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What Consequences Work for a Teen Girl?

by Jaimie Zinski, studioD

Aside from being an effective way to punish a teen for unwanted behavior and actions, according to Dr. Bill Maier consequences help prepare teenagers for life beyond high school. When it comes to your teenage daughter, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that you remain consistent and use consequences that are reasonable.

Loss of Privileges

From taking away her cell phone privileges to restricting access to the family car, losing privileges is one of the most effective consequences for a teenage daughter, according to KidsHealth. When it comes to providing this consequence, it's important to ensure that the punishment fits the crime and that your teen is well aware of this consequence ahead of time. Sit down with her and let her know that if she violates certain rules -- including not finishing chores and breaking curfew -- then the consequence will be the loss of certain privileges. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also cautions parents about being overly severe. When it comes to taking away a teen's privileges, pay attention that the loss of privilege isn't exaggerated in comparison to the misdeed; in other words, make sure the punishment fits the crime -- but not more so.


Grounding a teenager to her room or the family's home is another effective consequence for misbehaving or not following the rules. Before instituting any grounding policy, Texas Woman's University urges that parents speak with their teenager about this consequence. For instance, the consequence for not completing a set of chores could mean that the teen is grounded in the home for one Saturday night. If your teenage daughter continues to defy your rules, the consequence is a longer or more severe grounding. While grounded in the home, Texas Woman's University recommends that parents provide their teenager with a list of chores. If she doesn't perform these chores, then she will get a longer grounding. However, if she is performs the chores or goes above and beyond, then remove some time from the original grounding.

Natural Consequences

According to the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, grounding and loss of privileges are logical consequences, and best worked out ahead of time between the parent and teenager. Conversely, natural consequences are those that basically occur naturally without any parental involvement. For instance, instead of nagging lecturing your teenager to study, the natural consequence is she doesn't perform as well on the test. If your teen is late for dinner, she doesn't get to eat, which means she must wait until the morning to have breakfast. The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension points out that natural consequences often take longer for the teenager to make the connection. Sit down with your teenager and go through any examples of natural consequences in her life. Teach her that not doing her assigned studies or following the rules can often result in these negative outcomes.

Positive Consequences

In contrast to the negative consequences of grounding, loss of privileges and even loss of an allowance, Dr. Bill Maier also asserts parents can use positive consequences to help inspire certain positive behaviors. For instance, the positive consequence for your teenage daughter performing all of her chores is that new T-shirt she's wanted for months. For both positive and negative consequences to be effective, Dr. Maier urges parents to make the consequences immediate and expected. Dr. Maier points out that teens often possess a shortened attention span and react more favorably to consistent, positive consequences.

About the Author

Residing in Chippewa Falls, Wis., Jaimie Zinski has been writing since 2009. Specializing in pop culture, film and television, her work appears on Star Reviews and various other websites. Zinski is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in history at the University of Wisconsin.

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