Monday 28 February 2011

Discipline for teenagers

I'm a mum of teens, 2 past, 2 current and 1 to go. I've supported families with difficult teens, attending parenting courses, spent 10 years as a Youth Worker and developed and delivered parenting courses. The advice below is all the best bits put together that have worked for me. I read a blog by @skc0602 and decided to put something have a read...adapt it to your needs and let me know how it goes.

Describe the behaviour you want to see, don’t compare treatment with others i.e.’ your sister/brother does it without a fuss’, just develops resentfulness.

How far are you prepared to go?...What is the desired outcome?...If you want homework done and they are refusing to do it...don’t make idle threats...If you say they are not going out till the homework is done are you prepared to stand by the door all day/evening till they do it?...what is likely to happen?...bad atmosphere in the house?...screaming/shouting/threats?
A child cannot wait for a reward, they need an instant response...try ‘yes, you can go out, on your return you will be doing your homework before TV/xbox etc.

Don’t say Don’t state the positive outcome
Don’t say I can’t understand you while you’re shouting at me
Say talk to me in a way I can understand

With things that are non negotiable i.e. homework, allow the child to make the decision.
Offer choices within limits
Don’t say are you going to do your homework? – if they say no, how are you
going to deal with it?
Say when you’ve done your homework do you want to? (offer choices
you know you can deliver)

Express No in a positive way
Don’t say No you’re not going out till your homework is done
Say Yes, you can go out once you’ve done your homework

Offer encouragement to build self esteem
Don’t say your hair looks nice
Say wow that must have taken you some time
Don’t say you look good
Say I bet you feel really good in that outfit

Teach Skills
Plan ahead, explain the value of the skill, break the task down, do it with the child teaching independence.

Do not threaten, blame, lecture or repeat – a child will just shut down.

Don’t offer advice – ‘what would you know?’ ‘you don’t understand’ everyone else.....’ – guide through the problem solving process, if you don’t the child won’t develop coping skills.

Remember when you are angry the other person (child) is in control.