The Psychology of Teenage Discipline

The following is a guest post I wrote for radicalparenting.com.  Their focus is on teenagers and the hardships with parents.  They contacted me and asked if I would write an article.  I was more than happy to help!

The teenage years are a time when the biggest power struggle can occur in most households.  On the one hand, there is a child who feels they should be given the keys to the Cadillac.  On the other side, there is a parent who is not ready to let their baby go.  Though most parents and teenagers are somewhere in the middle of this spectrum- I think you get the point.  Teenagers want to be free of their parents and parents have a hard time letting go.

With this in mind, the question then is how should discipline be handled?  This is a complex question but the point of this post is to give parents some insights and hopefully add to their “parenting tool belt.”

The first thing parents of teens should know is that they are not alone.  Many parents struggle with the same issues.  Just because there are problems in your household doesn’t mean you are a bad parent or you have a bad child.  As a matter of fact, I would worry a bit more if there wasn’t a clash.  Typically, a lack of clashes means one of two things.  Either a teenager doesn’t want to see beyond the walls of your home or the parent doesn’t set any boundaries and the teenager is running wild.  Both circumstances are dreadful.

With this in mind, here are a couple of thoughts to assist with the inevitable clash.

One comment

  1. won says:

    You used one of my other favorite words in this article.

    You said:
    "I want children to vocalize their opinions respectfully and in return, I will be an attentive listener. Nevertheless, my house is not a democracy."

    The word that stands out to me is nevertheless. I use it frequently when I have heard my teen son and considered it, but it won't go any further.

    When he states his argument, I will reply with "I understand what you're saying, but nevertheless ______." Sometimes (and more in the past) when he'd keep on, my only response to whatever he said next would be "nevertheless ____".