Teen discipline tips (which are effective)

It can be frustrating for a parent when their child takes on undesirable habits.

It can be frustrating for a parent when their child takes on undesirable habits.

What you need to know:

  • Not all mistakes done by the teen should be severely punished.
  • Show them that it's okay to make mistakes in life and that, things will not always go their way.

There are many opinions when it comes to disciplining children, which can make it difficult for a parent or guardian to identify appropriate disciplinary measures to enforce whenever there is a need.

Teenage is characterised by many changes, both physical and hormonal. During this transition from childhood to adulthood, teens can experience significant turmoil. They may act mature in some ways while still behave like children in other ways.

The most common destructive behaviours among teenagers include:

  • Arguing
  • Lying
  • Rebellion
  • Being rude
  • Ignoring parents
  • Fighting with siblings or peers.
  • Drug abuse
  • Defying curfew rules

It can be frustrating for a parent when their child takes on undesirable habits.

We’ve put together effective parenting strategies to help you get your teenager into shape.

Set clear boundaries and enforce them consistently

Set limits and establish clear consequences for breaking rules. Be consistent and clear about what is acceptable behaviour. Don’t hesitate to come up with a list of expectations even before they get out of line.

Do not tolerate disrespectful language or attitude, rule-breaking, or violence. Teenagers need to know what the limits are in order to make better decisions.

Get to know your teenager

Knowing your teenager will help you understand how to discipline them effectively. It's not just about rules and consequences but also understanding the reasons behind their inappropriate behaviour. For example:

  • Arguing: An argument is a natural response when faced with frustration or disagreement, so don't punish them for that reaction. Instead, the teen needs to learn other ways of releasing their anger.
  • Lying: Teenagers are notorious for lying because it is part of the development process as they learn how to negotiate. Allowing teenagers to apologise and make up for their wrongdoing is more effective than constantly confronting them about it.
  • Rebelling: Adolescence can be about pushing boundaries and trying new things. At this stage, they think they are grown adults and can make decisions independently.

While it’s important for parents not to be too hard on their children because they are in a difficult stage, it's necessary to set limits so that they know what behaviours are acceptable.

Suspend privileges

Sometimes it is helpful to "suspend privileges" when a teenager is out of line. Being disrespectful towards parents, fighting with a sibling, neglecting chores to spend time on social media, or just scrolling on their gadgets are examples of mistakes that attract suspension of privileges.

Temporarily withdraw their phone, TV time, video games, or car keys. Make sure they know why this privilege has been taken away and they have an opportunity to earn it back by acting better.

Allow your teen to make mistakes sometimes

Making mistakes occasionally can help your teen learn from their own mistakes. This is a way to teach them to be more careful and responsible in the future.

However, some teens may not realise their mistakes and it can be helpful for parents or guardians to tell their children why certain behaviours are inappropriate. For example, if they are rude to their peers or siblings, they may not know disrespectful behavior makes others feel bad. Ensure they apologise for their mistakes.

Not all mistakes done by the teen should be severely punished.

Be a role model

Set an example of how they should behave. They will follow what you do often, so if you want them to stop arguing, check in with yourself too. Show them that it's okay to make mistakes in life and that, things will not always go their way. Let them know how they can fix their errors and have them act with self-respect.

In conclusion

There are many ways to discipline effectively without damaging their self-esteem in the process. Be firm with your rules, but remember, teenagers can learn your weakness and use it to manipulate you.

Parenting a teenager is difficult, but it can be done with love and consistency. If you love your teenager, disciplining them is an integral part of that love.

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