Discipline Your Teenager
Edited by Debbie, Charmed, Lynn, Eng and 2 others
The family rule is that cellphones are to be off by 11:00 p.m., but twice in the past week you caught your son texting well after midnight. Your daughter has a curfew and it is 10:00 p.m., but last night for the second time, he came home after 11:00. Don't despair. What appears to be insubordinate behavior might, be something far more benign.
Teenagers Flouting Rules
- 1Unclear Boundaries.There are teenagers who will ignore rules to see what they can get away with. For instance, when a parent specifically tells a teenager something they shouldn't do and there would be a consequence if they did do it, the teenager might be testing the boundaries to see if you will keep your word. Does this mean that your teenager is a hardened rebel? Probably not. Teenagers may be lax about obeying the rules when parents are not consistent in disciplining, or when the boundaries have not been clearly defined.Advertisement
- 2Rigidity.There are parents who try to control their teenager with a big list of rules. When the teenager doesn't listen, the parent gets angry and makes even more rules. This just makes matters worse. The more that you try to gain control, the more your teenager won't listen. The right kind of discipline can help. It is different from punishing them, which means to make someone suffer. Discipline means "to teach". So how can you teach your teenager to listen to your rules?Advertisement
- 3Not Being Flexible.When your child disagrees with a rule you have established, it does not mean they are being defiant or going against it. It could be the rule you are imposing is unreasonable, or too strict. Instead of telling them that you are sticking by it and they need to obey it, why not try to listen to what they have to say, and if it seems to be reasonable, why not make some adjustment?
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- 1Be Clear.Teenagers need to know exactly what is expected of them and what the consequence for not obeying will be. *Suggestion: Make a list of your house rules. Than check them and decide if you made too many or not enough. Are there some that are no longer needed? In the responsibility that my teenager has shown, should I make adjustments?Advertisement
- 2Be Consistent.Teenagers might become confused if you set a rule last week and then were left off the hook, but then face restrictions the following week. *Suggestion: Try to make the consequence more appropriate to the "crime" For example, if your teenager doesn't follow the curfew, make an earlier curfew the next time.
- 3Be Reasonable.Be a flexible parent by allowing your teenager to earn a little leeway by consistently staying within the rules. *Suggestion: Sit down with your teenager and talk over the rules. You could even have him think of a consequence for not obeying the rules. They are more likely to obey the rules if they have a share in making them.
- 4Build Character.It's important to not teach your child to obey, but rather to help them develop a a sense of right and wrong.Advertisement
- If you have problems with any of these steps, ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.
Categories : Teens
Recent edits by: vc, Eng, Lynn