Naughty behavior doesn’t end when your child stops using diapers or when he graduates from middle school. We have teens with all forms of feelings, and many parents wonder how to respond to them.
Through experience, I’ve learned that the teenage years come with the most complex discipline challenges for parents. As they become more independent, teens still don’t have the emotional maturity required to make thoughtful and informed decisions. This is because the brain parts that control decision-making and impulse control aren’t entirely developed.
Of course, you’d like your child to do the right things as a parent. However, disciplining a teen isn’t that easy. Arguing, grumbling, rebelling, and lying are some ways teens misbehave.
When he murmurs or talks back, you can’t respond like you used to do when he was a toddler.
The Teenage Years Are The Most Misunderstood Times
Children are primarily misunderstood in their teenage years since adults quickly forget how common teenage problems are. In addition, we adults grew up in diverse times. What your teen is going through emotionally, socially, mentally, and technologically in the age of social media and video games can be very life-changing and can negatively affect their behavior.
As your child tries to do what is right and respect you, it’s important to put yourself in their shoes first and identify with him. Try to recall what it was like, and understand their changing hormones. It’s a challenging phase of life.
Also, you can ask yourself whether your home is a healthy environment for your teen to thrive. For example, are you respectful or intentional to them? Is the mischief an indication of their needs not being met?
What Causes Disrespect In Teenagers?
Disrespect is a widespread phase in teenage development, even though not all teenagers are impolite or disrespectful. It occurs partially since your child is growing, communicating, and testing individual ideas and values. There will be times when you differ, but keep in mind that independence is a crucial part of growing up. Both autonomy and immaturity can result in dangerous teen behaviors, such as smoking, drinking, and unprotected sex. So, it’s essential for you as the parent to understand your role in it because it’s a two-way street.
What Does Disrespectful Behavior Include?
When teens attempt to establish their position in the world, they get questioned and criticized often, which makes them moody and irritated.
When this continues for some time, the teen concludes that nobody understands them. So they start showing disrespectful behavior.
Disrespectful behavior might include:
- Arguing and talking back.
- Using offensive language
- Ignoring and refusing requests.
- Completely ignoring you while talking to them
- Disrespecting home curfews and rules
- Demanding things
- Banging doors during conversations
- Using mobile phones or texting while talking
When You Should Be Concerned About Your Teen Son
Potentially concerning behavior might be a sign of a bigger problem. When a teen starts showing more dangerous, uncontrollable behavior like facing recurrent arrests and suspensions from school or breaking laws, their rebelliousness threatens their life. It’s time to seek immediate help.
How To Deal With A Naughty Child
Dealing with a naughty can be challenging, but a sure bet with these tips.
Establish Clear Rules
It is common for teens to push boundaries and see how their parents react. So, setting clear rules and the consequences of breaking them is essential. For instance, breaking curfew should come with punishment for staying home the following weekend. Please don’t make the mistake of threatening your teen with consequences and then failing to act on them.
You can involve your teen in coming up with the consequences. However, remember that you have the final say at the end of the day.
Remain Firm And Consistent
Teens are negotiators and manipulators. They’re experts at noticing any indication of parental weakness. So if you waffle and concede to their appeals for mercy, they will anticipate a similar response each time they misbehave or break a rule.
Consistency in teen discipline demands both parents to be on a similar page. If one parent says “no,” and the other “yes,” the teen will know who to ask.
While being firm, also remember to be fair and understanding. Some empathy, however little goes a long way while disciplining teens.
Be A Good Role Model
A good role model is an essential thing you can do as a parent. First, you must model the kind of behavior you would like to see in your teen since children learn by watching their parents. Most parents say their children are disrespectful while still modeling the exact behavior they are criticizing. Note that your children are always watching you as their role models.
If you would like your children to respect you, you should embrace a respectful attitude toward them, your partner, and even the people outside your family. If possible, this role modeling should begin in your child’s early life. However, it’s never too late. It’s undoubtedly one of the keys to bringing up a successful and happy kid.
Teaching your child how to make decisions is vital in teen parenting. Teens should know that their choices, whether bad or good, have consequences.
Discuss the harmful and long-term consequences of destructive behaviors, including early pregnancy, smoking, drug abuse, and drunk driving.
Remember that regardless of how well you prepare your children, they will still make mistakes. So, you must show them how to learn from their mistakes.
Knowing what your teen is up to is one of the best ways of preventing teens’ harmful behavior. There is no need to spy on them or listen to their phone conversations. You need to be an interested and involved parent.
Ask what they do when with friends, where they go, and who they hang out with.
In addition, being an involved parent means observing for any warning signs showing your teen is in trouble.
Warning signs include:
- Spending more time alone.
- Missing school.
- Gaining or losing weight rapidly.
- Sleeping issues
- Talking about committing suicide.
- Being in trouble with the law.
If you notice these behavior changes in your teen, seek help from a therapist or doctor immediately.
Know The Rules That Are Important To You
It would help if you were consistent but not harsh. You can give in to the small stuff sometimes, as long as it is not something harmful.
For instance, your teen’s dyed hair may not be appealing to you, but it undoubtedly won’t hurt your teen. On the other hand, alcohol and drug use are not negotiable.
Understand The Root Cause
Before coming down hard on your child for bad behavior, try to understand its root cause. For example, could there be bullying or trouble in school? Is it girlfriend or boyfriend problems?
Create an environment of respect and honesty for your teenagers to open up to you about what they are going through. Let them know they are free to talk to you about anything, including sensitive subjects like smoking, sex, and drug use.
Though it’s not easy to discuss sensitive topics, you have to make an effort. For instance, discuss whether your teen’s friends use alcohol, tobacco, or drugs.
Encourage your teen to withdraw from friends who don’t agree or respect their reasons for not drinking or smoking. Peer pressure has a significant role in the decisions your teen will make.
Discuss with them good and bad friendships. Role-play ways your teen can decline to go along with their friends and applaud them if they come about with good responses. Provide several suggestions if they don’t.
Don’t overreact if you see any signs your teen might be smoking. Ask about it first. Most teens try smoking out of curiosity and don’t necessarily continue being regular smokers.
Sometimes they even smell like smoke, since those around them are smoking. Observe and be sure before you make an accusation.
Put It In Writing
To avoid misunderstandings, you can create a prescribed list of house rules or type a behavior contract. Put it in writing for you and your teen to sign. Place the agreement or list in a centralized position where your teen won’t miss it.
Examples of house rules can include curfew hours, such as 10 p.m. on weekends and 8 p.m. on weekdays, or going out only when homework is finished.
Make clear the consequences, too, like no television for a day for anyone who breaks any of these rules. If your teenager falls out of line, all you need to do is to point out the list.
Praise Your Teen
Appreciate your teen every time he does something good. It will build their confidence and also bring them closer to you. Attend their exciting events such as artwork, sports, movies, or other activities. They will know you understand their interests and value what they value.
Understand that your child isn’t young anymore; don’t treat your teen like a toddler. Instead, have solid and smarter discipline strategies for effective teen parenting. The main goal of discipline is to have more control over your child without being extremely controlling.
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