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How Not to Discipline Your Teenager
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Hi, my name is Patricia O'Laughlin, a Marriage and Family Therapist with TherapyForParents.com. Today I'm speaking to you on behalf of About.com on how to not discipline your teenager.
Tips for Disciplining Your Teenager

Here are 5 things to consider when disciplining your teenager.

The first thing is don't yell or discipline your teenager in front of their friends. This is often shaming and will actually stop the teenager from listening to you, rather than participating in a discussion about what they are doing.

The second thing is don't yell at your teenager. Use a firm voice, but screaming gets no one anywhere. On the other side of that, don't be too gentle. Don't speak to them like they are your friend. They are doing something that you don't like, that you consider unsafe, or you are trying to teach them a lesson. Make sure you use a firm voice and be clear about what the expectations are.

The third thing is don't just use consequences, also use rewards. Consequences focus on the negative and can make a teenager feel bad about themselves, Use rewards to show them that they are a good person and there are a lot of things they're doing that are right.

The fourth thing is don't get into power struggles or let yourself be manipulated by your teenager. The best way to avoid this is don't engage in lectures. Engage in a conversation, a discussion. Ask questions and get your teenager's feedback about things that you are talking about.

And the fifth thing is never hit your teenager. This will stop them from listening immediately. Be there for them, use a firm voice, and engage in a discussion. Hitting gets nobody anywhere. If you notice you're doing any of these things, don't be too hard on yourself. Parenting a teenager is hard. Just use this information as a way to make change and be the parent that you want to be.

Thank you so much for watching. For more information, visit us on the web at About.com.
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