Appropriate Consequences for a Teen’s Bad Behavior

eyerollingWhen a teen breaks the rules or behaves poorly, parents must step in and ensure that there is a consequence. It’s important to understand that punishment is not the goal in a parent’s discipline, but rather providing a lesson. Learning from your mistakes is often life’s best method for growing and improving.

Here are some ideas for appropriate consequences when your teen misbehaves:

Ignore Mild Misbehavior

Ignoring behavior can be a very effective consequence to minor irritations, but it’s very important to carefully choose which behaviors you will ignore. Serious or unsafe behaviors should never be ignored. Mild misbehavior is something that is irritating or annoying, but does not harm humans (including one’s self), animals, or property. These types of unwanted behaviors tend to correct themselves over time, especially if you don’t overreact to them or reinforce them with a great deal of excited attention.

Allow Natural Consequences

A natural consequence is something that automatically results from a person’s action. Natural consequences show teens the reasons for your rules, and provide a correction without the parent having to do anything, which can prevent teens from developing resentment at a parent for “punishing them.” They can experience first-hand why the rules exist and what the results are when the rules are broken. Generally, natural consequences help them learn best. The key is for parents to avoid “rescuing” their teen when a natural consequence occurs. Sometimes the consequence feels too severe to a parent and they want to step in, but that ruins the lesson. Examples of natural consequences are:

  • When the teen refuses to do his homework, he faces the consequence of getting a zero or having to stay after school to get it completed. Parents don’t need to nag him to get it done because the consequence should get his attention better than nagging. Parents shouldn’t rescue their child by letting him stay up late or skip school to finish the assignment.
  • If the house rule is that mom only washes clothes that are placed in the hamper, then the teenager faces the consequence of not wearing the clothing article, washing it herself, or wearing it dirty.
  • If the house rule is that the teen receives an allowance on Friday, but the teen spends his entire allowance Friday night, then the consequence is that he will not have any money for the remainder of the week.
  • If your heavy-footed daughter gets a speeding ticket, the consequence is that she must earn the money to pay for the ticket.


Provide Logical Consequences

Sometimes natural consequences don’t work because they aren’t a strong enough deterrent or because the natural consequence is dangerous. For example, the consequence of not wearing a seat belt could potentially be death, so a natural consequence in an area of safety is not appropriate. In these situations, parents will need to develop a logical consequence to promote the desired behavior. Logical consequences should be directly related to the misbehavior and should not threaten or punish the teen. In our seatbelt example, a logical consequence for getting caught without a seatbelt is losing access to the car for a week. Another example: if your teen is having difficulty getting up in the morning for school, a logical consequence would mean an earlier time for “lights out” at night.

Assign Extra Chores

Sometimes there are not natural or logical consequences for misbehavior, but it still needs to be corrected. For example, if your son speaks disrespectfully to you, you can assign him the chore of cleaning the dinner dishes that evening in addition to his regular housework.

Opportunities for Restitution

When a teen’s actions hurt someone else or damage property, you have the perfect opportunity to allow your teen to make amends as a consequence. This is an excellent lesson in the making and also encourages empathy for others. Restitution gives your child a chance to try and repair some of the damage that may have been done. For example, if your teenage son vandalizes the neighbor’s fence, he should pay to repair the fence and do a few extra chores for the neighbor, or if your teenage daughter borrows her sister’s shirt without asking and then rips a hole in it, she should buy her sister a new shirt and make her bed for a week.

Restricting Privileges

Probably the most common form of consequences parents impose is “grounding” or restricting their privileges. There are a few guidelines for making this work:

Types of Privileges to Restrict. You must take something away from your teen that he really enjoys to make this consequence effective. It should cause your teen some discomfort to lose, but not be out of proportion to the misbehavior. For example, you shouldn’t make your child quit their favorite club or team because they missed curfew one night. Additionally, sometimes you must take away more than one item to really make an impact. For example, if you take away just the TV, your teen may end up watching TV on their computer, so there was no pain. Driving without a seatbelt might mean losing driving privileges for a week.

Explain Restriction Limits. Parents need to specifically tell their teen when or how they can earn back those privileges. Sometimes it makes sense to take something away for a set amount of time, while other times it’s more appropriate to have your teen “earn” back the privileges. Parents should not be vague – like “You can have your privileges back when you start behaving” – which will lead to frustration and resentment. Let’s look at the two types of restrictions:

  • Time Limited Privileges. This is when you take something away for a set amount of time. You tell them they cannot do something specific for 24 hours or a few days for a more serious or repeated offense. Never take something away for weeks or a month because it loses its effectiveness.
  • Earning Back Privileges. This is when a parent establishes a clear guideline of how their teen can regain their privileges. It’s important that your teen understand exactly what they must do to get his privileges back. A good example of this type of restriction is if your teen is late for his curfew, set his new curfew one hour earlier. Tell him he needs to behave responsibly for two weeks by being home on time and getting all of his chores done on time before he can earn back his later curfew. Then, leave it up to your teen to take responsibility for earning privileges back.

Following through with Restrictions. Restrictions only work if parents don’t give in or give up just because their teen whines or promises to behave. You must see the consequence through in order to see behavior change. If you don’t think you can actually follow through on taking his phone away for an entire day, don’t threaten to do so. You lose all your power. Only take away those things you are willing to live without and then follow it through. By choosing good restrictions and following through on those consequences, parents will see the behavior change they want.


  • I am a lost parent to a 14 year old boy. He is an exceptional student and athlete. I have never been disappointed in him until now. He approached me months ago about having a girlfriend. I try to be the parent he can come and talk to. I explained that he is young and not mature at this stage to enter into that type of serious relationship. He knew a girlfriend in middle school was not allowed, but had one anyway. I never acknowledged her as such-never gave in to calling her his “girlfriend”, never was introduced to this “friend”, but I knew she existed and that they were together. I thought that by not acknowledging her it would make a difference. Long story short-he lied about who he was meeting at the park/coffee shop and I found inappropriate text messages/photos on their social media accounts. This made me livid! I immediately took his phone and told him I would be keeping it for at least a month. I was outraged and that is what came to mind first. My question is this-how long do I keep the phone? He does not have a laptop or another form of social media. But he does have access to talking to friends while playing games (something I had not even thought of until I heard him). What is appropriate consequence for this action? Loss of phone? Loss of gaming? Restricted use of both? Use only when in the presence of a parent? I am a first time mom to a teen who is going through major changes, finding interest in the opposite sex and exploring sexuality. FYI-other parent is aware of this situation and also very concerned. As far as I know, there has been no contact between the two kids.

    • The more you push and try to prevent contact between the teens the more creative and secretive your son will become. Instead you should speak with him and allow small things like maybe the friend can join the family for dinner. Certain conversations should definitely be had as the last thing you want is your studious son to begin to skip school or take other extreme measures just to see this friend. Children have been exposed to far too much at a far younger age so if possible keep him close by keeping the things he’s into close. Just a suggestion so that you can keep an open line of communication without accidentally closing the doorway between you and your only child.

  • Over the last yr my 15 yr old has been drinking, doing drugs, lying constantly and pushing me around and referring me as wheelchair (I’m a paraplegic) as well as sneaking out, sneaking friends in, etc. We’ve tried talking to him, explaining the consequences to his actions such as skipping school.. taking away privileges like his phone and computer, having friends over and such but nothing has working, regardless of having cameras he still sneaks out, regardless of asking him to clean up after himself or feed his cat he still ignores us and aside from feeding his cat we don’t clean up after him. I’ve talked to him many times about pushing me physically and he just doesn’t care, I’m at a loss, nothing I do works and I’m at a point where I want to kick him out so he can learn the hard way how easy he actually has it.

    • Laurel Lynn LeMay Martin

      It sounds like professional help is needed. Check out It’s an Intensive OutPatient (IOP) virtual program. We just sign on and so far, I really like how things are set up.

    • Margarette Lowman

      From one parent of teens plural to another parent my best advice that I can provide is a military structured boarding school. If you cannot afford one they have low cost scholarship and Grant and free options available in the United States. I am currently enrolling my son in this type of environment and I truly believe in their system. I personally have experience with witnessing this with my nephew. He was the most rotten downright nasty disrespectful just a rotten bad team headed down that bad path with bad people and my brother decided it was time to make a difference so they enrolled him in this military school. After 6 months just 6 months he went from 9th grade till he graduated because he loved it so much but just after 6 months it was a whole new wonderful young man and he truly was happy he loved it he truly grew as a person and now he’s a grown man top employee at his company makes big bucks is so kind compassionate respectful if you were to tell anybody anybody there that he was that rotten teenager there’s no way they would believe you. It’s a wonderful thing if you find the correct School that has a good system in place for these kids and he still has contact with his mentor from high school cuz they stay with you the network is still open it’s a wonderful thing I truly believe in it and he’s not in the military but that type of environment is what he needed to truly grow as a person and yeah it might have been tough on him for those 6 months but he really learned. I never heard him say one disrespectful rotten thing to his parents after that ever again never he loved them he loves his parents so much and shows him everyday sends his mom flowers to make her feel special just a great kid he’s just trust me do it it’s the best thing you can do for your kid keep him out of the drugs and the bad path because all that leads to is Department of Justice and death and he’s going to respect the hell out of you for it later on. And I want to make that clear that my nephew is not in the military right now they don’t have to have a military path just because they went to military school but I don’t know if you ever thought of this option but that’s the greatest advice I can give you I’ve seen it I’ve seen it work and I really believe in it. Anyway whether you take my advice or not good luck I hope things work out for the best I know how difficult it can be having a teen who is just out of control and doesn’t know how to stop himself it doesn’t understand the long-term consequences that he’s headed for.

  • what should I do if my 13-year-old girl refuses to follow instructions, I’ve tried everything, I’m making her come up with her consequence, but so far, nothing fits the crime. PLEASE HELP!

    • Give two choices, be okay with whatever they choose and stick to it. You can clean your room or you can sit in this chair until your ready… To clean your room. Sometimes we need a break… They decide when, that’s all. Be ok with it..

  • I am 12 years old and will be 13 in a week. I was recently grounded 2 days ago because I was back-talking to my parents because they were rushing me to get ready for school when I was actually trying to get ready to go to school. My privileges to play with my electronics, especially my desktop, all got taken away for I don’t know how long, but until today I did get the privilege to use my phone to talk with my friend. I feel really guilty for what I have done and I really want to improve my behavior. If any of you are reading this message, do you have any good advice for me to improve my behavior?

    • Hi Marcel! I’m not any kind of expert but I am a parent and I think just the fact that you’ve gone on to a site like this and are looking for advice on how to improve your behavior is pretty impressive and your parents would probably be very proud of you for showing that maturity at your age. You are really demonstrating that you recognize you want to change your behavior and that shows maturity that some adults don’t even have.
      In regards to the situation have you apologized to your parents for talking back to them? Apologies go a long way. It sounds like everyone was stressed in that particular situation and that’s normal but maybe in the future you can do things to help alleviate stress with getting ready ( making sure you have your backpack ready the night before, etc).

      In our family we try to speak about situations when people are calm. In your case when everyone was emotional/ stressed out it’s just not a good time to try to explain to your parents that you were trying to get ready but that’s totally understandable that you were. It’s hard to recognize that this probably isn’t a good time to try to explain something when emotions are high. And lastly it is somewhat normal at your age to start to talk back to your parents a bit as you’re starting to establish your own independence but you need to try to keep it in check and be respectful. Every household has different levels of expectations of respect between parents and children so you know what yours are I’m sure.

      If you find yourself talking back a lot, maybe consider if there is something going on in your life at home or school that is upsetting you and you’re taking your anger out that way. Anger is a normal emotion but you want to make sure you’re channeling it in the right way. It’s very normal to take it out on the ones we love but it’s not the best way to handle things.

      Most of all I’m sure your parents love you very much!! We parents are not perfect and make mistakes too ( we just don’t like to admit it 😀). It’s a stressful world out there to be a kid and a parent so just keep in mind that your parents are trying their very best for you and from your coming on here to look for ways to behave better in the future I think they and you are doing a very good job. You sound like a great kid! Good luck!!!

    • Advice? Sounds like you are on the right track already! This is leaps and bounds more than most kids your age would even consider. My best advice is when you feel like you want to react and back talk, take a deep breath and think about what you are going to say before you say it. Consider the tone and how it will sound. Most of the time, this should help you be mindful and considerate when responding to your parents. Great question! You seem like a great kid. You just messed up, and that’s ok. We all do!

  • My 13 year old son said something sexually inappropriate to his friend’s sister while staying the night at their home. The mother came over upset about it and told me what happened. How do I handle this situation? He always has a sarcastic comment or denies it when I confront him about anything.

  • My 16 yo daughter is so lazy. Doesn’t care about punishment. Tells doctors she is fine and seems fine at home until she’s asked to do ANYTHING then she is rude and disrespectful. She can’t get herself out of bed in the morning, skips college, feels her work should be grateful that she shows up occasionally, is rude and half arsed with her 1 chore of doing the dishwasher once a week. Refuses to put her clean washing away (hasn’t been put away in months). As a consequence I said if she can’t be bothered to put away her clothes, she can’t expect me to clean them for her. So she now washes her own clothes. ONE ITEM AT A TIME to use lots of water and product. she gets home before me and refuses to open the door to let the dogs in the garden as they aren’t her responsibility. So i get home with dog mess and the dogs upset. She will literally sit in a room with dog poo rather than let them out. I’m house proud and like to keep a nice home but she’s hellbent on undoing everything I do.

    She expects dinner every night and complains that she’s starving if I get home from home and she’s had a day off, expects lifts constantly, appreciates nothing and is so rude and blazeè. I have asked her to make more effort with being tidy as we are a team and she just laughs and says no. Am at my wits end with her.

    Whenever I try to ground her she goes and stays with her dad cos “you can’t stop me seeing my dad”. I once confiscated her phone and the neighbours called the police she was screaming so much they thought we were actually hurting eachother. I left the house, got in the car and she clung on to the bonnet calling me abusive cos she needs her phone to speak to her friends!!

    Providing everything is going her way she is a joy to be around. Please help. I can’t do this any more. Working full time, trying to manage the house and destruction my ex husband left behind and trying to help her is exhausting. Want to give up.

    • Just kick her ass out the house Do nothing for Her or let her stay and live at her dad house or just take her phone break it and paint her room black just black with no windows or fun until she behaves again.

      • Margarette Lowman

        Absolutely it is time for tough lo E and natural co cequesnes of her action… Be ajse they will bite her soon enough…plan to are for house and yourself as of she is not there let her know that you are not her doormat her butler and she better work as scheduled bc if she don’t she will have no phone bc you are not footing the bill!! Give it to her straight and teach what it’s like having to be responsible for your own messes… and don’t give in whatsoever be a hard ass because that’s what she needs right now

    • I just found your post as I was looking what words I can say to my 18 year old daughter to let her know that her disrespect I’m not tolerating it, I’ve had enough of it and I’m not going to put up with any of it and she can get out. Which wasn’t too hard because she already has went and stayed with my parents many times but everything you described is exactly exactly things that I have posted or I have told people about my daughter. I know the lady and the other post said you know kick her out don’t do anything for her it’s hard but you know what I mean I worry everyday or she knows she’ll call me and need something I used to run over to her I’m not doing it anymore I think every child psychologist says just you know if they want to go let him go but you have to cut off contact. You make sure that she’s in a safe space and she’s going to be okay and you have to like freeze her out or something kids are Mean Girls especially and they want to get their way their heads are kind of Twisted I guess these days because they purposely try to fuck with us. They think that we are weak just because we’re being nice or we’re trying to teach with patience and lead by example that’s our job as parents and his mother to teach them how to respond or how to act or tell them when they are doing something the wrong way and it could be done a better way or an easier way. I found out sometimes I just need to do it by themselves and figure it out. But in this case the kids are getting violent they’re getting up in my face they’re getting up in other people’s faces and they just don’t seem to care at all I can’t tell if she’s doing stuff on purpose or if there’s something psychologically wrong with her because it happened so often and there’s no way that I can prove otherwise. The only proof that I have that I am not crazy are my recordings and the fact that it happens all the time with her where she will twist the words she will say something and then come back and say I said it so I mean she’ll argue she just goes on the defensive and just screams I mean it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before I’m worried for her if it’s like a psychological problem but she’s not like that with her friends most of the time so she does get upset but not like with me. She feels I have wronged her in some way and everything is my fault but then she’ll turn around ask me for a sandwich I started saying no. Today is the first day that I actually told her I didn’t care what she said after she said it I didn’t want to talk to her I didn’t want to be around her and I said you know what if you don’t like me or you don’t like what I have to say then you don’t have to be here but I’m not going to sit here and listen to somebody who doesn’t respect me. daughter was never like that until she turned like 11:00 and she’s become rude, disrespectful I’ve had the same exact problem with the dog pooping before I get home and she would rather lay there with it she’s depressed. Kids today go through so many things and a lot of them are still micro you can’t really apply anything logical for any kind of discipline or teachable moment because it’s not going to be just that and we don’t know anything anyways and we’re not going to get it. And you know what when we try to talk to them about stuff they don’t want to talk to us about anything they’re mad at us they we don’t get it we don’t understand just get out. But then the other personality comes out to play and tell tells you and everybody else that you don’t do anything you don’t try to help they’re doing it all by themselves and we are basically worthless. I’ve had kids in in my daycare and friends who have had children with anger issues or you know learning curves and I didn’t know any better and I’ve never seen anything or even thought that somebody could be so devious what is going on in their heads it has to be the radiation from the phones or something because they’re all Wicked and I hate saying that about kids but they’re seriously something going going on with them it’s like some sort of virus. So you’re not alone and your daughters not extra mean more than any of the other girls I’m sure if that’s any comfort to you cuz I felt really bad thinking that my daughter was the worst and nobody else’s was like that to that extent but they are. I hope this brings you some solace also I just joined a women’s supporting women’s bro it’s for everything and the first show is like tomorrow that I think online I will try to send you the link if you can go they’re on Facebook and it’s not like women griping about anything it’s we actually they seem to want to really support each other in our careers and you know any way that we could help and not just gap on Facebook or so I think I’m if you don’t have anybody to talk to you about it it wouldn’t help even if you did but this place is a safe space for us to say things that we would be too embarrassed to say to somebody else or to ashamed to discuss even if it wasn’t our fault just things like that that women cannot do still to this day because of whatever reason and I think it’ll be really good for you I can’t wait until tomorrow I’ll try and send the linkin

  • Hi, so I had this unfinished homework that I didn’t complete, which I knew I could 100% make time for after school (the homework is for a program outside of my school). My mom responded by screaming at me and refused to take me to school that day. And when I say she screamed, she SCREAMED at me, she was swearing and stuff like that. 20 minutes later when I finished the homework, she came to my room. At first, I thought she was going to apologize, but she just told me that she wouldn’t be letting me go to Vermont with my best friend. Now, she only goes once a year, so if she doesn’t change her mind, I won’t be able to go until next year. That is, if she ever goes again. Was this a reasonable punishment?

  • What do you do when consequences do not affect your kid at all?? Example: kid doesn’t do homework & receives zeros but he doesn’t care that he gets zeros and never tries to bring up grades or do homework ever.

  • Hi my father is makeing me think of a punishment for me and I can not think of one I am 14 and I lied to him but the reason I lie to him is because I feel trapped and do not know what to do I tell myself no don’t do that but I still do that I feel like I am not in control please help me.


  • Her mom passed away and i took her in she is a 16 year old girl.she had a bad past such as drinking and going out with older guys till late.After 3 months we were told that our security was seen with a teen but was told it was not her,so she came to us and told us and we took her phone for almost 2 months.The other we went to a wedding for a day and left her with her granny and cousin and she went out to the park with a boy without telling us or the granny she only told the cousin and we took her phone for almost 4 months again, when gave her phone back we told her not to talk with older guys and people she does not know but she still do that and we also had multiple meetings with her we don’t know what to do

    • That is the EXACT opposite of good parenting. Those time frames are much too harsh for what the child did and will only reinforce the idea that they should hide things from you. When I see parents parent like this, their kids are always the ones sneaking around the most

  • These are young child consequences. These don’t work with teens. The consequences need to be harsher. Don’t take this bad advice and think that you are going to help your child.

    • thats not true, as giving out harsh punishments to teenagers are only going to make them resent you. they might do what it takes to get it back but if its an unfair punishment, dont expect them to respect you afterwards. there is limits to what you have the right to do as a parent. sorry if this upsets anyone here

      • If kids are doing disrespectful things to get punished for… that means they don’t respect their parent in the first place!!

      • The reason these kids act like they do is because of parents who want to be their friend. Your their parents first and then their friend. I was best friends with my mom after I became an adult and was on my own. It was then that I realized that what she did was not to be mean to me, but to help form me into the man I became with morals and values, hopes and dreams and goals to achieve. Kids now have no common sense and no will to learn or work.
        Every kid needs a ass whooping at some point in life. Quit being scared and teach them what life is like once they leave home.

    • Maria Elvia Torres

      Please HELP!! any advice will be helpful, My daughter is 15 and was caught with 5 other girls in the bathroom passing down a Vape got suspended for 3 days. What can I do as a punishment?

      • Give your 15 year old as much information as you can regarding the dangers of vaping. Open up a line of communication with her about peer pressure and give ideas how to deal with peer pressure. Tell your teen to use you as an out. ” I can’t, my mom will kill me, but you go ahead.” “My mom always finds out so I’m out but catch up with me later.” This leaves the person not feeling like an outcast or that your teen is better than them. Kids do stupid things. They will make bad choices. Let them know you don’t expect them to be perfect but you do expect them to follow your house rules. No vaping! Vaping is a gateway to kids doing drugs. I don’t know that you necessarily need to add a punishment. It happened at school, school dealt with it and gave the consequence. Find out if your teen eels she needs to do this to fit in. If she feels that way maybe hanging with a new crowd might be helpful. We are all trying to figure life out as we go. Let your teen know you are learning with her. It’s a different world than what I grew up in. Glad there wasn’t cell phones and social media in my day………It’s all evidence now. Somebody is always watching, cameras are everywhere. They don’t stop the behavior but much easier to get caught making poor choices. Hang in there. She’ll get her karma child one day.

  • tiffanysadler31

    My 15 year old daughter has been lashing out for the past year. I have tried talking to her, grounding her, taking things of importance to her away, nothing seems to work. She is completely failing school, simply bc she refuses to do the work. I have spoke with her guidance counselor about her grades and missing assignments, and was ensured that she is very smart and understands the work just that she wont do it. She has been lying, sneaking out, vaping, smoking weed , and has also become sexually active. Her aggression has become very disrespectful calling me the B word and telling me she f ing hates me but not so nicely worded. I am at a loss on what I should do to help her.

    • She needs professional help from a therapist maybe medication. Something deeper is going on for her to be self destructive. Also, she needs birth control asap. I know these things because I was just like her when I was a teen. All of the behaviors you listed are text book cries for help. She feels no purpose to her life and is lost in the chaos of adolescence but she is still a frightened child. I hope you are able to get her the help she needs before she makes a huge mistake.

    • She does not need medication!! I cannot stress that enough! She needs structure and you need to work on your relationship with her. Get a takeout dinner for just the 2 of you and just talk to her about how her actions make you feel. Get an alarm system or cameras so she cannot sneak out. Take her phone and all electronics. Then she can’t contact anyone to sneak out with. Start going to church with her. Take her to school and pick her up everyday so she can’t do any of these things. If she calls you a bitch, smack her! Seriously! I don’t understand why parents are so scared of their kids! Stop being a pushover and put your foot down. You are the parent and she is the child! Hopefully it’s not too late to establish who is boss in your home. And if she doesn’t want to abide by your rules then send her to bootcamp. Usually, I would not suggest bootcamp but since you have let her get away with so much without harsh punishments, it might be your only choice.

      • Harsh punishments will only make you’re child resent you even more and give them the idea to be more sneaky. Take the time to know what’s going through her head instead of just her actions. Ignoring the mental health issues and sending them to bootcamp could only make things worse.

  • what would be a good consequence (besides grounding) for a 16 year old girl after finding out she has bad grades?

    • No friends, no phone, no car, no nothing.

      • I’m amazed that works with girls. With boys, that would just make the boy so stressed out by not having any “down time” that his grades will slip even more. He will probably lose interest, because what’s the point if he’s just going to fail anyways.

    • I would have a realistic conversation about college and the importance of good grades. Having good grades in high school makes life much easier down the line and prepares you for real life in many ways.

  • my daughter is 14 and has been acting out(as in vaping and drinking). I’ve already taken away her phone, her makeup and her social life has been restricted so she’s not aloud to go out or hangout with friends unless someone like her older sister, my husband and i are with her. She’s also been caught having social media multiple times when told not to. My husband wants her to come up with a list of things she can do to help earn back her privileges. Although she has to come up with the list i also want to have a backup list just incase she can’t or won’t come up with anything. Any ideas??? PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!

    • Parenting is such a difficult process! There is no one right answer that fits for all teens or families, but you’re on the right track in trying to develop a list for your daughter to earn back privileges. This is a positive way to reward good behavior and also provides clear expectations so that your daughter knows what she needs to do to be successful. First, please read our previous blog: which talks about how we can help our teens regain our trust when they’ve made mistakes. Second, have a family meeting where you and your husband sit with your daughter and discuss what privileges she would like to earn and what actions she would need to take to earn them back. That way, you’re brainstorming together, both offering ideas for her success. Getting her feedback will help her buy into the process and give you valuable information about what privileges are most important to her. Ideally, when you work together this way, it will create a feeling of a team working together towards a better future instead of a ‘me against them’ mentality that teens sometimes feel. Best of luck!

    • She is allowed to see her friends? Even supervised? LOL! NO!

  • Help please,

    My 14 year old recently decided it would be a really good idea to take some alcohol from his father (he took a little bit out of a few bottles, a mix of bourbon, whiskey and rum probably around the 300-400 ml mark. He then drank it during interval at school the next day, got horribly drunk, vomited over a teacher, a office worker, himself, had an ambulance called etc. He was stood down from school for a couple of days, but as a parent the level of the consequences are quite hard to set. He doesn’t fully understand the serious nature of his actions, and thinks we as parents have been too harsh. He has had his phone and skateboard taken off him, and he is currently grounded until the end of the year – this is negotiable, if he can show some effort and take some form of responsibility for what he did the grounding will be lessened. I’ve had many opinions from other parents, the school and him and his friends, some think it is too much, others think not enough.

    • I’m so sorry that you are in this difficult situation! It’s so hard to know what to do when our children make big mistakes, and everyone around us will always have very different opinions on how to handle it. Ultimately, you need to go with your instinct and what you think will work best for your family. We also recommend that you read our previous blog about how we can help our teens regain our trust after a big mistake:

      We also always encourage families in these situations to seek out family counseling. Sometimes an outside observer can offer ideas that we never think of ourselves! We wish you the very best of luck!

  • Hi
    I have a 17 year old son who lives with his father full time,,i have noticed lately that his stories are untrue and he has broken many promises, ,,won’t visit me when we plan it so,,i called his friend to see if he was ok ,,has i had not heard from him in 2 weeks,they told me he was acting like a jerk and was chasing a new girlfriend and picking the best plans over others,,how to i get thru to him as i don;t have much to take from him as a consequence ,,except the cell phone and that is the only way i stay in contact with him,,any advise ??

  • Stephanie Welch

    My tween aged daughter in an angry outburst broke the neighbor kids bike by stomping on it abd actually breaking the hand break mechanism. Her Dad and I had to pay 100.00 for a new bike. How can I apply a cinsequence that will work since she is not working age to earn money. For this a common problem for me when applying consequences thst will work.

    • This is an excellent question! By the time children are tweens, they should be earning money in some way so that they can begin learning how to manage money – budgeting, saving up for items, etc. Although this age is not eligible to get a job at a business, they can do odd jobs for friends and neighbors, such as babysitting, mowing the lawn, pet sitting, or helping an elderly person with household chores. Another way that tweens may obtain money is through a weekly allowance. The idea is to instill responsibility, so allowances should be discussed in reference to growing up. As you grow up, you get greater privileges and responsibilities – so you can increase both their chores (contribution to the household) as the increased responsibility and provide an allowance as an increased privilege. When tweens have ways of earning money, parents are then able to provide a natural consequence of paying for something they break. In your case, since your daughter does not currently have money, it would be best to develop a payment plan for her to pay you back. She can do that either by picking up odd jobs and paying you the money or by working around the house and doing extra chores to pay you back with her time and labor.

  • The highly effective method of disciplining teenagers is known as the three R’s of logical consequences for teens and although very simple, it does work very well. The three R’s are related, respectful and reasonable. Basically the punishment for teens must fit the crime.

    • my husband and I are at a lose as to what reasonable punishment is for my 16 yr old daughter. This is the second time my daughter has brought her boyfriend in the house while we werent home. The first time was her first boyfriend. Both times they were having sex. The rules are that no boys in the house if we are not there. She is also not aloud in his home unless his parents arent home.

      • You should sit down with your daughter and explain to her tt u also hv been a teenager and u know the consequences of her behaviour.Tell her tt the fact tt the boy’s parents are also applying the same rule as theirs it shows tt there is a reason behind it show her that you care about her future and you want nothing bt the best out of her

      • She should not be permitted to be unsupervised. She hadn’t earned the privilege of privacy or earned your trust. Go back to basics…young child basics and make her earn it and learn it all over again. She won’t like it, but too bad. You don’t like her behavior. Your crackdown will hurt her feelings. Her behavior had legal, medical, mental, and financial consequences.

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