When you discipline teenage members of the family for the first time, you should remember a couple of things. One, they may still be kids because they are under the age of 18, but their way of thinking is not like that of elementary students. Two, although scolding used to work on your young children, that may no longer be the case for adolescents.
The reason why we find it necessary to remind of you these things is that teenagers are at the stage in life wherein becoming rebellious seems easy. “Who cares if my parents ground me? I can sneak out when they fall asleep.” “Why should I worry about obeying their rules? I am old enough to make them myself.”
Knowing that kind of mindset of most adolescents, therefore, a parent should avoid disciplining one like a young kid. Yes, regardless of how disobedient the teenager may be. Here are some practical tips on what you should do.
Anticipate Various Scenarios Beforehand
Are you familiar with the process of expecting the worst? What it means is that you have to imagine the most overwhelming situations that can take place in your household to prepare for them. For instance, your child starts stealing stuff from the stores or becomes a habitual liar.
While it may not happen in reality, anticipating such scenarios will keep you from feeling shocked if they do occur. Thus, you will know how to react without losing your composure and avoid worsening the situation.
Let The Children Understand That Only Good Behaviors Get Rewarded
Keep in mind that teenagers need guidance to identify what characteristics are acceptable or not. That is regardless of the fact that their physical appearance may resemble that of an adult more. Furthermore, they require constant reminding of the things they should be doing so that they can avoid toeing the line.
An excellent way to encourage adolescents to fix their attitude is by rewarding every good deed. Simple praises like “Great job!” or “You did well!” can mean so much for these kids, you know. If you can give them a new smartphone or laptop or even a car after achieving a huge milestone, that will be amazing too.
Avoid Talking About Consequences Without Enforcing Them
It is typical for parents to set consequences for every house rule broken by the teenager. Say, if they go to a party without telling you, you may take away their internet privileges for a specific period. In case they focus on being with friends instead of studying, you may stop them from going out for a while.
The thing is, once you mention a consequence, you should ensure that you will genuinely enforce it. Otherwise, the children will think that you are bluffing. That will give them the idea that you are too soft-hearted, that they can break the rules and not get punished for doing so.
Inform Them How To Solve Problems
Some adolescents tend to become unruly as well when they come across an issue that they don’t know how to resolve. For instance, a classmate that they like since seventh grade turns out to have a crush on their friend. That’s when these kids start to get moody or depressed, to the point that they stop caring about anything.
Considering your teenager acts up all of a sudden, you cannot leave it up to raging hormones. You ought to find out what’s bothering them, and then teach them the possible ways to solve the matter. It is more advisable than fighting your kid’s battles because they should learn how to stand up for themselves early.
Don’t Repeat Yourself
If there’s one thing that adolescents despise the most, it seems to be the nagging that some parents regularly do. Whenever the child forgets to fix their bed or drop their dirty clothes in the laundry bag, for instance, the mom or dad cannot help but utter the same lines over and over. “If you don’t do what I’ve been telling you to do, you can’t see your friends today.” “If you don’t clean your room, you can’t use your smartphone.”
The truth is that the more you give a teenager an earful about the same issue, the more they may not listen to you. Worse, the youngster might even intentionally anger you by doing the opposite of what you ask. The only way out of it is by merely laying out your rules once, giving a warning once, and enforcing the consequence when they repeat the offense so that the adolescent knows not to mess with you again.
To Wrap Up
When you deal with a disobedient teenager, it does not have to end up with both of you shouting. You want them to listen for their good. At the same time, they should not lose their respect to you. You can only achieve two things at once when you follow the tips above.