Does disciplining your teenager give you sleepless nights? Are you dreading the endless arguments with your child as he attains puberty? Dealing with a teenager is a real test of patience for all parents. It is also a time when you have to switch gears as a parent to tackle your teen’s growing demands and disobedience.
From a strict parent you have to transform yourself into a friendly mentor who can connect, communicate and correct your teen. Find out in this article how you can gently discipline your teenager with a set of home rules.
Understanding Your Teenager:
Patience is the thumb rule while dealing with adolescents. A good thing to do before you make the rules of the house for teenagers, will be to sit together, discuss and mutually decide the dos and don’ts. A friendly chat will help you break the ice with your teen to understand his feelings, reasoning, and wishes better. You may feel it is your duty to discipline your child, but antagonizing him would only add
[ Read: How To Talk To Teenagers ]
House Rules For Teenagers:
The right approach towards setting these rules will be striking a balance between guidance and freedom. You should help your teenager distinguish the right from wrong. You should also give him the freedom to learn from his mistakes.
Rules are meant to be broken, especially if you are setting it for your teen. Remember to keep a provision handy. Think of ‘if you break the deadline you will’ kind of situations and prepare a list of solutions.
Here are a few good house rules for teenagers that you should definitely discuss:
1. Drinking And Driving Is Unacceptable:
Driving under the influence of alcohol is one of the biggest reasons for teenage road accidents. As a parent, you should know that your teen would surely try to experiment with alcohol under peer pressure. The smart thing for you to do is to tell your teen that you will permit occasional drinking but drunken driving is a strict no. Make it very clear that even a single incident of drunken driving is enough to cancel all driving privileges. In fact, tell your teenager that he should not travel with someone who is drunk while driving. Ask your teen to call home or hire a cab, in such situations.
[ Read: Important Life Skills For Teenagers ]
2. ‘No Phone’ While Driving:
Texting or speaking on the phone while driving is another major reason for teen road accidents. You need to make it clear to your teen that cell phone usage while driving is a complete no. If it is important to speak on the phone or check a message, your teen should first park the car safely on the side and keep the blinkers on.
3. Limit Alcohol Consumption:
Until your teen becomes an adult, you need to monitor his alcohol consumption. On a more practical note, you should be aware that your teen would experiment with alcohol. Tell him what will happen if your teenager is caught drinking. Set a limit for occasions when he can enjoy his drink. Also, make it clear that you will not allow drinking and driving.
[ Read: Negative Influence Of Media On Teenagers ]
4. Deadline To Reach Home:
Stop being a paranoid parent every time your teen is home late. Your teen probably has a busy social life. So instead of losing sleep worrying and waiting for him, find a practical solution. Set a time by when he has to be back no matter what. Do not set a time limit that you know is too early. If your teen follows the deadline, you may allow some extra hours on special occasions.
5. Lying Is Not Acceptable:
Encourage your teen to be more honest and open with you. Tell your teen that it is not right to resort to lying to cover up any mistakes. Keep the communication channel open. Tell him that you will give him a patient ear without being judgmental only if he is completely honest. Often teens may get scared and lie. Tell your teenager that only if you know what happened, you may be able to help.
6. Earn Those Extra Privileges:
Set your teen a set of daily or weekly chores. Give tasks depending on your teen’s age. Simple things like shopping for grocery, cleaning the kitchen, cleaning up the cupboards, making breakfast on one weekend or tidying up a room can be a good start. You can attach rewards like extra pocket money or some other advantages to these tasks. Make sure you appreciate your teen’s efforts. Also, remember to give him enough time to socialize with friends and have some free time too.
[ Read: How To Make Your Teenager Responsible ]
7. Dating Rules:
As your teen attains puberty his curiosity about relationships and opposite sex will be at an all time high. Set rules that give your teen some freedom, else he will hide his relationship from you, which is not healthy. Tell him you may understand infatuation and flirting. If your teen is nearing adulthood, talk about safe sex practices. Also, voice your concern about his safety and talk about issues like date rape and date drugs.
Always have a healthy discussion whenever you have a difference of opinion with your teen. Remember that with love and proper communication your teen will listen to you. Anger outbursts and shouting will only worsen an already difficult situation. Explain your reasons to your teen and show them that your concern and love is at the core of these rules. You should ask your partner to help you and your adolescent, understand and bond better.
If you made any special house rules for teens, let us know about it.
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