In fact they are EXACTLY the same as the average teenager.
Lets analyse this, teenagers are hairy, many have dirty toenails, they eat between 100 and 200 kg’s of food per day – when they have finished the food in one area they move to the next area where there is food. Teenagers spend their days hanging out with other teens, eating, swimming, eating, fighting for the hottest chick, eating and just causing general devestation wherever they go.
STOP all this wasting of time frustrated parents …… you are looking in the wrong place …. “where?” you ask in anticipation ………… “TELL US NOW!!” ….. you screech ….
Well my dear friends start looking at what the Game Rangers are doing.
Lets start at the beginning. As you drive into a game park there is an automatic open and close gate, after that there is another gate with an electric thingie that no self-respecting Elephant will walk over, only after this is the manned boom gate, and only after the manned boom gate is the HUGE park area.
The first thing you see when you get to the boomed gate is just inside the gates are huge piles of Ellie doo doo.
“Do the Elephants come right here?” I ask the gate guard
“Yes” he answers (read – “you dumb tourist no we just place big piles of doo doo here for your entertainment”).
“And what do you do if he wants to get out?”
“We just open the boom and let him go through”
“Ummm, doesnt he try to get out the gate?”
“No never, he just comes through, sniffs around and moves back into the park”.
And here lies the secret of setting teenage boundaries. The clever Game Rangers have worked out a 3-phase boundry setting scenario. The first one the Ellie gets to looks all important, there is a boom, a pretty gate house, a guard and the Ellie reckons – “I can beat this – let me show them who is really in charge” – so at the gatehouse he waggles his ears, parks a doo doo and snorts around sounding a looking very important and in doing this the boom is generously opened for him. The real boundry is set just after this but Ellie is not worried about it because he has won, he has got through the gate.
In the park itself there is another set of rules, (let us call it the norms of society) where each animal has its place, and if an animal is not careful, respectful and polite he will be killed and eaten.
When setting boundries for our teens we can set up a fake boom, and when our teen stomps, snorts and parks a doo doo we just open the fake boom (fake boundry) and let them through. They will be so chuffed in thinking they have won that they will not notice the real boundry just in front of them.
This is a win-win situation. They think that they have won and we as parents will know we have won.
In the big world there will be another set of rules and if he and she is not careful, respectful and polite, he or she will be killed and eaten, but you know what …… that is their problem its all part of letting go.