Discipline is one of the hardest parts of parenting. We want to have a good relationship with our teens and discipline can be seen as a threat to this relationship. But your job is to train up your teenagers so they can leave your home as healthy young adults some day – and that will take discipline. Here are three simple tips for disciplining teens:
Tip #1: Be corrective with your discipline
Discipline is a tool that teaches right from wrong. The point of disciplining your teen isn’t about being mean or harsh because they frustrate or disrespect you. The point of discipline is to train your teen to understand that every action has a reaction. If they choose to disobey, then a negative consequence is introduced. Discipline is really about protecting your teen from their own bad choices and teaching them how to make better ones.
Proverbs 19:18 Discipline your children while there is hope. Otherwise you will ruin their lives
Tip #2: Be clear with your boundaries
You need to remember that your teen is still a kid. Even though they want to spread their wings and fly, they don’t know how quite yet. They need to be guided and directed on the right path. You need to establish clear rules for every area of their lives (friends, social media, school, activities, work). These boundaries are for their protection. They can exercise some freedom within the bounds you set for them.
Tip #3: Be consistent with your consequences
When boundaries are violated, there has to be a consequence every time. Remember, discipline is meant to be corrective. You’re training your teen to know right from wrong. Every wrong choice needs to be disciplined in order to train them not to want to repeat that behavior again. If you’re inconsistent with discipline, you are just creating confusion. Your teenage isn’t learning valuable lessons if wrong behavior is okay to do sometimes but not other times.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- What makes discipline effective?
- What should you be communicating through your discipline?
- Why is it important for discipline to be corrective? What happens if discipline is just punitive?
- Read Proverbs 19:18. What is this passage saying about discipline? What are some potential problems if you don’t choose to discipline?
- What are your expectations for your teen(school, friends, social media)?
- What are some potential hazards if you don’t have clear expectations or rules in place?
- Why is consistency necessary for effective discipline?
- What does consistency require of you as the parent? What does it communicate to your teen?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.