Kids Under Construction – Creating Safe Boundaries

Kids Under Construction

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) – This week on Kids Under Construction, parenting journalist and expert Donna Tetreault speaks with ABC4’s Emily Clark and Dr. Ken Ginsburg, Founding Director at The Center for Parent and Teen Communication at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and author of “Building Resilience in Children and Teens,” now in its fourth edition, about creating safe boundaries with your children.

With growing children, it can be tricky to ensure your kids are staying safe yet also given room to grow and explore. How can parents achieve this? With balanced parenting.

Studies show that a balanced approach can lower anxiety and depression, allow better performance in school and promote avoiding risk-behavior.

Ginsburg explains that kids naturally like pushing against boundaries because it allows them to learn and grow. So as a parent, it’s important to set very clear boundaries. Setting boundaries doesn’t make you overbearing, but instead it comes from a place of love, says Ginsburg.

“We have to create exciting opportunities, golden opportunities to learn,” says Ginsburg. “So when we have clear boundaries and exciting moments at the edges of existing knowledge, then kids stop right there, within safe territory and become their best selves.”

Ginsburg says parents should think of themselves as a lighthouse for their children — “A stable force on the shoreline from which they can measure themselves against,” says Ginsburg. “The important thing is trusting your kids enough to ride the waves and preparing them enough to do so.”

When it comes to teenagers, it’s important to dispel the harmful stereotypes that surround them. Ginsburg says if you believe that teenagers are risk-prone, disrespectful, irrational, etc. then you won’t engage with them in a thoughtful, productive way.

If you think your teens don’t care about you, you’re wrong, Ginsburg says.

“You matter as much or more than ever and we have to reframe adolescence — what it really is. We have to tell the truth about teens and talk about it as an opportunity to really build outstanding human beings.”

To see the full conversation about embracing healthy social media habits, watch the full conversation above.

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