Rules Require Consequences

Some parents cringe at the thought of applying consequences, fearing it may harm the relationship they have with their teenager. Step-parents and adoptive parents can be especially conflicted on this point. But I've found that young people want rules from their parents, step-parents and adoptive parents. And what good are rules without consequences for breaking the rules? The world makes more sense to kids when they know what is expected and what is not.  They feel safer when they know where the boundaries are. And they find comfort in the consistency of parents who stick to their guns, while loving their children just as much no matter how many mistakes they make.

My advice to you is to build maturity and character in your teenager through sound rules and reasonable consequences. Do this consistently, and with a strong and loving relationship, and I guarantee that someday you'll hear your child call you their biggest hero -- a true Super Hero.

April 12, 2010


Mark Gregston is an author, speaker, radio host, and the founder and executive director of Heartlight, a residential program for struggling adolescents ( Mark's books and tapes can be found at