11 Mistakes Parents Make With Teen Discipline

By Elizabeth Harrell, LifeScript.com

What not to do when disciplining teenagers

Raging hormones, misunderstandings, raised voices, restrictions and curfews come to mind for many when they hear the phrase “teen discipline.” But wouldn’t you rather think of respect, transitioning into adulthood, rational discussions and reasonable behavior?

The recipe for raising children requires a delicate balance of authority and love. And, with teens, that balance becomes even more precarious. How can you discipline your teen without destroying your relationship?

I surveyed teens in Charleston, S.C., to find out what they thought were the biggest mistakes parents make when disciplining their teenagers. Here were the top two:

1. Lack of consistency – While all children need consistent discipline, it’s even more important for teens. They get frustrated when a behavior is acceptable one day and not acceptable the next. The established rules need specific consequences. Realistic and consistent consequences demonstrate a “real world” view for teens. Creating house rules with consequences, then responding appropriately, provides all children with security and direction.

2. Not listening – Parents want to be respected but don’t always return that respect by listening to their teenager. Not listening to your teen expresses that you don’t feel he has anything valuable to say. Even when disagreeing, teens should be given time to express their feelings and thoughts. This shouldn’t give a teen the right to be ugly or behave inappropriately, of course. Modeling and developing guidelines for how argumentative ideas should be expressed is essential. If you want to be heard, learn to listen.

What other mistakes do parents make, according to teens, when disciplining their children?

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