I work with many families and their teenage daughters in family counseling. One thing we spend some time discussing is home rules. Typically teens do not like rules, think they are too strict, stupid, or that they need more freedom. The parents feel they are not being unreasonable and truly want the best for their daughters; they want them to grow up to be loving, responsible women of good character! Home rules and discipline are both important but so are connection and relationship; I'd argue that connection and relationship are even more important that the others. In counseling, we discuss ways of implementing effective privileges and disciplines. That often means that parents have to allow their teen to have a voice and allow compromise to be apart of the process. That is part of the necessary developmental tasks teens face; to learn they have a voice and how to use it appropriately. Parents are a crucial piece of them mastering that task. The rules look different for each family because each family and each teen is unique. Some structure is important for teens; they need to learn boundaries. Boundaries are good, safe and healthy. After all, we are adults and there are still boundaries. I still have to pay my mortgage on time or else I pay penalties; if I drive above the speed limit, I risk getting ticketed, etc. But as a therapist, what I try most to focus on during these kinds of discussions are relationship and connection. Rules and consequences do little good if there is not a strong connection present. If the relationship between parent and teen is suffering, then the rules will likely be disobeyed time and time again. Or they will be obeyed strictly for the letter of the law and the spirit of it (the stuff that builds real character) will be rejected. When parents focus on building the connection and deepening the relationship, often the teen falls in step (some better) with the rules and the disciplines. If you find that not only are your rules being consistently disobeyed but also your relationship with your teen is struggling, consider family counseling as a way to begin rebuilding the connection!