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Martha Putnam, Hanley Center Foundation, Coordinator of Adult Programs

Family Standards and Consequences continued!  Teens standards–last week I talked about family standards for younger children and that as our kids have grown up our standards changed.  The standards that we create as a family are more than rules, they are a standard of behavior we all strive to live by.  It was critical for us that our teens were a part of the conversation when we created a separate list now for them.

Our standards are:
#1 Answer your phone. When we call it’s important and we want to talk to you, (this works for parents calling teens as well as teens calling parents). Sometimes we text, but most of the time we call.  I want to hear my teens voice and make sure they are ok.  Now obviously there are times that we may not be able to talk very long but it’s a great check in system.

#2 Social Media is a privilege. Until you are 18 we have access to all accounts with passwords.  We will monitor as needed to build up the trust that you can appropriately handle social media.

#3 Open door policy.  We will have many conversations with you about alcohol, sex, and drugs.  We want to be sure you have factual information as you make critical decisions.  You can also come to us with questions or comments and have we have a judgment free zone for discussion, but at the end of the day as your parents, our expectation is that you will not drink alcohol till you are at least 21.  You will not misuse prescription drugs/drugs.

#4 Grown up lessons.  From freshman to senior year- we have 4 short years to get you ready to be a grown up.  We will have life lessons that we share with you as they come up.  For example, once you are 14 you are responsible for doing ALL your own laundry.  We will show them how to manage finances, how to make their own doctor appointments, how to interview for a job etc.

What are some of your family standards for teenagers?    #MomSays