As children grow older and are in the stage of becoming young adults, you would notice a shift in their behaviour. Since, this is the time they realize that they have grown up and would like to get the hang of what it is like to be independent, they tend to question parents and show traits of rebelling against their thoughts, decisions, and in extreme cases, even their parenting style.
However, you must realize and understand that your child is going through a difficult phase of adulthood and needs your support, regardless of how he behaves with you. So, it is important that you become a little more empathetic towards him, but at the same time, be firm and stern with the rules and consequences.
Ways of Disciplining your Teenager:
Set clear rules and expectations:
It is important for your teenager to know what expectations you have from him. Instill in your teen, the explicit rules you want him to follow. For example, set a deadline to return home, have him help you with household chores during the weekend, etc. Your teenager should be aware of his limits. You will be more successful in regulating your teen's behaviour, if you will involve him while setting rules. This would refrain him from questioning you and your rules in future.
Be firm and consistent:
You cannot waffle down and be lenient with your teen. It is important for both the parents to be on the same page and maintain consistency- If you allow your teen to go to a party while your partner does not, then your teen would know whom to go to with requests like these in future.
Being responsible for one's actions is best learnt when young. You should teach your child to take responsibility of his actions and make him understand the consequences of indulging in risky behaviour like drinking, smoking, gambling, rash driving, etc.
Have short-term consequences :
If your teen goes against your rule and does something like returning two hours post the deadline, don't ground him for a month or two. Ground him for just a week or so. The longer your consequence, the more your teen will look for ways to escape, like lying to you about extra classes at school or sneaking out.
Stay involved and interested:
It is important for you to know what your teen is up to. He would not like you spying and sneaking into his room to check out things. So instead of doing all that, show him, that you are interested in his life. Be an active parent, find out about his friends, interests, hobbies, etc. by talking to him.
Be a friend:
Since your teen would already be experiencing mixed emotions like handling peer pressure, pressure to excel, etc., it is important for you to make him aware that you are there to support him. Being a strict parent, always, might close doors of closeness between the two of you.
It is true that handling a teen is similar to waging a war. There would be times when you might lose your cool and even start doubting your parenting style when your teen misbehaves, but it is important for you to understand that even your parents would have gone through this phase when you were a teenager and that they have been successful in making you who you are today.