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Video:5 Ways to Discipline a Teenager

with Patricia O'Laughlin

Learn about five of the best ways to discipline a teenager (since it becomes harder to put them in "time out"). Here, see information on how to discipline a teenager.See Transcript

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Transcript:5 Ways to Discipline a Teenager

Hi, my name is Patricia O'Laughlin and I'm a Marriage and Family Therapist with TherapyForParents.com. Today I'm talking to you on behalf of About.com on 5 ways to discipline a teenager.

Best Ways to Discipline a Teenager

There are five ways to discipline a teenager.

The first and maybe the most important is don't get into lecturing. Teenagers have an off button for lecturing. Try to engage in a discussion. Allow them to participate; ask questions; see what their answers are. This will allow you to understand their perspective, how much you can trust them, and it will also allow them to hear you better.

The second point is work with them to set consequences. Have a discussion with them about what they think the consequence should be to their behavior. Don't let them get way with a weak consequence, but allow them to get in a discussion with you about it.

The third thing is make sure the consequence is linked to the behavior. This will make more sense for the teenager. For example, don't take way the internet because they stayed out late at night. Maybe you take away their bus pass or their car, or you push their curfew up earlier. That consequence is linked directly to the behavior.

The fourth thing is don't just focus on consequences - focus on rewards and strengths too. In fact, you might even want to focus on these more often. It's really easy to get caught up in the negative, but to help build up a child's self-esteem, it's important to focus on strengths and to build a system of rewards.

The fifth thing is you can show anger, but don't take way your love. It's really important that your teen knows that even though you are angry, you still love them and accept them. Watch out for your non-verbals: walking away, looking down, things that might feel rejecting to the teen. In fact even a hug when we're angry can be good.

Notes About the Best Ways to Discipline a Teenager

Disciplining teenagers is one of the hardest things a parent will do. It is essential though. Being a teenager means making adult decisions. And they are relying on you to keep them safe. I hope these tips help you. Thank you so much for watching. For more information, visit us on the web at About.com.
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