Disciplining Teens: A Young Perspective [Teen Articles]

Renae is a 16-year-old from Lowell, MI. She is a creative individual who spends a lot of her time reading and learning Japanese because she would like to become a Journalist in Japan.


1. Training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement.
2. Controlled behavior resulting from disciplinary training; self control.
3. To punish in order to gain control or enforce obedience.

Here are a few questions you might want to ask before reading this article. How do you discipline your kids? Does discipline work? Are incentives a good substitute for discipline? Why is discipline necessary? Do your kids respect you? The most important question you need to ask yourself is ‘Do you respect your kids?’

Teenagers are at the age where discipline does come into question. They are in their teen years and they are spending a lot of their time experimenting. Should they be disciplined for wanting their own experiences? This is where parents come into play.

Parents need to decide when it is and isn’t right to discipline their teenagers. Some parents take the easy way out and make the mistake of bribing their teenagers. It seems like a pretty quick fix until their teens get used to receiving gifts for acting the way they are already expected to act.

I see a lot of parents making this mistake, as well, when they are unsure of how to handle the situation. If your teen needs to confess something to you in confidence and you punish them, do you think they’re going to be honest with you again? You want them to be honest and trust you with their life. It can be very difficult to discipline teenagers in fear you’ll lose their respect and trust. They are at a rebellious, defiant stage and deciding whether or not to punish them is a tough task. Not only is deciding whether or not to punish them a toughie, but so is deciding how to punish them.

First, you need to understand that scaring them into doing what you want is not the correct way to go about punishment; teenagers shouldn’t be scared of their parents. Wouldn’t you rather have your kids doing the right thing because they know they should or because they’re scared of the consequences? Young adults tend to get upset or angry with their parents when getting in trouble but they are at the age where they should know better. Make it clear to your teens why you are punishing them and also that if they repeat their actions you will repeat yours. There are different ways to discipline teenagers but keep in mind that punishments that work for some don’t work for all.

A few punishments are making them clean their room or the house, grounding them, no allowance and some parents have taken their belongings, making them earn their things back with good behavior. All of these seems like effective punishments but there are still teenagers that rebel, rebel, rebel. How do you stop them from doing this? Funny thing with teenagers is…you can’t. There is no easy answer to parenting or discipline. Parents have to find what works for them and their teens while keeping in mind that there is no such thing as a perfect family. You can always try though.

How do you know if a punishment is too intense? When it comes to disciplining your teens try to look at the situation from an outsider’s view. Ask yourself if the punishment is too harsh or if you’re going overboard. There is an important balance that needs to be attained for discipline to actually work.

There is an extremely thin line between discipline and abuse. If parents ever cross that line they are making the situation a thousand times worse and will receive the most punishment in the end. Abuse is a huge deal and violence is heading in the opposite direction of where a family wants to be.

The third definition of discipline states, “To punish in order to gain control or enforce obedience.” Think about the part that says ‘to gain control.’ Should parents be in control of their teenagers 100% of the time? Should parents have to make every one of their kids decisions? Should parents choose what type of music their teens listen to or what clothes they wear? Maybe even pick their friends?

Parents must remember back to their teen years to make the right choices when it comes to disciplining their teenagers. They also need to remember that there is a lot of room in life for making mistakes.

3 Responses to “Disciplining Teens: A Young Perspective [Teen Articles]”

  1. Divina
    May 5, 2009 at 2:20 pm #

    Renae, you are wise beyond your years, and a glimmer of hope for parents of adolescence. You and your parents have done a fine job!!! :)

  2. Charles Batchelor
    May 6, 2009 at 4:31 am #

    I’m not sure “clean the room” is punishment. Ha. Good article. No doubt about it–discipline is more difficult for parents in the teenage years as children struggle to gain independence. Tough for teens, too.
    People who have looked at this say punishments such as grounding have very little effect on most teenagers’ behavior. On are several studies of youth drinking, drug use and early sex, the best predictor for good behavior wasn’t punishment, but parental monitoring and involvement. The best methods of keeping teenagers out of trouble are knowing where they are, knowing who is with them, and communication of values. (Which is the idea behind WuduPlz.com.)
    Yes, teenagers should be punished if their behavior demands it. But parents should set clear rules, then allow them to earn or lose privileges. This gives them a sense of control.
    Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg, adolescent medicine specialist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, explains that, “You want them to understand that the freedoms they get are directly related to how they demonstrate responsibility.”
    It was this kind of thinking that guided our design of WuduPlz.com. The idea behind the free web service is to teach pre-teens and teens these lessons respectfully.

  3. Vanessa Van Petten
    May 7, 2009 at 6:18 pm #

    she is great isn’t she?!

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