What are the best discipline strategies for teens?
Discussing discipline strategies for teens can be a sensitive topic for parents and guardians.
Different parenting styles will employ different strategies for taking disciplinary actions for their children. And while there are no concrete right or wrong ways of doing so, there are methods that have been proven more effective than others in developing discipline in teens.
It’s important to remember that our children’s behavior is a reflection of their environment, parent-child relationship, as well as their maturity level and age. As parents, we need to understand that behaviors are exhibited in natural phases as they grow up and learn to explore their social environments.
With that said, below some discipline strategies that you can consider for your children.
Establish clear boundaries
One of the best ways to discourage delinquent behaviour is by preventing them in the first place. You can do so by establishing clear limits with your children from the beginning. Not only will this help you manage their expectations better, but will also help you establish clear boundaries for discipline.
Keep in mind to make clear limits that are age-appropriate for your children. Some methods that you can employ include the following:
- Be very clear and precise with your limits. It’s also important that they understand these limits, as well as the consequences of breaking them.
- Take into account their opinions. It can be easy to establish boundaries that are one-sided from your perspective. Consider involving your child in making those boundaries, that way they are more likely to comply and understand the agreed rules.
- Make an agreement for the consequences of their actions. Discuss with them in advance what actions should be taken when they break the rules.
It’s also important to adjust those rules as your child grows older and takes responsibility for their actions. For example, boundaries and consequences set for a toddler will need to be adjusted for school-age children so they can grow and learn to take more personal responsibility.
Studies in behavioral psychology shows consistent evidence that positive reinforcement has a much more lasting impact when attempting to establish a new behavior, or reinforcing positive behavior patterns.
With regard to discipline, positive reinforcement is the act of rewarding the child when they exhibit positive behavior. The reward, in this case, will serve as a positive reinforcer in order to elicit that behavior again in the future, leading to the formation of good habits in the long term.
There are different types of positive reinforcement techniques you can use to support your children’s positive behavior. Social reinforcers, for example, are given through verbal praise or constructive feedback to validate their actions. Tangible reinforcers involve rewarding the action with actual physical presents such as toys, snacks, money, or other tokens that they like.
When implemented properly, positive reinforcement will not only help you reinforce positive behavior in your child, but also improve their confidence and self-esteem in the long run.
To conclude, keep in mind that your role as a parent needs to grow along with your child. Establish and communicate clear boundaries as well as consequences for breaking them.
These will be adjusted as your kids grow and learn to take more responsibility for their actions. You may need to intervene once in a while, and they are bound to make mistakes; but that’s just part of growing up.
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