Tag Archives: consequences

The Right Way to Parent Teenagers Today

Parent your difficult teenIn our modern world parenting difficult teenagers has come to be increasingly hard , specially because they all have smartphones, Ipads, or computers, and this changes their communicating to friends and parents.

Parenting teens has been tough because they’re experiencing so many changes themselves, and test the limits time and again.  Letting them go crazy by removing those limits could spell tragedy specially in the technology field, which is their prime means of communication.

So here are some ideas on parenting your teenagers in the middle of modern technology…

Use Technology to Communicate

Teenagers communicate via technology today, so you should talk to them in the language they understand, be it texting, Facebook or chat.  Sitting chatting with them often causes them to clam up!

Put Well Defined Limits and Consequences in Place

It is important that you put well defined limits or boundaries in place for your teenager. This can include a curfew of 10 PM or a limit of two hours a day on the web. If they step beyond the boundaries, be sure you have well-defined consequences for this, spelled-out clearly from the start. That way, if they do step out of line you employ the consequences and there can be no arguments, screams or tears since they knew about it well in advance.

Take Emotion Out of Discipline

One of the leading mistakes parents make with difficult teenagers is that they react with emotion to everything that the teen says and does. When you have clearly defined limits and consequences, you can apply these without emotion and quickly take all the screening, cursing and threatening out of the equation. If you’re angry, step back, defuse the emotion within yourself, and apply the consequences.

For more great ideas and techniques check out our website and make a difference even for a troublesome teen.  You will see that parenting difficult teenagers is feasible and even simple if you apply the right advice.

Top Ten Tips of Parenting for Teenagers

Parenting for TeenagersWhen thinking about parenting for teenagers the thoughts can become terrifying.  Teenagers often seem so difficult to parent, and many of the things you might have learned with younger kids seem to lose their power when it comes to parenting.

 

So for all you worried moms and dads, here’s our Top Ten Tips about Parenting for Teenagers

 

Accept that Technology is Communication

 

Parenting for teenagers involves coming to grips with the way they communicate, and these days this means learning some technology.  Many teens won’t talk to you directly, or will do so very reluctantly, but what they will do is text or Facebook, so start texting them to have them share openly with you.

Develop Trust both Ways

Trust is a 2 way street, and if you expect your teen to be true to your trust, you need to make sure you are trustworthy also.   Don’t promise them things you do not deliver, like a weekend away or a new game.

Let them follow their Interests

Teenagers have interests, and while you cannot let these overtake learning for example, encourage them to explore what interests them and to express it.  Many will choose things like dancing, music, art or computer games, and set strict limits as to the time they can do things, but encourage them in it.

Teach them about Money

Managing money is something teenagers need to learn (as do we all!). Teach them early about the value of money, and delayed gratification, and teach them to save.  Also, teach them to budget, even on a small allowance.  These principles will never leave them if you do it correctly.  As well, let them experience the cost of the latest fashions and technologies, don’t just buy things for them.  They will soon learn that chasing fashion is expensive!

Set Limits and Grow Confidence

Setting limits is responsible parenting. Curfews are an important part of parenting them, and believe it or not they actually breed confidence and contentment.  Within the boundaries you set the teen can have complete confidence and freedom, so set boundaries and set consequences before they are crossed.

Monitor Technology

Kids love technology, and hand held devices are so common now, as is social media.  However, you need to make sure that you keep an eye on their social media involvement.  Who are they meeting online, and for what purpose?  Might take a little snooping, but often teenagers are unaware of the dangers that lurk in cyberspace, so monitor it and encourage them to be open about it with you.

Take the Emotion out of Conflict

Your teen is going to let you down at some point.  Be ready for it.  Most importantly, take the emotion out of the situation and show them unconditional love, and you can save the lecture.  Giving them the big lecture achieves exactly zero with most teens, other than the rolling of eyes, so when you dish out the consequences for their actions, do so without emotion.  Avoid the screaming match at all times, because when you scream at each other, you lose.

Fashion Speaks

Teenagers speak via fashion, so while you don’t want to be the fashion police, you still need to take control in this area.  For teenagers, fashion is a way to express the group they belong to, so while you want them to belong to a group that accepts them, you don’t want them in the wrong group (like Goths or death metal)!  So, if you can, exert some control especially when they are younger over what they wear.

The Dating Game

Sex and dating are part of growing up, and your view on the subject is likely to be reflected in your teen.  It is not enough to say, “Don’t do what I do,” you need to model the right behavior in dating. Be very careful of times they spend alone with their peers and while you might encourage dating, don’t place temptation in front of them too often.  Talk openly about sex, and especially about honoring members of the opposite sex.  Tell them you love them regardless of any stupid decisions they might make.

Driving you Mad!

Teenagers gaining a license and starting to drive is a scary time for most parents.  It takes a degree of trust to throw them the keys, but make sure that they also are driving responsibly especially the boys.  You could attach a GPS to their car, or perhaps get them to call in to you at scheduled times.  They need to take responsibility for their actions and any damage done, so help them to accept all sides of driving, the joy and the responsibility,

 

So it is possible to bring your teenagers up with values and respect in the 21st century.  Apply this Top Ten and improve your parenting for teenagers.

Top 6 Trials of Shared Parenting

Shared parentingShared parenting is a difficult thing, and especially so if you and your ex have a rocky or volatile relationship. However, if you are determined to provide the right environment for your children, and if you are prepared to work together rather than against one another, shared parenting can be a great arrangement, both for yourself and the kids.

However, it also introduces a number of issues that you need to work on collectively with your ex-partner, and failing to do this can lead to a complete breakdown in your relationship with your kids over time as you attempt to parent together.

Here are the Top 6 Shared Parenting Hurdles you need to overcome in order to Become Successful Parents your children…

1. Never Speak Negatively About the Other Parent

I know it’s tempting, but as much as you can you need to not speak ill of your ex to your child, no matter what they say or do, what arrangements they make or how much you or the children don’t think they care. Many separated couples use the children as a means to attack the other adult, and this not only alienates them, but it causes deep mistrust between you and your ex-partner.

2. Communicate about Rules

No matter how much you dislike your ex, you need to be in communication with them and present a united parenting front to the children with regards family rules or laws. Frequently in cases of shared parenting, each household develops a different set of rules after the separation, but you will be well served to change communication with each other and make sure that your arrangements like what time they go to bed or what time they have to be home by are uniform, no matter which household they are staying at.

3. Talk about Consequences

Likewise, the consequences for breaking the rules need to be uniform for the children between the two parents. The kids need to understand they cannot do something in one household and “get off lightly” while on the other household they face severe consequences. If you are involved in sharing custody, make sure that the consequences for the children’s actions are the same no matter which one of you they are involved with.

4. Don’t Grill the Kids!

If you are involved in the business of shared parenting, it’s important that you don’t grill a child about the behaviour or relationships of the other party. You may be curious but it’s none of your business, and it’s time to realize that trying to manipulate the information out of your children will destroy trust that they have in you, and can completely undermine your credibility with them after some time. Frankly, you are better off not knowing the details of the other parents activity!

5. Share the Load

We all want to have fun with each child, but in cases of shared parenting is not healthy for one parent to be the fun one while the other is to deal with the mundane issues of life. Make sure that fun things like going out to the movies or dinner with the kids are distributed between the two parents, and especially make sure that difficult tasks like discipline, homework and chores are also equally split.

6. Beware of Manipulation in Shared Parenting

Your little angels, as lovely as they, can be master manipulators! Even if a couple is together, kids are experts at playing one parent off against the other to get what they want, especially as they hit the teenage years. This effect is amplified in the case of shared parenting, so be aware of manipulation, and make sure that before you grant permission for something you check with each other party, via a phone call or a quick text.

Regardless of how you view your ex-partner, your responsibility is communicating and treating each other with respect. Set time on a calendar aside to meet, plan and make arrangements for the kids and you will find that the business of shared parenting becomes easier.

The Single Parent Families Lifestyle

single parent families lifestyleThe single parent families lifestyle is a unique and interesting one. This is especially true in the case of shared custody, because it is almost like the children are living a double life.  This lifestyle is not easy for adults, let alone for a child, so the pressures on single parent families and their lifestyle is often greater than on other families, even if both parties love the kids.

 

The Duality of the Single Parent Families Lifestyle

 

Living completely different lives with mom or dad during the week is taxing on everyone, especially on the child.  Yet it is a lifestyle that has to be faced if you truly love them, and you need to do the best for your child and the family.

 

Here are three areas you can work on to try and minimize the potentially destructive nature of the single parent families lifestyle

 

Divide and Conquer Parents

Kids are great at doing this, especially in a messy or nasty separation situations, and this can be a difficult lifestyle to deal with.  Kids are experts at dividing and conquering the parents even in regular families, playing mom off against dad to get what they want.  This is even more extreme for separated parents because the parents are already divided!

 

The solution: Start communicating with your ex and present a united front on the key issues.  If you can’t stand each other, it’s time to make a decision that you love the kids enough to put them first and at least start texting!  If you communicate you can make sure that the child is not playing one of you off against the other and avoid a tragedy people and unaware couples in your situation face daily!

 

Disciplining verses Fun

Another unique single parent families lifestyle trait is when one just has fun while the other gets the reputation of being the discipline enforcer.  This can happen even in marriage or if couples stay together, so how much more for you.  But type of arrangement is doomed, so again, start talking to your ex and share both the load and the good times.  You may not love them and the relationship may be over but if you love your offspring it is time to do it for them!  And if you are the fun one you may think you are doing well, but in the important issues your son or daughter will turn to the other adult, so beware of this and share the load!

 

 Inconsistent Consistency

Once again communication is the key.  You need to make sure that your rules are consistent between the two households.  They also have to be consistent, so that the child knows if they do something at either house, the consequences will be the same.  If this doesn’t happen, you will find that the kids take advantage of this and run riot at one of the homes.

 

So, communicating with your ex-partner is the key, and forming a united front on the big issues is essential if your kids are to do well in life.  Failure to address these will result in you seeing all the bad aspects of the single parent families lifestyle in your sons and daughters as they grow up, and who wants that!

10 Solutions to Teenage Pregnancy You can Share with Your Daughter?

solutions to teenage pregnancyWe all realize that teenage pregnancy is a common thing, but are there solutions to teenage pregnancy and motherhood that you can talk to your teenager daughter about?

Falling pregnant as a teen is common, especially given the frequency of sexual encounters among teens today.  Statistics suggest that more than 3 out of 10 American girls will fall pregnant by the age of twenty, and given that over half of all teenagers have had sex, this is not a fact that will go away!

It is something we need to deal with as parents, so here are a few ideas on solutions to teenage pregnancy that you can share with your daughter…

10 Solutions to Teenage Pregnancy

1. You are Precious.

Tell your daughter that she is valuable, a precious gift from God to you, and that she does not have to throw her life away for anybody, or any experience.  She’s smart, pretty and deserves the best in life, so she must not lower herself or cheapen herself.  She is your princess, and she should act like royalty!

2. Take it Slow.

In any relationship with a guy, take it slow.  Sex should be nowhere near the agenda in the early stages of a relationship, and certainly not on the first date or two.  You lose nothing going slowly, so take a breath and slow down!

3. Keep Talking.

Make sure your daughter can always talk to you about sex and relationships without you going off the deep end!  Be there for her, even if you don’t agree with her decisions.  If you keep lines of communication open, she will turn to you when her heart is broken, but if you condemn her you drive her away!

4. Never be Pressured to do what you Know is Not Right.

Tell your daughter that no one should pressure her into sex.  Not her friends, not a good looking guy and certainly not the TV!  It is her decision, and she needs to decide when and who with, on her own terms.

5. Consider the Consequences.

One of the easiest solutions to teenage pregnancy is to look around!  Have a look at what other girls are doing, their reputations and if they are moms, what their life looks like.  Is a few nights of pleasure worth a lifetime of hard work?  Stop and think about the consequences, because none of your peers are!

6. One Shot at Virginity!

Losing your virginity is a once only opportunity, and needs to be reserved for someone special.  Someone who will stick by you your whole life, love your kids and care for you, not someone popular and horny!

7. Abstinence is the Best Contraception.

It’s true… if you don’t have sex, the chances of you falling pregnant are zero!  This is one of the best solutions to teenage pregnancy, and should be carefully explained to your daughter.

8. Never Lose Control of Yourself.

Teenagers often have parties and get drunk.  Losing control to drink or drugs makes you more prone to do something you will later regret, so counsel your teenage daughter to never get drunk and make out.  How many teenage pregnancy situations have resulted from this very thing?

9. Your Love is Unconditional.

If she disobeys, if she falls pregnant and if she has a child, your daughter needs to know that she is loved unconditionally, no matter what happens.  Having a baby does not negate your love for her, but it does make the rest of her life very much harder.

10. If He Loves You, He’ll Wait.

Here’s one solutions to teenage pregnancy… let a guy know that if he truly loves you as much as he says, then he will wait for sex.  Real love does not demand instant satisfaction.  Real love pays any price to triumph, including waiting for sex.

 

So consider sitting and sharing these points with your little girl, because talking to her and discussing these ideas is one of the best solutions to teenage pregnancy for your daughter.

Parenting for Teenagers in the 21st Century: Top Ten Tips

parenting for teenagersWhen thinking about parenting for teenagers the thoughts can become terrifying.  Teenagers often seem so difficult to parent, and many of the things you might have learned with younger kids seem to lose their power when it comes to parenting for teenagers.

 

So for all you worried moms and dads, here’s our Top Ten Tips about Parenting for Teenagers in the 21st Century.

 

1. Develop Trust both Ways

Trust is a 2 way street, and if you expect your teen to be true to your trust, you need to make sure you are trustworthy also.   Don’t promise them things you do not deliver, like a weekend away or a new game.

2. Teach them about Money

Managing money is something teenagers need to learn (as do we all!). Teach them early about the value of money, and delayed gratification, and teach them to save.  Also, teach them to budget, even on a small allowance.  These principles will never leave them if you do it correctly.  As well, let them experience the cost of the latest fashions and technologies, don’t just buy things for them.  They will soon learn that chasing fashion is expensive!

3. Accept that Communication is Technology

Parenting for teenagers involves coming to grips with the way they communicate, and these days this means learning some technology.  Many teens won’t talk to you directly, or will do so very reluctantly, but what they will do is text or Facebook, so start texting them to have them share openly with you.

4. Monitor Technology

Kids love technology, and hand held devices are so common now, as is social media.  However, you need to make sure that you keep an eye on their social media involvement.  Who are they meeting online, and for what purpose?  Might take a little snooping, but often teenagers are unaware of the dangers that lurk in cyberspace, so monitor it and encourage them to be open about it with you.

5. Let them follow their Interests

Teenagers have interests, and while you cannot let these overtake learning for example, encourage them to explore what interests them and to express it.  Many will choose things like dancing, music, art or computer games, and set strict limits as to the time they can do things, but encourage them in it.

6. Fashion Speaks

Teenagers speak via fashion, so while you don’t want to be the fashion police, you still need to take control in this area.  For teenagers, fashion is a way to express the group they belong to, so while you want them to belong to a group that accepts them, you don’t want them in the wrong group (like Goths or death metal)!  So, if you can, exert some control especially when they are younger over what they wear.

7. The Dating Game

Sex and dating are part of growing up, and your view on the subject is likely to be reflected in your teen.  It is not enough to say, “Don’t do what I do,” you need to model the right behavior in dating. Be very careful of times they spend alone with their peers and while you might encourage dating, don’t place temptation in front of them too often.  Talk openly about sex, and especially about honoring members of the opposite sex.  Tell them you love them regardless of any stupid decisions they might make.

8. Set Limits and Grow Confidence

Setting limits is responsible parenting for teenagers. Curfews are an important part of parenting them, and believe it or not they actually breed confidence and contentment.  Within the boundaries you set the teen can have complete confidence and freedom, so set boundaries and set consequences before they are crossed.

9. Driving you Mad!

Teenagers gaining a license and starting to drive is a scary time for most parents.  It takes a degree of trust to throw them the keys, but make sure that they also are driving responsibly especially the boys.  You could attach a GPS to their car, or perhaps get them to call in to you at scheduled times.  They need to take responsibility for their actions and any damage done, so help them to accept all sides of driving, the joy and the responsibility,

10. Take the Emotion out of Conflict

Your teen is going to let you down at some point.  Be ready for it.  Most importantly, take the emotion out of the situation and show them unconditional love, and you can save the lecture.  Giving them the big lecture achieves exactly zero with most teens, other than the rolling of eyes, so when you dish out the consequences for their actions, do so without emotion.  Avoid the screaming match at all times, because when you scream at each other, you lose.

 

So it is possible to bring your teenagers up with values and respect in the 21st century.  Apply this Top Ten and improve your parenting for teenagers today.

Parenting Teenagers for Positive Results as a Single Parent

Get posiive results when you Parent teenagers Parenting teenagers for positive results is not as difficult as it sounds.  Staying positive when talking to or even disciplining your teenager can maintain an atmosphere of positiveness in the relationship, and this is a sense the child will take with them as they grow and develop.

 

As a single parent, your job will probably be more difficult, especially if you are experiencing problems from your ex-partner.  If they set out to undermine your authority with your teen at every opportunity, then you have a far more difficult situation, but still not an impossible one.

 

Parenting Teenagers Takes Real Commitment

 

If you are parenting your teen, it is going to take some real commitment on your part.  It is not enough to start setting boundaries and consequences for breaking them, only to give up and quit after a few weeks, or days.  You need to set fair and sensible boundaries, and lay out the consequences of disobedience, making sure that your teenager understands the reasoning behind them.

 

Then you have to stick to them like glue!

 

This once again is hard if they visit the ex and have no boundaries in place.  You get to feel that you are the bad cop, and they are the good one.  That you get all the tantrums and anger, but the ex gets to have all the fun.  So how can you overcome this situation and still stay sane and maintain your integrity?

 

The answer is to stay positive, even when you are disciplining your teen.  The easiest way to do this is to sit down with the child and lay out what the boundaries are, what the consequences they will experience if they transgress.  Do it in consultation with them, so that they know your reasoning and why you have set these limits.

 

Then when the sharp end of discipline comes along, you can step back and take all the emotion out of it.  You can tell them you love them, and want the nest for them, but you have agreed on the rules and the penalties, so they have to face up to the consequences.

 

This keeps the atmosphere very positive, and takes all the emotion and heat out of disciplining your teen.  The results will be positive.

 

And if at the time they begin to argue and fight, don’t enter into it at all.  Again, the emotions are cast aside, and the consequences have previously been agreed upon and understood.  If they argue that your ex lets them do it, again there is no argument at all.  Whatever your ex does, it was agreed upon, it was understood, the consequences stand.

 

In this way, even as a single, you can  parent your teenagers, even if they are rebelling, and get a positive result.  It is a real possibility and something you should aim for!

Funny Parenting Advice- The Top Ten Laws of Parenting

funny parenting adviceI have lots of funny parenting advice, mainly because I am a funny parent!  I mean, life is funny, and parenting, for all its difficulties, stresses and dramas, is also funny, especially if you step back and have a good hard look at it.

So that has given rise to the Top Ten Laws of Funny Parenting Advice!

They might be funny, but you will also find that they are true for most families!

If you are a stressed out single parent, or overworked working mom, grab a cup of coffee, grab a few minutes alone and enjoy some sensible yet funny parenting advice.  Quick, while you can before the kids wake up!

  1. In any group of children, if one child is going to behave badly, it will always be yours.  If several are going to act out, yours will always be among them.
  2. If there is a choice between a cheap item and an expensive one, your kid will always want the more expensive one.  In fact, they will often want two of them.
  3. The longer you spend cooking for your child, the less they will like the result.  This is a scientific fact, and ranges from hours spent preparing healthy food (which they hate) to party pies, which are ready in minutes (which they love).  The ultimate expression of this is fast food, and we all know how much kids love that!
  4. The later you stay up, the earlier your child will get up the next morning.  This especially applies to single parents who have been out on a date the night before.
  5. The messier the food, the greater then chance it will finish up on the carpet.  Similarly, the more expensive the carpet, the greater then chance it will finish there, and the less likely you will be to remove it with Carpet Cleaner.
  6. Backing out of the driveway immediately causes one of your children to need to go to the bathroom.
  7. Toys multiply to fill the entire floor area of any room or cupboard. Strangely a child can decrease this if they need to clean their room and they are trying to fit the toys under their bed.
  8. Children cry and throw tantrums louder in areas designated by society as quiet, such as a library or doctor’s office. Conversely, they never cry when there is lots of noise around, like a football match or McDonald’s.
  9. The best and most guaranteed way to make a child do something is to forbid them to do it.  They just can’t help themselves, can they?
  10. The more stubborn, selfish and difficult a child is to raise, the greater the satisfaction… well, you keep telling yourself this!

So there is out Top Ten Laws of Parenting.  Don’t worry, we also have sensible lists all over this site, but we know sometimes you just need a laugh or two.  So for sensible advice as opposed to funny parenting advice, check around the rest of our website.

Single Moms: Top Ten Keys to Success in the 21st Century

Single momsSingle moms can make it as parents and they can produce healthy, happy, successful children.  It is not easy being both parents for your kids, but it is possible especially when you apply these 10 Keys to success for single moms in the 21st Century.

 

1. Seek Support
Most single moms find that they have to seek support, and there is no shame in doing this.  It might be close family, it might be close friends, or it might be a church group or single moms support group.  Whatever it takes, find and use some form of support.
2. Seek Help
It is not enough to seek support, or a shoulder to cry on when things get tough, you need to also seek help.  Someone to mind the kids so you can have a break, or someone to drive them to football practice.  Don’t try and do everything by yourself.

3. Love your Kids
I know you feel that you love them, but true love is not just a feeling it is a life-long commitment.  Tell them you love them, and also show them you love them by putting their needs before yours, and giving up what you want to serve them.  Yes, this includes dating and your choice of partner.  Let your kids be the hub of your existence, especially when they are young. Love is not just a feeling, it is what you say and how you treat them, so give your children unconditional love!

4. Avoid the Separation Tug-of-War
Divorce is horrible, even if it is amicable.  Your children will feel that somehow they caused this.  There is an inevitable tug-of-war between the estranged couples, and only you can change this.  Don’t try and out buy your ex-partner’s attempts to win their love.  Believe me, the kids are more than happy to play mom off against dad to get what they want!  Don’t try and outbid the other party, just love them unconditionally.

5. Don’t Bad-Mouth Your Ex!
I know, this one’s hard, but criticizing your ex to your kids will only show how insecure you really are.  Make it a habit to always look on what the ex does or says in the best light, at least around the children, because they are feeling torn already!

6. Set Firm Limits
Kids need boundaries, and they have to understand where these boundaries are.  limits.  They also need to comprehend what happens if they step out of line, so make sure they understand the consequences of their actions before they do anything.

7. Be Consistent
A classic single mom problem is giving in to the kids, especially in public, to avoid a tantrum.  It is tempting, and works in the short term, but in the long run your child will learn to turn it on to get what they want, so you make a rod for your own back!
 8. Listen to Your Kids
Take time out of your day to sit alone with each child and listen to them.  Your ex probably doesn’t do this, so it will mean a lot to your child.  I like to take each child to a local McDonalds and have an ice-cream and half an hours chat.  They love it!
9. Learn to Communicate in the 21st Century
This is the modern world, and while you might want to sit and talk to your teen or preteen, the fact is that is not the main way they communicate these days.  Believe it or not, texting or Facebook is the new way to speak words of encouragement into your child’s life so that they hear you!  So make sure every text is a winner, and is encouraging, and never rebuke them in text, because they reread it later and read things into it you didn’t mean.
10. Don’t Give Up!
Whatever you do, however you feel, one of the best parenting techniques is to not give up!  Keep going, even if things are hard, and even if your children say cruel things to you.  Keep loving them, keep disciplining them, keep being strong for them and most importantly, keep learning and consistently applying new parenting techniques.

OK, you’re single now, but if you apply these ideas you can become one of the great single moms who can and will make it for their kids!

Top Ten Techniques for Parenting Difficult Teenagers

How to parent teenagers, even if they are being difficult!Parenting difficult teenagers is always a challenge.  Part of the challenge is that you are starting late in the piece, and it can be a bit like trying to score a winning touchdown or goal in the last 30 seconds of a game!

 

Although parenting any teenager will try your patience and sometimes break your heart, the rewards are worth it.  The joy of watching a child grow out of the teenage years into a successful and much loved adult is worth any price, so here are some tips for how you can parent your teenagers, even if they are being difficult!

 1. Give them Clear Rules

Paradoxically rules allow us freedom.  As a general rule, teens with no boundaries set will be more destructive and actually more miserable!  Set fair and reasonable rules, and make sure the teen knows the consequences of breaking those rules before they do anything.  You cannot come in after the fact and inflict a punishment, because teens have a strong sense of what’s fair and that simple isn’t!

 2. Make Sensible Rules

When parenting any teenager, you need to pick your battles, so make sure your rules are sensible and fair.  Don’t make a Federal case over whether they eat their sprouts!  Choose more important things like when they get home and how they speak to people.

3. Set Reasonable Consequences

For teenagers you need to match the consequences with the action, and deprivation of things they want is better than corporal punishment.  You can’t ground them for coming home after midnight and for not making their bed one day.  Save the big penalties for the big disobedience, and I would always recommend punishing open defiance and rebellion more than forgetfulness or miscalculation.

4. Be Consistent

In any type of discipline, consistency is the key.  You cannot overlook a rule one day and expect to enforce it the next, so make rules, make them clear and stick to the consequences.

5. Set Communication Rules

Parenting teens is about communication, so set rules with them.  Communicate what you expect, why you expect it, and what the consequences will be if they disobey.  Text it to them if necessary, but make sure they understand.  I would also encourage you to set time aside for communication with them.  Take them out for a milkshake and let them know their life interests you.

6. Control the Big Things, Not Everything

Teenagers need to feel they are in control to a degree, so set the big parameters and let them control things within them.  In other words, don’t micromanage their lives. For example, you may allow them 2 hours of media time, and they can divide it between the TV, the computer and the Ipad. If they chose to take longer on an Ipad game, that’s leaves less time for TV, but they still were able to make a choice, and that’s important for their development.

7. Set a Curfew

Parenting difficult teenagers means taking control of the big things, and time is one of those.  Losing sleep might be fine while you are doing it, but you pay for it the next day, so set times for bed, times for computer games and times when they can go out with their friends.  Also set consequences and make sure they know them beforehand.

8. Be Available

Troubled teens will experience extreme highs and lows, especially in the area of relationships.  One of the best parts of being a parent to them is being available when the inevitable crashes come.  Be ready, any time they need you and your stocks will rise if you listen and care for them in their hour of need.

9. Speak words of Praise

So many teens are haunted by the way they have failed, and believe it or not, especially how they have failed you!  You need to talk up the successes, and once the failures have been worked through, not keep bringing them up.  Speaking positive words to your teenager will have a huge effect on them for years to come, as will negative words, so be careful how you speak.

10. Tell Them they are Loved No Matter What they Do!

Your teenager needs and craves your love and approval, and they need to know that this love is unconditional.  When my teenage girl made a decision I strongly disagreed with, I told her so, then told her my love was unconditional, and unaffected by her decision and how she disappoints me.  Turns out she long for my approval, but I wanted her to know that my love was without compromise.  This keeps the door open, even if they completely rebel, and gives them incredible confidence.

 

So love them, stand by them but be strong. No matter how tough they might appear to be, you can be tougher and you can parent difficult teenagers through to successful adulthood.