information from a mom who is also a marriage family therapist. If you would like to get in touch with me, don’t hesitate to contact me at kate@katepieperlmft or by calling 530-268-3558. Parenting teens is tough these days. I might be able to help.