Boundaries are incredibly important. They are beneficial to everyone but especially to children.
Children thrive in a routine, and keeping your own boundaries and respecting others' boundaries are both important things to learn from a young age.
The teenage years are a time of huge mental development. It is a significant time for growth and testing the limits for most. This is why it is important to start setting boundaries for your pre-teens so they know what to expect during their more challenging teenage years.
It is inevitable that your teen will push limits and boundaries. While this can be frustrating, it is a salient part of developing their own values, beliefs, and sense of self.
How to manage boundaries and routine for your pre-teen.
It wasn’t too long ago that you were a teenager, pushing the boundaries and slamming doors. So, have a little sympathy for them - this is a challenging period for them too. Emotions and hormones are all over the place and remember you are the adult here - you know the hurtful things they are saying to you are all just about them finding out who they really are!
Having empathy for your pre-teen does not mean you shouldn't have boundaries and be consistent with them. If you set a boundary that they push, stick with the consequences of their actions while being empathetic. This will show your pre-teen what they can expect when they break the rules and believe it or not, boundaries and routine actually help your child to feel safe and protected - even if they argue the contrary!
Allow natural consequences.
This can be a tough one for parents but you should allow for natural consequences. Again, you are the adult in this situation and the last thing you want to do is get into a power struggle with your pre-teen. If they know the rules and break them, whether at school or elsewhere, it is important to take a step back and let them suffer the consequences for their actions. They should learn cause and effect. You can be supportive, but allow them to learn that they are resilient and capable too.