By Peter Roussos, MFT

Adapted with permission from:
By: Susan A. Caldwell, M.A.
767 Academy Drive
Solana Beach, CA 92075
(760) 632-0793

  1. Wait on your teenagers. Clean up all their messes. Always do and fold their laundry, make their beds, and cook every meal for them. Keep their household chores to an absolute minimum. Do not expect any reciprocation or help from them.

  2. Indulge your teenagers’ every wish; buy everything your teenagers want and give them all the spending money they request.

  3. Allow your teenagers to watch any T.V. show or movie, listen to any music, and read any book or magazine without checking for appropriate content. If by chance you find inappropriate content, pretend it’s no big deal.

  4. Never show any interest in what your teenagers are learning or doing at school. Never help them with their homework.

  5. Bail your teenagers out of any consequences for their actions. 

  6. Talk disrespectfully about authority; always take your teenagers’ side against a teacher, neighbor, or police officer. 

  7. Do not require apologies, amends, or restitution when your teenagers damage property. Chalk it up to “kids will be kids”.

  8. Make excuses whenever your teenagers misbehave, and certainly do not correct their inappropriate behavior.

  9. Set no limits OR be inconsistent in enforcing the limits you set.

  10. Allow your teenagers to tantrum for at least one hour, then give in to any of their demands.

  11. Be arbitrary about house rules; give no reasons for them and do not allow your teenagers to participate in developing them.

  12. Impose no consequences for inappropriate behavior or breaking house rules, OR threaten your teenagers with all manner of consequences and never follow through on any of them.

  13. Quarrel and fight frequently in the presence of your teenagers without coming to any resolution of the conflict.

  14. Immediately fulfill your teenagers’ every need, and never allow your teenagers to learn to wait and delay gratification.

  15. Lose your temper and resort to name-calling when your teenagers misbehave. If possible, publicly criticize and embarrass your teenagers when they misbehave.

  16. Give no moral or spiritual training to your teenagers.

  17. Do not listen to your teenagers’ feelings and do not help your teenagers to learn how to describe their emotional experiences with words. If they say something that makes you uncomfortable, change the subject.

  18. Avoid regular family meetings where leadership skills might be developed and cooperation learned. Invite no input from your teenagers regarding family decisions.

  19. Send your teenagers to religious services while you go to brunch or the gym. Do not participate in the life of a faith community which could nurture yours and your teenagers’ growth.

  20. Never ask your teenagers to forgive you for making a mistake, losing your temper or forgetting something important.

  21. See your teenagers as an extension of your own ego, feeling ashamed if your teenagers make a mistake and proud of yourself if your teenagers are successful.

  22. Expect your teenagers to do as you say and not as you do.