February 16, 2012No Comments
Clearly, there is a thin line that divides discipline and punishment.
You may sometimes ask yourself how far you have to go in order to discipline your teenager(s) and make them understand. That’s because, when go too far, they fail their very purpose and become self-defeating.
Discipline is ongoing, and a refers to motivating and teaching a child how to act. Punishment is a one-time event, and refers to penalizing a child. So, your can help your teen learn from their mistakes or suffer for them.
Because of this, a parent often debate with themselves over good punishments for teenagers. Experience will tell you that the harsher your punishments, the more likely your teen will rebel! More than likely, you would prefer to teach your child through the more positive aspects of correct discipline.
Nowadays, there’s a mixed thoughts on what’s considered to be the most effective punishment for teenagers. At this age, discipline through spanking/whooping would already be inappropriate. By law, most form of physical abuse at any age wouldn’t be tolerated.
So, it may appear that you’re left with just a few options on good punishments for teenagers. Actually, there are quite a few options.
Remember: When it comes to punishments for teenagers, you need multiple options in order to make discipline work. That’s because every teenager is different. Even teenagers raised in the same house by the same set of rules act differently. Like some random distribution, one reacts to the idea of a curfew with reasonable acceptance while another views it with immediate rejection.
So how do you make the idea of punishments for teenagers more reasonable and acceptable to them? How can you enforce the rule consistently without their finding a way around it or rejecting it completely?
Here’s where the idea of creative punishments for teenagers comes in! The key to the success of this technique is TEAMWORK and COLLABORATION. As a more active participant in the household, your teen gets to help in creating a set of house rules. With everyone in agreement (or at least, respectful of) on these house rules, all that’s left to do is for you to implement them.
1. Implementing a curfew
Being in the house a specified time is standard rule for teenagers. Primarily, it is for your teen’s own safety and protection. As we live in a crazy and dangerous time, there are limits set and they apply to every underage member of the household. The specific time should not be less strict than the curfew set by your particular town or city.
2. Grounding your teenager
Right around the neighborhood of a curfew would be grounding as punishments for teenagers. A teen could be grounded from using the phone, driving the car, going out, or hanging out with their friends.
Put simply, getting grounded is a consequence of breaking one’s curfew or another house rule. As such, a teenager learns that breaking rules has its consequences. That is, they could lose certain privileges for days or weeks.
The important thing about grounding is that it has to be implemented at the right time, for the right length of time, for the right reason, and for a pre-specified amount of time. Otherwise, it may backfire on you as the enforcer.
3. Accepting reasons and making exceptions
Under ideal circumstances, rules won’t be broken and grounding a teenager wouldn’t have to happen… but teens rarely provide ideal circumstances. So, we have to punish. The challenge with punishments for teenagers, however, is this: When do you accept reasons and make exceptions?
Here’s a couple of scenarios: Your teenager comes home late and says s/he went beyond the curfew time because s/he had to help their best friend out of a very serious situation that she doesn’t feel comfortable telling you about. Your teen comes home late from a party, and says s/he’s late because they did not want to ride with the person that brought her/him to the party because that person was drinking.
Will you still punish your teen, will you ask them a 100 questions to see if you can catch them in a lie, or will you let them off the hook with a talk/warning.
Understandably, these types of scenarios place you in somewhat of a predicament. In these types of situations, you should try to be fair, reasonable and consistent. But it’s a two-way street, it’s also to them to be honest.
Ultimately, it boils down to these considerations: How well do you know your son or daughter? What have you taught them about doing the right thing? What would you tell them to do the next time a similar situation presents itself? The answer to these questions will help you to make the right decisions.
4. Removing privileges
Since teens have their own creative, even ingenuous, ways of getting around rules, you have to be just as creative! It’s in removing privileges that you can implement the more creative punishments for teenagers.
If your teen is fairly predictably, you’ll know a few of the things they value most. Withholding one or more of these favorite items or privileges for a time may make them think twice about breaking rules in the future!
The key is to take away privileges that have nothing to do with everyday needs, and we mean basic human survival (like food, clothes, and shelter). Deprived of a few of the luxuries they take for granted, they’ll be more than grateful to have these privileges restored – and soon!
It could be taking away a home-base privilege like using the computer or playing video games for a number of days. Or it could be taking away a privilege that affects them when they leave the house like taking away their privilege to blow dry or straighten their hair for a length of time.
Surely, it does drive them crazy for a while but it shouldn’t necessarily drive a wedge in your relationship. Instead, it should help establish your reasonable control and authority as head of the house.
And far from being a mess, the results could be awesome! It can be a challenge to find where your kids’ weaknesses lie and where it comically ‘hurts’ the most when coming up with punishments for teenagers.