Teen Discipline: Piercing and Other Challenges- Part 5

by Dr. Coach Love

This is a continuation of a multipart discussion of the challenges of parenting teenagers. For maximum benefit of this discussion, please go review Parts 1-4.

As parents, you do not have to like, agree with, or support your son’s choices.  However, reflect on the stubborn example you are setting for your adolescent, who is at the age appropriate developmental stage for asserting independence and posing resistance to your directives.  While appropriate to have house rules, do not confuse issues.  Because a rule represents your opinion/value, it does not automatically make those rules fair to enforce with your adolescent.  Like you, he has rights as well as opinions and values. 

Consider this analogy.  You are driving toward an intersection.  You have a green light—the right-of-way.  You notice a vehicle approaching from your right.  The vehicle appears to be headed through the red light at that same intersection. Would you continue through and risk a collision just because you had the ‘right’?  Likely not.

Exercising your ‘right’ as a homeowner/parent to insure certain conditions in your home may not always produce the results you desire. For instance, you may not choose adults as friends and invite them into your home because they make an undesirable appearance— long hair, body piercing, tattoos, etc. But will you/should you throw your teenager out of the house because of an appearance issue, which is undesirable to you?  You already know and love your teen. Doesn’t that override any appearance issue? 

You and your son are headed toward the same intersection. Both think you have the green light or perceive that the other is going through a yellow/red light. The difference is that you are the adult and expected to make a better decision about avoiding the crash. (I typically hold parents to a higher level of responsibility to prevent such “collisions”).  Consider the widest panorama of consequences to your son, your family relationships, and yourself as you decide whether to press your right to enforce a house rule against piercing. 

Finally, it is not actually a question of whether he has the right to get pierced or whether you have a higher order right as a parent/homeowner to enforce house rules of your choosing.  This issue is not that simple. You have a clash.  The health of your relationship is at stake. Be sure to look in all directions before approaching the relationship intersection on this issue.

In Part 6, I will offer additional relationship coaching tips for you to consider – whether you decide to let the issue go or pursue enforcement.                   

What do you think? Check back for more options. 

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 


Dr. Coach Love 

MORE INFO LINKS: http://familyandrelationshipcoachblog.com/2-find-it-fast/ 

v      I invite your comments below.

v      E-mail your relationship coaching questions to DrCoachLove@HireCoach.com.

v      Questions selected will be edited as needed to reflect privacy,

            brevity, clarity, and general interest.

v      Sorry, Dr. Coach Love is unable to offer any personal advice through this blog. This blog is not intended as a substitute for therapy. If you suspect any mental health problems, please seek immediate direct professional services as appropriate.

v      Check out relationship coaching services at www.HireCoach.com

©       Copyright 2009 P.H. Pickett, Ph.D.  All rights reserved.

            Contact DrCoachLove@HireCoach.com for permissions.

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About drcoachlove

Dr. Coach Love is the author of the multiple award-winning book, The Marriage Whisperer: Tips to Improve Your Relationship Overnight, published by MSI Press, a traditional publisher in California. www.TheMarriageWhisperer.net

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