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Sons Are Breaking Family Rules

Middle School Expert Advice from Connie Collins

Q: I am the proud mother of two wonderful children whom I love a lot. However, lately they have been breaking many family rules. What should I do when they come in past curfew or talk back? I want to be known as the strictest mother around, but I also want to be known as one of the nicest and funniest.

A: You say that your sons are breaking the family rules. Are these rules that the boys had a part in making? What consequences were set up if the boys broke the rules? I encourage you to sit down with the whole family and discuss these situations. Come to an agreement on curfew and respect and the consequences for the boys' behavior. I would also encourage you to think about what your goal is: Do you want your sons to behave appropriately and become responsible adults, or is your goal preserving your reputation as a mom? Being nice and funny is not the opposite of setting boundaries and limits for one's children. All of this is part of responsible parenthood.

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Connie Collins, professional school counselor, worked for 35 years in public education as a teacher and counselor at the middle school and secondary levels. Collins worked daily with the parents of the students in her various schools, and has facilitated several parenting groups.


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