As a teenager when you don’t have boundaries in your family, you do what seems right in your own eyes. Contrary to what our parents think, teens really need rules.
Rules help you keep track of the right direction and prevent you from ending up in a place that they don’t want you to be. When boundaries are coupled with consequences, they help the teenagers like you easily resist temptation and the inappropriate scheming of the peers.
To me boundaries aren’t the rules; they are the fence posts placed around behavior. Limits define what you will and won’t accept, and should come from what you believe is right for you at this stage in life and for your family.
An illustration of a boundary might be: “as a family we will treat each other with mutual respect.” Then as a teenager your boundary I believe have will include showing respect to those you live with, and teaching family members to respect authority and those outside the family as well.
For teenagers being respectful means: not taking things without asking, not talking badly about another, not calling names or mouthing off.
On the positive side, being respectful means: celebrating one another’s successes, helping each other out when it’s needed, asking permission before using something that is not yours, or standing up for other family members.
You fill in what you consider to be respectful and disrespectful practices.
When these boundaries are completely understood, then rules almost become redundant. For instance, “respect” would also cover issues like theft, honesty, caring for others, taking care of one’s belongings, etc.
Boundaries aren’t just to cage behavior, but they are also for protecting you from peers on the other side of the fence. For instance, a teen girl should establish her own personal boundaries in regard to her body and not allow others to cross those boundaries with her.