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How to Deal with Teens Who Won't Follow Rules

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. 
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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 your teen 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.

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Unknown said...

16 year old daughter sneaks out of house and does not care about consequences

Ilynna said...

I litterally do all of these things. No internet. No phone. She still hits me. She attacks me and refuses to follow rules. She is totally fine to just sit in her room with nothing but a bed. She resents rules of any kind. Even minimal rules. We have tried everything.

Anonymous said...

Group therapy

Anonymous said...

I try have tried to talk to him but he still go to party every week he is still at school and he smoking Hubbly

Anonymous said...

I strongly encourage you to seek medical advice with a psychiatrist. One thing these blogs don’t tell you is that their rules are for neuro-typical kids. I know exactly what you’re saying and we are going through the same thing. You really need to have your daughter dialed in with proper medication. If she is hitting you, that’s not OK. This is not “normal” teenage behavior. It is not “normal,” even for a disrespectful child, to hit their parents. You really need to understand that. This is something that will take counseling and medication to overcome. You are a good parent. Your tactics would work with “normal” kids. Your daughter is not “normal.” The first step is to realize that.

Anonymous said...

I adopted my daughter ,she knows ,she is the only child ,she once told her friend she will kill herself

Anonymous said...

I feel for every parent who ran a search and landed on this page. Discipline methods used to work with my kids, now the oldest son is an older teen and does not want to follow our "house rules" and when we try discipline it doesn't work, he becomes "demon child" will run away, kicking and screaming, taking away his phone requires a UFC style intervention complete with a take down, wrestling match, etc. Someone is going to get hurt. If you do manage to get the phone, he will just retaliate by taking something from you when you aren't looking, hiding your work laptop or your phone, etc. He has an attitude that he will do whatever he wants and laughs at consequences. I have already told him if he wants my support after he turns 18, including help with car/college/etc he has to live by our rules, he thinks I'm bluffing but I'm not, the ultimate consequences of this behavior will be getting cut off financially and kicked out when he turns 18. I don't like that he has chosen this path for himself though, I want a good relationship with him, and I want him to have the best chances of success after high school. It is going to be hard for him when he realizes I wasn't bluffing and he will have to get a job after high school or secure loans for college on his own.

Anonymous said...

Every parent here can thank the schools and government for refusing to hold children accountable and for coming down on parents who do. If you let social media raise your child and don’t know which bathroom to use, you are also part of the problem.

Anonymous said...

I am dealing with the same thing. My 14 year old even goes as far as to tell me that every kid gets to do "A" or "B" and I am just being outrageous to ask that he is home by 6 on school nights. I wish I could get help. The police even let him go all the time without citing him, even for attempting arson. I just don't get it.

Anonymous said...

I have a 14 yr old grandson who I am raising. He will not abide by any rules. He will just walk out of the house. I have no control at all over him. I am ready to throw him out. I am 79’urd old and can’t deal with this anymore. I can’t get him up to even go to school. I have therapists but refuses most time to see or talk to them. He is on meds but doesn’t help. I am desperate for help.

Anonymous said...

My 15 yr old daughter has been caught 4 times sneaking out with two lil boys and now she is smoking pot. What do we do we have took everything we can from her. She has been grounded inside the house for two months. What do We do.

Anonymous said...

Hello, my fiance and I are raising a family of 5 kids from the ages of 3 to 14. My fiances 14 year old for the past two years has been out of control. He has had many consequences but one thing my fiance does is protects him when I say anything to him because of his bad behavior.

He has been in DCF custody three times, been suspended from his school back in Ellis Kansas several times both in school and out. He got kicked out of the middle school last year after vaping 7 different times.

He is now in the High School in Hays Kansas. We test him every two day he has been positive for nicotine and THC, skipping class, getting out of class to go vape. The only consequence his mom has given him is we took his TV out of his room, but she said he can watch TV in our living room or in our playroom.

He does not bring homework home, he has a F and two D's heading to F's. He lies about work, but has 20 missing assignments.

He has cussed at me, tried to throw punches at me, has hurt my son by kicking a soccer ball 3 times at his back now, threw a ball at his sister. Cleated my son on another occasion. Always puts down his siblings every single day. He tries to blame them for things that they have not done wrong. He has went as far as stealing money from his sister and my son. He stole $300 from his mom.

It is a battle every single day with him cussing at his mom or myself, slamming doors and continuing to break house rules. I am to the point, what consequences do we give him.

By the way he sees High Plains Mental Health, he has two counselors and a med doctor through them. He has a social worker who sees him weekly, a school counselor that sees him weekly.

He lies to them all the time as well. He has a family Therapist through his former probation office, which he got off probation in August. He went through a TIRC program, drug program and behavior program. He went to group meetings with kids his age at high plains mental health.

Where do we go next. I don't think his consequences are enough. He has ADHD and ODD, which he has meds for. When he is out in the main room our twomiddle kids and my 3 year old go to a bedroom. My 3 year old who loves everyone said to him I hate you, he continues to steal her stuffed animals or does things to aggravate her.

Please let me know what I can do, it is tearing us all apart.

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid that I don't have answers for you, but am interested if someone else does. Our son (middle of 5) is in a similar frame of mind at 16. We have reached the point where we cannot see any outcome beyond him leaving the house. It is having long term impacts on everyone else and his defiance of consequences is phenomenal. We have been through the court system with him for Domestic Violence and he just doesn't care. He uses drugs and alcohol, and we have linked him in with counselling and psychological support. We are getting nowhere. He now refuses to return to school. I can definitely empathise with you but sadly do not have a solution. We are trying to get him into a full-time job, hoping that it will make the difference - wish us luck because I am sure that he will sabotage that too.

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