We are all thankful when our child ages out of the toddler tantrums, but the tantrums aren’t over yet. You now have the teen terror and teen mean. The teen years aren’t unlike toddlerhood; your teen will test his boundaries. Adolescents thrive on the balance of caring and positive discipline. Teens have difficulty respecting a parent’s authority.
Suggestions on discipline:
- Set clear rules and put them in writing.
- Go easy on first offenses. Remember, you were a teen once.
- Talk about it. Verbal communication is an important aspect of discipline.
- Avoid hands-on discipline. Discipline should always be lighter for teenagers than for younger children. Allow consequences to be as natural as possible. Let them demonstrate what he or she learned.
- Do not scold. Voicing disapproval does not work. Teens are not dumb. Teenagers know what will happen if they do not study or do whatever is required of them. Show your child the respect of letting him make his own decisions, and live with the consequences as long as no one is in physical danger.
- Be firm and consistent. Teens are master manipulators.
- Take away cell phones, iPods, iPads, and other communication devices for a specified period of time.
Before you come down hard on your teen for misbehaving, try to understand what’s driving the action. Could there be trouble in school, with a boyfriend or girlfriend, or bullying? Get your kids to open up to you about their problems by creating an environment of honesty and respect. Let them know you’re always available to talk about anything. Even sensitive subjects like sex and drug use shouldn’t be off-limits. Let your teens know you will always love and support them, no matter what.
Get your copy soon of “The 4-1-1 on Surviving Teenhood.” Book to be released on 10/31/12.