Disciplining Teenagers: What Can Actually Work

Source: Source: articles.mercola.com

Teenagers have a bad reputation for being hardheaded, difficult to deal with concerning responsibility and discipline. Since being a teenager is, in fact, a stage where one is stuck in between two phases: adulthood and childhood, teenagers struggle to affirm their free will without being seen as disrespectful and rebelling by their parents and adults. Also, teenagers are known to be impulsive, and they don’t often see the cause and effect and direct consequences of their actions. 

Due to these unfortunate judgment errors and unjustified acts of rebellion against authority, parents have no choice but to set some ground rules and give out punishments. When giving out disciplines, it is best to point out consequences beforehand and always think ahead for possible loopholes and semantics that your teenager might take advantage of.  


Experts advise parents to create a written contract signed by the parents and teens. Make sure the arrangement is foolproof and covers a wide range of terms of different scenarios and the proper punishment for each instance. 

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Removing their privileges for a certain amount of time is an ideal way to give out punishment. Teenagers value their freedom primarily related to their loose curfews, driving car, and the internet. Make them understand that they are still under your care and supervision which merely means they have to abide by your household rules and regulations. Emphasize to them as well that their cell phones, car, computers and internet are just privileges that are given and not their right. This will instill in them that privileges are earned through hard work and trustworthiness. 


Almost all teenagers are hooked on technology 24/7 because they communicate with friends and classmates through these platforms. Momentarily removal of technology can provide undistracted time for your teenager to reflect and evaluate his/her mistakes. 

Source: verywell.com


This method is backward thinking. Can you imagine giving an added burden to an awkward teenager? When he/she can’t even clean his/her room? Can’t correctly babysit his/her siblings? However, according to experts, giving teenagers a responsibility, for instance, taking care of the home, mowing the lawn or washing the attention, can provide them with a source of purpose around the house; therefore; making them feel that they are adults and you trust them with important things. Initially, they naturally mope at the given task, but once, she realized that more mistakes mean more responsibilities and less time with friends, then they would think twice about disobeying the rules.  

Here are some of the things that you need to know from therapists:

  • “When kids are young, parents are used to swooping in and rescuing them whenever they need help. As your kids get older and their problems become more complex, you have to transition into more of a supporting role, and that can be difficult.” – Stephanie Dowd, PsyD
  • “It’s never easy to see a child experiencing pain, sadness, even loss.” – Bonnie Zucker, PsyD
  • “Children don’t come with instructions and discipline is often experienced by parents and children alike as an arena where our will and wits are tested.” – Beata Souders, MSc., PsyD

Let nature take its course   

It is natural for parents to save your child whenever they are in trouble. It is an innate trait of parents. Despite your good intention in bailing him/her out from problems, it is detrimental to teenagers when their parents help them out in times of issues especially in cases where it was caused by their careless actions and impulsive decisions. Allow the natural consequences to happen for them to see the effect of their accounts. This form of discipline teaches them to be accountable for their choices, and that is what being an adult means.