In an effort to exert authority while trying to keep the peace, many parents formulate a set of house rules all the children are expected to follow. However, your headstrong, independent teenager might struggle with rules he deems unfair or geared toward the younger siblings. Help keep your family on track by enforcing and punishing your teenager for breaking the house rules, which includes providing natural and logical consequences for your teen's actions.
Create a house rules list that clearly states what is expected of your teen, and the potential consequences associated with breaking a particular rule. For example, if the teen is caught talking on the phone after his curfew, the punishment is loss of phone privileges for one day. Whatever the punishment, the University of Iowa Extension recommends it logically fit the crime. For example, don't take away your teen's cellular phone if he misses curfew. Instead, take the phone if your teenager abuses his cell phone privileges.
Punish your teenager logically according to the house rules. For example, if your teenager brought the car home with an empty tank, punish him by restricting access to the vehicle for one day. Explain the punishment to your teen and warn him that another infraction will result in a harsher punishment.
Remain consistent and punish your teenager accordingly, and if necessary, increase the punishment's severity if he continues to disobey certain house rules. For example, each time your teenager uses his computer without permission, increase the amount of time he loses access. Eventually, if the teen doesn't follow the house rule regarding computers, he loses access to this technology all together for a set amount of time, such as one week.
Praise your teen for obeying house rules, and provide a reward. For instance, if your teen doesn't break any house rules for one week, treat him to a night out at the movie with his friends. Remind your teen the natural consequence of obeying the rules is continued access to his car, cellular phone or TV.
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