Discipline: pre-teens and teenagers
Discipline isn’t about punishment. It’s about guiding children towards appropriate ways to behave. For pre-teens and teenagers, discipline is about agreeing on and setting appropriate limits and helping them behave within those limits.
When your child was younger, you probably used a range of discipline strategies to teach them the basics of good behaviour. Now your child is moving into the teenage years, you can use limits and boundaries to help them learn independence, take responsibility for their behaviour and its outcomes, and solve problems.
Your child needs these skills to become a young adult with their own standards for appropriate behaviour and respect for others. An important part of this is learning to stick to some clear rules, agreed on in advance, and with agreed consequences.
Teenagers don’t yet have all the skills they need to make all their own decisions, so your agreed limits for behaviour help your child make good choices about how to behave.
Teenage discipline is most effective when you:
Agreeing on clear limits with pre-teens and teenagers
Clear limits and expectations can discourage problem behaviour from happening in the first place. Limits also help your child develop positive social behaviour, including showing concern for others.
Here are some tips for setting clear limits:
Using consequences as part of teenage discipline
Sometimes your child might behave in ways that test your limits or break the rules you’ve agreed on. One way to deal with this is by using consequences.
Make the consequence fit
If you can make the consequence fit the misbehaviour, it gets your child to think about the issue. It can also feel fairer to your child. For example, if your child is home later than the agreed time, a fitting consequence might be having to come home early next time.