Discuss the underlying reasons for your rules and consequences.

Discipline Methods for Teenagers

by Amy Morin

By the time children become teenagers, parents only have a few short years left to ensure that they'll be ready for adulthood. To prepare them for the real world, teenage discipline requires a delicate balance between offering independence and providing guidance. Allow your teenager to make some mistakes on his own so he can gain some independence. Teenagers still need rules, however, and when your teenager breaks a rule, provide discipline that will discourage the behavior from being repeated.

1. Natural Consequences

Natural consequences allow teenagers to learn firsthand why something is a bad idea. It can be an effective discipline technique that teaches teenagers responsibility, according to the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach website. For example, if your teenager stays up late playing video games on school nights, don't nag him to go to bed. Instead, allow him to stay up as late as he wants and the natural consequence is that he'll feel tired when he has to wake up for school the following morning.

2. Logical Consequences

A logical consequence is a negative consequence that directly relates to the misbehavior. Logical consequences make teenagers accountable for their behavior without damaging their self-esteem, according to the website of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. If your teenager arrives home an hour late for his curfew, give him a logical consequence by making his curfew an hour earlier for the next week. The next time he's tempted to stay out past curfew, he's likely to remember the type of consequence he'll face.

3. Remove Privileges

Remove privileges when your teenager breaks rules or isn't able to show that he can handle certain responsibilities. For example, if your teenager has fallen behind on his school work, remove his electronics privileges. Taking away television, cell phone and computer privileges can give him more free time in the evenings to focus on his school work. Make it clear how he can earn those privileges back by saying something such as, "When you have made up all of your missing work, you can have your privileges back."

4. Ignore Minor Behavior Problems

Ignoring certain behaviors, such as sulking, pouting or complaining, can be an effective discipline strategy, according to the Mayo Clinic's website. Tell your teenager you will be happy to talk to him when he's able to behave in an appropriate manner, and give him your attention again as soon as the behavior improves. Ignoring minor behavior problems can prevent power struggles and arguments. It's best to save discipline methods for more serious behaviors that require more serious consequences.

About the Author

Amy Morin has been writing about parenting, relationships, health and lifestyle issues since 2009. Her work appears in many print and online publications, including Mom.me and Global Post. Morin works as a clinical therapist and a college psychology instructor. Morin received her Master of Social Work from the University of New England.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images