How to Tame Your Wild Teenager: 4 Rules to Survive Raising Teenagers


Tame Your Wild Teenager

The teenage years are a difficult period of time for both teens and their parents. The four rules found below will help you manage and guide your teen through these rough years.

 Get Involved

It is common knowledge that some teens act out in order to gain attention from their parents. Sometimes, if a teen is “good, ” the parents trust the adolescent and give them more freedom and, possibly, less attention.  Teens who want more attention, then, learn that bad behavior will grant them more parental attention. While this attention is negative attention, they believe that negative attention is better than no attention. Along with giving your teen more attention, getting more involved in your teen’s life will also allow you to better monitor your teen and his/her behavior.

Structure is Key

In order to create structure and stability in your teen’s life, you should promote routines and make rules/expectations clear and explicit. Creating a routine, such as waking up at 7 A.M. Monday-Friday to ensure that your teen can get on the bus or drive and make it to school on time, or a 6 P.M. dinner time every night: whatever meets your family’s schedule, create a routine. It is okay to break away from this routine for special occasions or exceptional situation. However, having a regular schedule creates stability in your teen’s life. Another way to promote structure and stability is by making all expectations and consequences cl explicit to your teen. Maybe you need to sit down and have a conversation with your teen and state your rules clearly. Reminding your teen about your expectations is also important. For example, remind your teen about his/her curfew before they leave the house. By creating a structured and stable environment, you are creating an environment where he/she knows what is expected of him/her.

Enforce Your Rules

While you are creating a stable environment, by telling your teen about your expectations and rules for them, you also need to make sure you state a consequence for not following the rules. If you state that their curfew is 11 P.M., you also need to state a reasonable consequence as punishment for not abiding by this rule. What is most important is that you enforce these consequences when your teen doesn’t follow your rules. If you state that he/she will be grounded for 1 week for missing curfew—Follow Through! If you don’t enforce these rules, your teen will soon realize that you do not mean what you say and not take your rules seriously. This will enable them to continue their poor behavior and leave you powerless.

 Reward Good Behavior

Just as you discipline your teen for bad behavior, you need to reward him/her for good behavior.  If your teenager is consistently respecting the curfew you have set for them, consider rewarding your teen by extending it 15 or 30 minutes or getting him/her tickets to their favorite musician—you know how to reward your teen more than anyone else. It is important for your teen to understand that you notice both their good and bad behavior.



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