The teen years are notoriously challenging for parents. Much like the toddler years, kids sometimes seem intent on doing exactly the opposite of what we ask. And for some of the same reasons: Their job now is to find their own way as a person, to shape their identity, and to understand what’s important to them.
In other words, teenagers want their freedom and they want to do things their way, not because they want to annoy us, but because they want to do what they feel is right for them. So how do you set and enforce boundaries while maintaining your sanity? Read on for 3 productive ways to discipline your teen.
Build Your Relationship
No discipline will be successful unless you have a solid foundation with your teen. However, having a good relationship takes time and effort. Listen to their ideas, take an interest in what is important to them and make an effort to do things together. Be honest with your teen and take the time to listen to their concerns – because keeping an open line of communication is imperative!
Teens need rules and limits, and it works best if you can work these out together with your teenager so that she feels she has some choice (remember, it needs to feel right for them). Make certain that they know the boundaries and what the consequences will be if rules aren’t followed. It’s important that the consequences you set are not so heavy that they stop them from wanting to even try to abide by the rules.
Not sure if you’re setting reasonable limits? Talk to your teen and whenever possible, give your teen a say in establishing the rules that he or she is expected to follow.
Sticking to consequences can be tough but your teen needs you to be their parent and not their buddy. Calmly explain the unacceptable behavior and the consequences that follow. Whether it’s taking away their phone or revoking their driving privileges – just make sure to limit punishments to a few hours or days to make them most effective. This is a tough position, but it’s key to enforce the consequences of unacceptable behavior.