Ministry of Education, Guyana

How to Discipline Teens with Restriction and Love

Creating an environment within the home that is full of love and respect has its fair share of difficulties. Naturally, teenagers will attempt to push the boundaries and see how far they can push their parents. Using an authoritative parenting style, however, means that parents set boundaries that the teen is not to cross, but they also act in a warm and loving manner while enforcing these rules. This parenting style creates positive developmental results because it sets boundaries and opens up dialogue between family members.

  1. Set boundaries. Provide the teen with freedom while giving expectations that she must meet. When she fails to meet these expectations, she should know that consequences will follow. Tell her why these consequences are in place and why she must follow the rules. Setting these boundaries in a nurturing manner helps the child to understand their meaning.
  2. Discuss the limits with your teen. Parents who listen to their teens' concerns create a cooperative environment to which the teen is likely to respond. When parents involve their teens in discussions, the teens learn to value their own opinions and become more responsible. Although the parent always makes the end decision, turning the decision-making process into a discussion helps the teen become more responsible.
  3. Create logical consequences. These consequences should correspond to the act the teen commits in a similar fashion to how natural consequences would work. For example, if your teen returns home with the car after curfew, he is not allowed to drive the car for a week afterward. As long as the consequences are fair, the teen should respect them.
  4. Enforce the rules of the house. Once you have set a certain standard the teen must meet, provide consequences when the teen fails. By allowing your teen to get away with ignoring the rules, you reinforce her negative behavior. Only create rules you have the ability to enforce. When creating limits, make sure that the consequences are not too extreme, as this makes them much more difficult to follow.
  5. Make adjustments when necessary. If you find yourself arguing with your teen constantly, try to pick your battles and find a middle ground. Likewise, allowing your teen to get away with too much can hinder his development. Overly strict or permissive parents should work toward making a change to their parenting style, suggests


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