article pertains to teenagers because consequences are different depending on
the age and stage of the development of the child.
a list of things you need to know about your teenager as they individuate and
separate from their family of origin, returning once they’ve successfully
1. Every teenager
rules that never change like they can’t take the car to Lake Tahoe to hang out
with their friends for the weekend and having a cell phone is dependent on
getting at least a C average in school.
rules can be negotiated like, “If you want to go to the movies after school and
you know I don’t let you go to the movies after school what can you do in terms
of school work that will show me it’s O.K. for you to go to the movies with
Susan this afternoon.”
freedom to choose. If she wants to wear a purple hair extension in her hair it’s
2. Your teenager will
tell you and act like they are in complete control of their lives in word,
thought, and deed, especially if they’re hearing something from you they don’t
want to hear. Secretly, they know they’re not. They might even know they’re
completely out of control but they aren’t about to confess that to you. Instead
they will say something like, “Why don’t you ever trust me? I really am telling
you the truth.”
3. You are the parent and will be the parent in control
until your child turns eighteen. It is your job to parent your child, which
will probably mean that your teenager will love you sometimes and hate you
sometimes or at least dislike you enough to make it apparent that they think
4. It is not your job
to win your child over, make sure your child isn’t mad at you, make sure your
child loves you, be the most loved mom at the high school or be the coolest
coach ever. In fact, serving yourself under the guise of being the best parent
ever and meeting your child needs can have serious consequences for your child
like using drugs, getting drunk, getting drunk and driving, failing in school,
need I go on?
5. It is your job to love your child and guide your child.
Sometimes loving your child means your child will be really, really mad at you
but it’s still your job and will be rewarded once they’ve left adolescence
6. If your child’s behavior changes suddenly or his/her
grades drop all of a sudden, do not hesitate to purchase a drug testing kit or
three from your local pharmacy. If your child doesn’t test positive for drugs
or alcohol take the child to the doctor and make an appointment to speak to
your child’s school counselor. Consider getting some family or individual
counseling for your child. You may want to do those things anyway. However,
random drug testing is a good way to prevent your child from experimenting with
drugs and alcohol because he/she will never know when they will be tested so
abstaining is the only way for them to guarantee they won’t get caught.
there are other things that would be helpful to know about teenagers but I want
to get to logical consequences for this article.
should know what the rules are. You should discuss the rules and, if the rules
are to be changed, they should be changed by the adults not the children.
rules are established it is important to make sure the rules are followed. If a
rule is broken, for instance the child isn’t where they said they were going to
be, a logical consequence needs to be given to the child.
teenagers love their electronics it is logical to take one or all of them away
as a consequence of not following the rules.
really IMPORTANT. Do not take a device, cell phone computer, TV, or anything
else away while you’re really angry, telling them it’s getting taken away for a
month or forever or for six months or even three weeks. You won’t last that
long without going crazy or wishing you could go crazy just to escape the
teenager who won’t stop pestering you. The consequence has to be something that
can and will be enforced. If you don’t enforce the consequence every single time
in exactly the way you told your teenager it would be enforced your teenager
will drive you crazy trying to talk you out of giving them a consequence every
time you give them one if you didn’t follow through like you said you would the
first time. No parent of a teenager can survive a month of listening to a
teenager yammer into their ear about when their cell phone will be returned or
listen, beginning about fifteen minutes after the consequence is delivered, to
a long list of all of the good things the teenager has done so the device will
be returned or plugged back in.
teenager’s cell phone away for two days is serious pain to a teenager. You can gauge
by the offense how much time the device should be taken away. Minor infraction
like not doing a chore: the rest of the day, minor but could be serious like staying
in their room when they were supposed to be taking care of a younger sibling:
the rest of that day and the next day and night, and so on. Review in your own
mind or with your spouse what a consequence will be and for how long before you
have to give a consequence so you’ll be prepared.
yourself with courage and move with your teenager into and through the last
stage of childhood development. Forget about guilt, forget about being your
child’s friend, forget about feeling sorry for your child, just remember you
brought your child into this world and it is your job to prepare them for the
day you won’t be there to help them do the right thing.
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