Teen Discipline: Just as Important Now as it was Then

As the parent of a teen, you no doubt wish you could go back to the days when it was easier to discipline and correct your child. The days when you did it because you knew they knew no better and looked to you for guidance and direction in this scary world. With your child now turned teenager, “No, No” just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Sadly, many parents, now days are under the assumption that since their teen is old enough to know right from wrong, they don’t have to discipline them. After all, they know what they can and can’t do, as well as the consequences that arise from doing wrong, and that should be enough to keep them on the straight and narrow, right?

Oh, how nice that would be; teach your child right from wrong, throw in a few repercussions and every child would choose the right path in life? Enough of dream world, it’s time to face reality.

As a teenager, your child is experiencing so many changes in his or her life right now, why give them something else to adapt to. Your consequences for wrong choices and your quantity of discipline may change, but the quality should not.

Your teen needs to know that you have boundaries, what they are and the consequences for crossing them. More importantly, your teen needs to know that you will stick with those consequences.

Many parents don’t realize that the discipline you give your child as a teenager is what will stick in their mind the longest. The discipline you teach your teen will help them to succeed in adult life, maybe even more so than the “no-no” and “that’s icky” ever will. Sure the basic lessons will stay embedded in their memory for life, but the fresher knowledge will be what they recall first.

Parenting a teen requires a strong backbone, consistency and a lot of patience. It’s not easy, but there are some basics to keep in mind when considering teen discipline.

Remember the saying, “Monkey See, Monkey Do”? This especially applies to parents of teens. You’re child will be more apt to say things like, “Why is it ok for you, but not me?” When they were younger it was ok to say, because I’m an adult. Now your child is older and can see right through that. In addition, you don’t want them to raise your future grandchildren on that belief do you?

“Do as I say and not as I do”, won’t work either. Just like you, your teen is now held accountable for the choices they make. Set a good example and show your teen, through not only your words, but your actions as well, what it takes to become an accountable adult.

The younger years taught your child right from wrong in many ways, such as don’t touch the stove; it’s hot and will burn you. But as a parent of a teen, you are dealing with problems that could have a much more negative effect on your child than ointment and a band-aide can heal. The teen years bring on issues such as drugs and sexuality that can have a lasting impact on what your child does or doesn’t do with their life as an adult.

Need discipline help for your teen? Parenting My Teen Podcast discusses this and other teen issues parents face. You can also pick up the Parenting My Teen Oath while you’re there.

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