Removal of privileges! Every child has an Achilles heel--you just have to find it! Some suggestions include taking away the cell phone, computer, video games, or telephone. For others, it's not letting them get together with friends, giving them an earlier bed time, grounding them from the pool, or taking away their keys to the car.
Giving extra chores is also a good one, though I use it more as a last resort because I don't want to teach children to dislike hard work since I want to instill a good work ethic.
The bottom line is that teens need to understand that they can't be too cocky since most of them can't survive without mom and dad. When I was young, my mother set boundaries, and I knew that if I insisted on crossing those boundaries, she'd kick me out. Teens are in a difficult space because they are old enough to have their own independent thoughts, ideas, and goals, but they aren't financially capable of caring for themselves. It's frustrating to have a sense of independence while still being completely dependent! They have no choice, however, but to follow your rules. Anytime they don't want to follow your rules, tell them they are welcome to get a job and provide their own food, clothing, and shelter, and just see if some attitude can be curbed that way!
I am not yet a parent, but I guess being hard on teens might choke them down. It would lead to more serious complications especially on their behaviors and your relationship. You just have to constantly communicate. Talk to them always. This way, you are not playing a guessing game on what they think and feel.
I'm not a parent, but I have nephews and nieces who are teens. They have many issues. Being a teen is tough, that is way parents should act as his/her friend and be more understanding.Teenagers hate being reprimanded all the time. They just want people to listen to them. That is why at this point, many teens rebel against parents. They would rather be with peers who are sometimes a bad influence, because they "listen". But parenthood is as tough as being a teenager. Parents should really have tons of patients. Be more of a friend.. Instill some values into them. If they have a good value system, discipline would become easier.
I've designed and overseen behavioral treatment programs for teens in homes and residential treatment settings.
Teen discipline should fall on a continuum of least to most intrusive intervention based on the needs and responsiveness of each situation and teen.
There should always be an emphasis on positive support strategies that teach and reward healthy choices. Evidence-based behavioral programs do this really well.
Examples of effective behavioral strategies:
1) Don't always take away privileges as a punishment when there are problem behaviors going on regularly. Put a program in place where they have to "earn" privileges for learning how to, and making good behavioral choices. This "reinforces" the good choices with the enjoyment from accessing the privilege.
Getting privileges for positive behavior choices allows you to transfer motivation form the things kids love to do (tv, video games etc) to tasks they might avoid, like doing what you ask as their parents, doing chores and doing homework.
2) Stay calm and think clearly during disciplinary exchanges. In fact you can't think straight if you aren't calm. Kids can sabotage your discipline by setting you off emotionally.
Kids also learn how to control their emotions from watching you react to real challenges. The need to have good emotional self control is critical to making many positive choices for teens and adutls.
3) Teach and make very clear the behavior you want to see your kids do when you ask them. For example you can't expect kids to do high quality homework if they don't know how to do homework properly.
You can't expect them to do chores if they don't know how to do them properly. Teaching them strong tips and strategies that make work easier.
4) Teach new skills and behavior choices when things are fun and positive. If you teach kids somthing new during punishment then they will associate it with and avoid the new learning like they avoid punishment.
Make learning fun. Kids tend to repeat behavior choices they enjoy. That's why they play video games etc. If you make learning how to do chores and homework fun, then they will do more of it naturally.
Hope that helps,
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