One of the toughest parts of being a parent of a troubled teenager is setting a clear set of rules and enforcing punishment or consequences when those rules are broken. Discipline is necessary for all kids who will eventually grow into adults in the real world. All kids means your kids, too.
Defiant teenagers will naturally want to push and test the limits of a parents resolve and authority. Parents should know that authority once lost is almost never regained. It’s best to communicate with your teen and discuss the boundaries set out for them. You may also want to discuss the reasons for those boundaries.
Lay out boundaries and establish rules for defiant teenagers
Just get used to it. Teenagers are just naturally defiant, it’s part of the process of growing into adulthood and exerting their own power and influence on their world. But defiant teenagers need boundaries. They need to know just how far they can push before suffering the consequences of their actions.
It’s important to establish rules early on, while your kids are still young and relatively compliant. As they grow older, and begin to become increasingly independent, they will respect the need for structure and rules. If you have waited until your kids are older to set the rules, you’re going to have a much more difficult time getting them to go along with the rules.
Even defiant teenagers crave structure and it’s your place to provide it
Setting boundaries, making rules, and enforcing the consequences of breaking those rules is perhaps one of the hardest parts of being the parent of a troubled teenager. These teenage years are perhaps some of the toughest and most critical years of any child’s life. No matter how hard it seems to be, parents must never give up their responsibility.
Remember, this troubled teenager is going to be an adult out in the world someday. What sort of adult would you like them to be? It’s really all up to the parents. The world is full of boundaries and expected behaviors. Teenagers need to learn this lesson early on in order to develop a strong respect for boundaries, and a keen sense of discipline. These qualities must be taught by the parents.
A positive approach to rules, discipline, and defiant teenagers
Even the most contentious times in raising your kids can be used in a positive way to teach children discipline. Parents do not have the luxury of getting angry or being unreasonably upset at their kids. Unless, of course, they want their kids to turn out just like themselves. That could be a good thing or a bad thing.
I had a good friend tell me once that my own kids will develop and exhibit my own worst traits, only they will be magnified several times over. I hate to admit it, but he was right. Now that my own kids are defiant teenagers, I can see my own teenage qualities coming into view. That’s actually a good thing because I can understand them, and what they’re going through a little better. I contend that keeping a positive attitude and never, never, never giving up is a good description of a successful parent.
TroubledTeensInfo.com; What can happen if you don’t take control
ParentFurther.com; Discipline: Summary and Next Steps