Teenage is one of the most difficult times in the course of growing up. Both parents and children are at loggerheads and seem to reach an impasse when trying to communicate. Communicating with your teen is seemingly impossible without yelling. But, that is probably the worst thing you could do. Studies show that shouting at your teen can actually lead into a downward spiral. This can escalate into ugly fights and become ineffective as a means to discipline the child.
The parents are the mature ones and they need to roll out a proper way to maintain calm and discipline in the household. The trick is to maintain open communication lines with the adolescent at all times. The process should be in place since early childhood.
- The first step you should take as a parent is to establish clear rules and boundaries. It is a good idea to write out the basic rules and display the list prominently. It is also imperative that you enforce a consequence that matches the lapse if a rule is broken. It is counterproductive to shout or nag.
- Manage your child by awarding positive reinforcement when rules are followed. Positive attention can reduce bad behaviour in a huge way. Praise your child openly. But, do remember to keep it in sync with the job done. For example, if your teenager keeps her room clean, you can give her an extra outing for the week. Motivating the teenager is possible if you give positive and quality time to her. Rewards are generally more effective than punishments.
- It is important that you discuss the punishments you are going to mete out for a breach of discipline at the onset only. It is not wise to dish out negative consequences without warning as the volatile teenage mind can erupt in rebellion. Every consequence like time outs, taking away of privileges should be discussed from before. Choose well, as it is important to choose punishments that match the mind-set of the child. The consequence should matter to the child or it will not be effective.
- It is a good idea to stop nagging at your teenager. No teenager likes to be told what to do. Adolescents feel that they have grown up and do not appreciate being treated like a kid. It is important to make them feel empowered. Teenagers respond best when they are given freedom to make their own decisions. Start this behaviour pattern from late childhood so that the teenager is independent and can take daily decisions on their own.
- Your adolescent does not like being yelled at. You can take a deep and calming breath when you feel that it is going out of hand and you are about to lose your temper. Make the situation lighter by counting to ten in a joking way. This gives both you and your child a chance to cool off.
Communicate effectively with your teenager. Practice positive communication with your child and see the bond grow stronger. It is a win win situation if you can talk calmly to your child and make the message heard. Children are balanced and keep good company when spoken to softly. You can empower your kids to be independent and rational even during the tumultuous years of adolescence.