It may be difficult to get your teenage daughter or son to follow house rules in the beginning. One thing about house rules is to let everyone know what they are. Don't give the teenagers any warnings after they are aware of the rules. If they break the rules then they will have to deal with the consequences. Don't let them slack off, otherwise then they will think that you aren't serious and won't care about the rules.
Teenagers need to know that you are the boss of the house. Whichever rules that parents have for their house then the teenagers should follow. Make sure that both mom and dad enforce the rules otherwise the teenagers will try to use parents against each other.
Here are ten tips in order to help you let your teenagers know that you are serious about them following the house rules:
1. Be respectful of your teen but let him know that you expect the same in return. He is living under your roof and let him know that you will do everything in your power to prevent him from engaging in behaviors that jeopardize the well-being of the family.
2. Do not make unsolicited and/or negative comments about changes in your teen's dress or physical appearance. Although a child who changes his look may be looking for attention or may be signaling to you that he feels like an outcast, give him the freedom to experiment with his identity if he needs to, as long as he is not endangering himself or others.
3. Make them have consequences every time when they misbehave. Be firm about this and don't let them slack off on the rules. Let them know that you are serious about the house rules and that you expect them to follow the rules. You can make them do extra chores or ground them from seeing friends or any after school activities.
4. Relax. You made it through the teen years and so will your child. Let your teen express his feelings and show respect when he withdraws or needs some space. Refrain from taking his outbursts personally. Remember how difficult it is to go through the transformation of adolescence. Your child is transforming physically, emotionally and spiritually. This can be a painful second birth.
5. Stand strong. Ever since its inception, there has been resistance to the tough love parenting movement, primarily because people think it is harsh. If your teen is in danger of destroying his life, sometimes the most loving thing you can do is to be firm. Being tough doesn't have to mean being cruel. Cruelty is taking no action in the face of your teenager's impending self-destruction. Although it was probably inaction on your part that has helped create your teen's sense of self-entitlement today, you have a chance to help him turn things around. Do this in a way that shows that you mean business, but also lets him know that loving someone means that getting them to take responsibility.
6. Stop enabling your child. When your teen does something wrong, don't stand in the way of his consequences. Some parents enable their teen by making excuses for his bad behavior. If your kid gets suspended from school for drug use, don't defend his behavior. Everybody knows there are no drugs at school. Let him suffer the consequences so he learns from them. Make it clear that you can't rescue him when he does things he knows are wrong. Even if things have been tough in your family life and you can understand why your child might want to escape his life, do not prevent the natural consequences of his actions. Instead, acknowledge this as a cry for help and get it for him.
7. Take away the Internet or take away the keys to their car. Teenagers either love to play on the Internet or love the freedom of having a car. You will only have to take away the Internet or the car keys a few times for them to understand that you are serious. They won't try to keep pushing the limits since they want their freedom back.
8. You can always send your teenagers to summer school. Most teenagers don't like summer school. Summer school would get teenagers to behave pretty quickly since they would dread going to summer school for the entire summer. One thing to keep in mind though that summer school wouldn't work on a teenager would does love to learn since he or she would probably enjoy summer school.
9. You can remove each television and computer out of the house. It will really make the teenagers bored. They will want to have the television and computer back real fast so they would be willing to follow the house rules then. You want to use this as a last resort in order to get them to behave. Teenagers love to be entertained so taking away all entertainment devices such as television and computer will make them want those privileges back soon.
10. You can take away their money. You can take away their allowance money and you can even take away money from them that they earn from a part time job while still in high school. They will eventually get tired of not being able to spend any of their money that they earned. Teenagers love money and if you take away their money then they will be more eager to follow the house rules.
Tough love is hard, but it works. If she thinks she is involved in making a decision to help find a solution, she may think she matters. A lot of the anxiety that teenagers feel is because they think they are alone and no one listens and no one cares and people suck. Well, some of that may be true but there are ways to not be alone and to say things people want to hear and do things that people will care about.
My Out-of-Control Teen: Help for Parents