Your parents didn’t know what we know now about psychology, brain development, relationship skills and emotional intelligence. They learned to parent from a model based on military regimes and did they best they could within it and in spite of it, as did you.

The truth is that style of parenting creates insecurity, anxiety, codependence, and even trauma without higher and higher levels of control. Perhaps the same ones you’re trying on your teen that are fueling conflict and disconnection right now.

“I turned out just fine!”

You haven’t worked this hard to get this far and you’re not about to lay down and raise the white flag. Your reputation as a good parent feels at stake, and you’re already taking some heat from your family and maybe teachers, coaches, or friends. This calls for the stuff your parents used on you that even when you hated it, (and them) it worked.

“I’m not raising an entitled brat!”

From effort and academic performance to basic contributions around the house, they don’t seem to care while your resentment and frustration are at a boiling pot. You’re not sure who’s pissing each other off more – your teen blows up when you breathe or say good morning and pretty everything they do feels like a defiant strike against you so all you see is what they’re doing wrong (along with seeing red!).

There’s no way you’re raising some entitled brat who doesn’t respect rules and that includes respecting you and everything you do for them to live their best life in your home. I mean, there’s certain standards that aren’t negotiable when it comes to being a considerate and respectful human, yet your teen is resisting those too.

What you were raised to believe

Although fancy words like boundaries weren’t used when you were young, it was implied that’s what your parents were setting and using to ‘set your straight’. Things like:

Coercion – persuading your teen to do something using force or threats of loss

Manipulation – to control or influence your teen unfairly or unscrupulously

Fear based control – a misuse or authority to induce fear and compliance

Threats – a rhetorical statement ending in ‘or else’ and relies of the fear of an unknown for compliance

Ultimatums – pretending to offer your teen a choice between two things where one is what you want and the other includes pain or loss for them

And the big one, expectations.

“I need you to do/be in a way that I want and reflects my values and my priorities, so I feel more safe and secure in who I am. I need you to take responsibility for my experience.

I live in reaction to your words/behaviours as a reflection of my worth so I only see what you do wrong.” – Aly Pain


I think what your parents were intended was to set boundaries, yet they weren’t taught what that meant. A generation later, it confounds me we’re still not teaching these fundamental relationship skills in schools. Here’s how I define boundaries:

“I own my experience and take responsibility for how I want to feel. I’m clear about what respect and safety means to me and ask for what I need, understanding my teen likely defines their experiences differently and we may need to negotiate. Even if we don’t find a perfect middle ground, I hold my boundary without shaming, blaming, or using control to change them.” – Aly Pain

Most parents are gobsmacked when they hear this, if you want more tips and more information like this. Register for my FREE masterclass to learn my 3 pillars for creating an honest, connected relationship that lasts a lifetime, WITHOUT having to be a perfect parent.