When it comes to disciplining your teenagers, there is often a fine line between what works and what doesn’t.
Leading your teenager through teachable moments is a balancing act, and as they grow up, they perhaps become less inclined to sit through longer lectures or ‘unfair’ orders. As they start taking steps toward adulthood, the needs for engaging with them change somewhat from when they were small children.
To help you with things here, we compiled a few tips for you to consider below.
Encourage A Positive Perspective
Teenagers experience turbulent emotions, and they likely have enough worries at school and in their social lives without their parents being tricky too.
If you’re stuck for ideas on lighter discipline methods, then read this article from Daniel Wong about increasing discipline when you study, because then you can use these tactics yourself in encouraging your teenager. Staying positive, starting small, and sticking to a manageable schedule are just some of the helpful tips included in his take on things. This will all help you and your teenager to keep things in a healthy perspective constantly.
If your teenager is worried about anything, then positivity is a vital antidote. Countering negative thoughts will improve not only their productivity, but their overall wellbeing also. If you can offer useful information to your teenager like that from Daniel Wong, you stand a real chance of your discipline resonating.
Be a Guide First, Enforcer Second
Many teenagers just want a real say in matters, and while it can be a tough pill to swallow, hearing them out might be such a bad thing… to a point.
Very often, teenagers are down because they feel unheard or misrepresented in some way, convinced they are underestimated. Consequently, they may accept your discipline more if they feel respected. Sitting down, practicing patience, and keeping a straight face through any ludicrous suggestions of theirs might earn you more points than being dismissive from the start.
Try to be a guide first, and an enforcer second. Advice may be more welcome than commands, and recommendations preferable to ultimatums. The enforcer card is the last one you play when times are tough, but otherwise, start off your discipline from a place of calm.
Get In Their Headspace
If you’re trying to discipline your teenager but are frequently being met with brick walls, then gaining some insight into their headspace may help you make progress in your parenting.
The Guardian ran a feature entitled ‘a teenager’s guide to arguing with your parents’, so giving that a look might be the equivalent of sneaking behind ‘enemy’ lines. Seeing matters from their perspective might help you tip toe around discussions more sensitivity, or plan for any responses that might flummox you. In any family argument, it only takes one flaw in your logic for teenagers to think they have won, so your position needs to be bulletproof.
Draw on your own experiences as a teenager, also. What frustrated you at that time in your life? How do you wish your parents engaged with you? It might be worth asking if your parenting is personalized to your teenager’s needs, or if you’re just sticking to a script your parents or wider society pre-prepared for you.