That’s not to say your child won’t need you to intervene when there are safety issues or that your teen won’t need consequences. Put It in Writing. American Academy of Pediatrics. ", University of Nevada Cooperative Extension: "Logical Consequences & Responsible Teens. Quit avoiding change. ", The Ohio State University Extension: "Teen Risk Behavior.". When they talk back, you can't just put them in a time-out like you did when they were toddlers. So first, recognize your emotions so that you don’t react by judging yourself or judging your child. Sit down and talk about some of the dangerous and long-term consequences that risky behaviors can have, including drug abuse, pregnancy, smoking, and drunk driving. When you tell them to mow the lawn or help with dishes, they're likely to complain or tell you that they’ll do it later. The combination of autonomy and immaturity can lead to risky teen behaviors, like drinking, smoking, and having unprotected sex. Bullying? Get expert tips to help your kids stay healthy and happy. The important thing is to show them how to learn from those mistakes. Make choices from that mindset and you will be much happier. Or, they may change the way they dress or wear their hair as they look for new ways to express themself. But it's important to find consequences that will teach life lessons. Tweens and teens push boundaries to see how their parents will respond. The teenager already knows that parents are sufficiently concerned and displeased to take serious issue with his behavior, so they shouldn't couple correction with … It's OK to give in about the small stuff once in a while, provided that it isn't something dangerous. Examples of clear rules include: "Curfew is 8 p.m. on weekdays, 10 p.m. on weekends, and no going out until homework is finished." American Academy of Pediatrics. Before you come down hard on your teen for bad behavior, try to understand what's driving it. If you’re too permissive, however, they won’t gain the skills they need to become a responsible adult. If you see any of these changes in your teen, enlist the help of a doctor or therapist right away. Teens like to test the limits of their independence. So don’t be surprised when your teen argues with you when you say no, or when they go behind your back to do as they please. Your teen also will want more privacy. Being an involved parent also means watching for any warning signs that your teen is in trouble. While you're being firm, don't forget to also be fair and understanding. You may find yourself becoming more of a guide, rather than an enforcer. American Academy of Pediatrics. You might look back at your own teen years through rose-tinted glasses, but don't forget that this tumultuous time of life comes with a lot of stress. All rights reserved. They're adept at spotting any sign of parental weakness. You need to be able to talk to one other and make your feelings and desires clear. How to communicate with and listen to your teen. The goal of discipline is to gain more control over your kids -- without being too controlling. By now, you only have a few years left to prepare your teen for the real world. Next stop adulthood: Tips for parents. Here are some of the most effective consequences for teens:, Behave like an overprotective helicopter parent and your teenager won’t learn how to make healthy decisions. When your child becomes a teenager, your parenting role is likely to shift. Just don't forget that you still have the final say. Amy Morin, LCSW, is a psychotherapist, international bestselling author and host of the Mentally Strong People podcast. Stop making choices based on how bad you think things will be. For example, the punishment for breaking curfew might be that your teen has to stay home the next weekend. 1. Pediatr Rev. Depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and substance abuse issues may emerge during the teenage years. As teens become more independent, they still lack the emotional maturity they need to make informed, thoughtful decisions. Good choices almost always require some change. Kids need to learn that whatever choices they make -- good or bad -- have consequences. Thank you, {{}}, for signing up. You want to be consistent, but not harsh. For example, purple hair might not appeal to you, but it probably won't hurt your teen. And it can be tricky to strike a balance that gives your child enough freedom, while still giving them plenty of guidance. Typical Teen Behavior. If your kids do fall out of line, all you have to do is point to the list. Talking back also is common as your teen will go through phases where they insist they know everything and you know nothing about what it’s like to be a teenager. It’s important, however, to keep an eye out for mental health issues and drug use. Be Firm -- and Consistent. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Here are the top strategies for preventing behavior problems in teenagers:, You might find your teen can’t stop talking to their friends. Nourish your positive self. Know who they hang out with and where they go. Adolescence can be a tumultuous time for teens as they change physically, emotionally, and socially. Encourage your teenager to stop and think. It’s normal for teens to act responsible and almost adult-like in some areas of their lives, while still holding onto their child-like ways in other areas. The best way to encourage positive teen behaviors is to walk the talk yourself. Updated November 21, 2015. Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital. What Do You Do When Parents Disagree on Discipline Strategies? Teens are master negotiators and manipulators. ", Nemours Foundation: "A Parent's Guide to Surviving the Teen Years. Meanwhile, as friends and romantic relationships grow increasingly important, your teen will want to spend more time with their peers. If you are able to communicate effectively, you might find that you need to discipline your teen less frequently.