5 Reasonable Ways to Discipline A Troubled Teenager
It’s not easy raising teenagers today, and disciplining them has never been more difficult as it has become now. They will push parents to their limits and drive them to their wit’s end. As parents, you have to guide them and help them be the best versions of themselves without losing your patience.
With the rise of technology and smartphone addiction, the first line of defense parents try to use as discipline is removing their teen’s devices — without realizing that not only isn’t this a resolution, it rarely works. Teenagers are resourceful — they usually can find a way to get back online, find a burner phone (through a friend) – or simply use the WiFi in another way.
Let’s consider 5 reasonable ways to disciple teenagers:
- Old-fashioned, you’re grounded. Grounding children is an age-old disciplining technique. You could use it as a last resort. Do not ground them for petty reasons, but if they continue to break curfew despite repeated reminders or if they skip school and continue to overuse their online privileges, they deserve to be grounded.
- Remove privileges. If your teenager takes your love and care for granted, it is time to teach them the value of the luxuries they enjoy. However, before you take away their privileges, make sure you communicate to them why you are doing it. Else it might lead to false assumptions and strong protests from your teenager. Also, do not push it too far; limit it to a fixed period. Keep in mind, the phone is also your connection to them, but you can limit their online time – but re-visiting their smartphone contract.
- Give them more responsibility. Want your teenager to understand the value of something? Give them more responsibilities. For example, if your teenager snorts and makes faces when you prepare a decent meal after working two shifts, make them cook dinner for the whole family, or ask them to do grocery shopping for an entire week. This will help them understand your struggle and sacrifices.
- Facing the consequences. Experience can be the best teacher. Sometimes, it is best to let your teenager face the consequences of their actions. However, make sure your child learns a valuable life lesson out of the experience. Also, talk to your teenager and understand their side of the story to ensure they do not land in trouble.
- We are still the parents “first”. It is ok for your teenager to make decisions and handle their life occasionally. But, too much of anything can be harmful. If your teenager disobeys your rules and mocks you (disrespects) for telling them what is right and wrong, it is time to be assertive with them. Let them know that it is your house, and things would go according to your rules.
In conclusion, you are the parent, it is your home and it’s your rules. Most studies share that (believe it or not) teenagers want boundaries and do much better when rules are put in place and enforced. So even if they go against you and give you heartache, never remove your wall of love that are put in place to keep them safe.
If you’re struggling with a teen that is constantly breaking rules, out-of-control and you feel you are at your wit’s end — after you have exhausted your local resources, contact us for how residential treatment may be able to assist you with teen help.