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Old 22.11.2010, 09:12
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Re: How do you discipline your teenager?

I don't think its really about being independent. Its about knowing right from wrong. Plenty of kids I knew from school were WAY too independent of their parents are that led to even worse problems. Sure I was in a job at 16 but I still had to ask my parents for cash on occasions. Sometimes they said yes, sometime no. In fact now the role was reversed and I have helped my parents out in the last years which is really cool too.

But seriously, if you think teenagers nowdays (and ESPECIALLY in switzerland) are so bad then you need a reality check. I have been very surprised at how lovely teenagers are over here. They are generally polite, stand up on public transport for old people and look to make their own fun. Sure there are bad ones and kids that are loud and obnoxious. I mean, contrast that to Aussie teenagers, pleeeeease

Maybe the reason why people get the impression on here that young people are the devils spawn is that we're all old bastards. Id say the median age is probably 35-40 (searched for that age thread but couldn't find it). Its like the quote from the Sunscreen song:

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Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.
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  #62  
Old 22.11.2010, 09:34
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Re: How do you discipline your teenager?

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At 16 I was working. As soon as I started working I started paying (small amounts) of board/ rent. I was treated with respect (as an adult) and expected to treat others with it.
My parents expected me to show them enough respect to tell them where I was and when I would be home. They had the power to veto my plans if they thought that they were inappropriate but very rarely did so and reasonably explained why when they did.
By this age the groundwork should be well and truly done! My parents used to give us more freedom and respect when we were well behaved and when we misbehaved we lost privileges (the right to go out to a movie or access to a favorite item or activity) but all of this was applied between the ages of 2 - 15. If you haven't worked it out at a much younger age and your child has no respect for you it's like trying to close the gate when your horse has already bolted...
Yeah, and I completely agree. We had huge amount of freedom compared to kids now, I wonder if it was because of the dangers not being there, or attitude of parents, 16yr old was taken for an adult, almost, people didn't even check their kid's school work and grades, expect them to be responsible enough to manage on their own. It was clear to us, though, if we study, they support us, if we don't want to, we have to work and chip in like anyone in real world or move out, they never did any school work for us, never pushed us to school, do homework, or anything, we were in complete control, since we wouldn't be motivated if we studied for them..They always knew we were clever enough to coach ourselves into school success, they had their career to work on. But that was just the final thing, I so see all the immense work they did since we were born, it comes way before that: the interest in our school projects when we were primary school, or middle sch., they listened every day what we did, chipped in, compared what they know with us, cheered. They told us how important school and work was for them, when they were our age, my parents did raise themselves, though, so that was very motivating. I think kids need to know their parents' childhood and teen hardships.

You can't all of a sudden panic at your kid's 16 birthday when you realize he is failing, when you don't even know what he has in school, you don't know his friends, you constantly remind him he must study out of love for you...It always goes wrong this way, sooner or later. If I told my folks I wanted to be a garbage woman, they would take it seriously, sit down with me and talk, give me the pros and cons, they opinion, listened to mine, but it was always me who called the shots on my career, even at 14, when we had our final streaming.

Ok, I veered away from the kerfew, but that's similar. We were roamers, had our own interests and pecualiar friends ,lived outside with a key hanging on our necks, it was our responsibility to look after eachother. I think the strict kerfews will just makes kids run, the minute they can, or before. Plus kids having different kerfews and them having different personalities and priorities complicate things.

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It's not easy finding balance with a teenager. We live in a small village so it's easier for me to let her go out on her own. I want my daughter to have good memories of her teenage years including long talks with friends, harmless crushes, trying out new things and knowing when to say to no, etc.
I have been thinking about this a lot. So, we move into bucolic country, tiny town, for family to have some decent life, etc. Little kids love little communities, they feel they can rule it easier, it is their little world, as opposed to giant, dusty, noisy and too busy cities.

But then they grow up. And the village is small. It is how we want them to live and like it, but not how they want to live. I think there isn't enough of real world, for them there, that they know it exists and they long for it. I handle many teens every day, and the glossy eyes when I tell them about travels and countries I lived in, they get very sad, and don't really want to stay here. I always cheer up for them and our little place, this little country, point out the fabulocity of all of it here, it makes them feel better, they appreciate people come here and love it (although they of course think that yes, old people like it here, CH being a huge retirement community of sorts). But, still. Here, more than anywhere in the world that I have experienced (well, aside of Alberta, CA where it took a couple of hours to get into a post office slash gas station slash convenience store ), the world of cute little CH villages seems too small for a teen longing for some input, life, excitement, different ways to live, diversity, joys (and I don't mean mushrooms picking or the whole teen village having that innocent crush...wait...on that one postman...or that one library man..because who has a crash on their peers these days?...even though that can be fun, for a while, too). We have our priorities, they have different ones. Acknowledging theirs, means respecting them. So, I would think, if one lives in a tiny community here, you gota take your teen out and about, cities, culture, art, shows, museums, interest groups in cities, etc. traveling. I have encountered a strange stereotype here amongst kids at times, that big cities always equal evil stuff, drugs, alcohol, crazy people, and the rest of the world is equally crazy....And it is not true, in a general sense. They are injected this small town anxiety. I just don't want teens to grow up myopic, narrow-minded, scared of civilization. The xenophobia is bad enough.

Just a little insight into some of the teen heads, they share with me a lot.
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  #63  
Old 22.11.2010, 10:12
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Re: How do you discipline your teenager?

Don't have the rustic French version it's like, so medieval; plastic and carbon fiber is the way to go this century wouldn't you say?
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  #64  
Old 22.11.2010, 10:27
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Re: How do you discipline your teenager?

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I don't think its really about being independent. Its about knowing right from wrong. ...
Wot? Like buying games instead of downloading them.
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Old 22.11.2010, 10:32
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Re: How do you discipline your teenager?

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Wot? Like buying games instead of downloading them.
yes indeed

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Old 22.11.2010, 10:42
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Re: How do you discipline your teenager?

Here's the thing - teenagers love to do the OPPOSITE of what you tell them. Anything that is forbidden, you can be sure that they will or at least have attempted it.

Midnight for a 16 year seems fine. That was my curfew when I was 16, with the occasional 1am if there is a concert in town etc. 9pm really is erm...

My parents had two different methods of dealing with me when I was a teenager. My mum was the control freak - paging (god yes, remember those pagers???) every other couple of hours to check on my whereabouts. Needless to say, she could page me till the batteries run out but I would simply trot out the "I couldnt find a phone" excuse - same as what your sister's daughter is doing ("I didnt hear the phone"). She used the harsh methods- screaming, grounding, cutting my pocket money method when I missed curfews - but do you really think teens are stupid? They are incredibly resourceful when it comes to such things (think climbing out of windows, secret pocket money stash etc etc).

Dad on the other hand picked his battles. He let little things slide and hardly called. But when he did, I knew to race my little behind to the nearest phone and return his page come hell or high water. If I stepped out of line, there was no screaming just cold hard disappointment, and logic in making me see where and why I went wrong. I took punishments and groundings without a single word of complain. His favourite line was: "I treat you like an adult now but if you must behave like a child, you will be talked to and treated like a child."

Needless to say, that worked. As a teenager, we dont like being considered as children. We wanted to be adults and be oh-so-clever. I worked really hard to maintain his approval of me as an "adult" versus mum - and he got better results "disciplining" me than mum did.
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  #67  
Old 22.11.2010, 12:13
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Re: How do you discipline your teenager?

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[/I]Needless to say, that worked. As a teenager, we dont like being considered as children. We wanted to be adults and be oh-so-clever. I worked really hard to maintain his approval of me as an "adult" versus mum - and he got better results "disciplining" me than mum did.
Isn't that the game though? Good cop bad cop. It doesn't work when both parents are the same

Because my parents were exactly the same
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Old 22.11.2010, 12:14
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Re: How do you discipline your teenager?

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Don't have the rustic French version it's like, so medieval; plastic and carbon fiber is the way to go this century wouldn't you say?
Yeah, hahaha...that made me laugh. They will always think how miserable their life is, when, actually, here more than elsewhere, it feels, it is not miserable at all, nobody has to help out at home, I was shocked to find out, or maybe they are ashamed to share in front of others..It's not so hard to make them excited about their local heavenly stuff. If they give you a street cred, they will appreciate your attention and the time you spend with them, even though they will most probably manifest it with their omnipresent sourpuss face...

I told them I spin in gym to local funky tv news, since it is fab, to learn about local traditions, way cooler than macdo and other US junk and MTV and movies pushed stuff, they think I am nuts but love when foreigners tell them how much you as a foreigner appreciate it here (the yodeling, imagine that!, the local foods, fests, carnivals, weird sports, the nature, mushrooms, blue berries picking, the farms, you name it). So, if you earn their trust, you can turn them, even as a parent, into things they wouldn't touch with a stick before, just ignore the initial opposition...they will always say no, out of principle, even when they are dying to say yes, it's their saving their face theatrics. If they feel you are not ashamed to have your own, slightly funky world, they will share theirs, just don't put theirs down. They are adults, but with such a recent kid memory, so they still love the embarrassing kid fun stuff, even if they so try hard to be....always...the cool kings. Girls in their uncomfortable hormonal world have it harder.
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Old 22.11.2010, 12:20
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Re: How do you discipline your teenager?

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Isn't that the game though? Good cop bad cop. It doesn't work when both parents are the same

Because my parents were exactly the same
The trick there, which your parents may have missed, is to take different roles each time - or even during the same discussion (it keeps 'em on their toes).
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Old 22.11.2010, 12:51
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Re: How do you discipline your teenager?

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She would not go out again for every minute she was late made into a day. 1h late is 60 days at home.....

To have tried to keep my son at home when he was 16 would have been as much a punishment for me as for him
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Old 22.11.2010, 12:56
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Re: How do you discipline your teenager?

When my brother and I were teenagers, ever since we started going out, we never had any curfews, but rather our parents let us determine at what time we would be home, depending on where we were/the activity we were doing.

However, there were a few "unbreakable rules" that went along with this:
a) school comes first, always. It was our job, as mom and dad had theirs. We could stay up all night if we wanted, but the next day we had to be sharp and give our best at school, because if our grades suffered, it was understood that there would be consequences;
a) if we said we were going to be home at a certain time (whatever that was), we'd better be 5 minutes early, or call in advance to communicate the delay and the reason for it;
b) we had to say in advance where we were going, and who we were going to be with, and my parents had veto power on this one - they actually rarely vetoed, I can only remember a couple of instances, and thinking back now, they perhaps were right

Respecting these rules was fundamental, and understood as being the precondition to maintain the trust between us.

One time, I had said I was going somewhere, and instead I went somewhere else that I knew beforehand my parents would have vetoed, but I still wanted to go. My father showed up at the place (I still have no idea how he knew!), waited a while, then walked up to me and, in front of all my friends, with a very cold and stern look said nothing but "Are you ready to go home now?". Then, as we were walking towards his car, he told me "I treat you as an adult and trust you, but you have betrayed this trust. You have greatly disappointed me, and I am hurt more than I am angry".

This was the worst punishment for me, and I can swear I never, EVER broke those rules again. It also took time to rebuild the trust - it's not like my dad was cool the next day like nothing had happened, and this taught me a huge lesson that came useful later in life.
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Old 22.11.2010, 13:21
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Re: How do you discipline your teenager?

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The problem here isn't that she was out late, the problem was she failed to call and let people know what was going on. My parents realize that things can happen and you might go over to a friends house rather than stay at a party that you don't like. However, the rule was that you never have an excuse not to call and let them know what's going on. In this age of every teen having a cell phone, you have even less of an 'no exuse' than we did.
You need to make that the issue. And you need to involve them in what sort of punishment would be fit, not the members of EF. If you want them to act like an adult, you have to treat them like one. If you treat them as an object they will rebel. If this were a first violation, I would make this a matter of removing access to electronic items (cell phones, games, etc) for some period of time with clear instructions that future violations will result in additions. Personally, I always like the removal of the bedroom door. That one seems to work pretty well for my friends (esp the ones who have daughters, for some reason).

Agreed - the problem is the lack of contact for three hours - whatever sge may have been up to the number one thing is for the parents to know that she is OK - and in the days of mobiles this is not hard to do, even if she lies on the phone!

I'll remember removing the bedroom door!

Jerry
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Old 22.11.2010, 13:33
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Re: How do you discipline your teenager?

I agree that the lack of contact is the bigger problem. However, it is reasonable for a 16 year old to be able to stay out later than that with their friends, if the friends are not total ne'er-do-wells. (If they are total ne'er-do-wells, then you have a different problem)

If you don't give a teenager a way to do things which are reasonable they are likely to start ignoring you. The teenager needs to learn responsibility, and that means having the power to get the things that they really want.

My recommendation is to figure out some conditions that the kid can satisfy to minimize parental nervousness. "I want to meet the friends that you are going to hang out with.", "Whenever I text you, I expect you to immediately take a picture with your phone of where you are and send it to me.", etc. Give them a way to have the basic freedoms that their friends have, so long as they do stay in touch and so on.

If they don't stay in touch you can punish them with things like a 9pm curfew. But if you don't give them a chance at freedom similar to their friends, they'll figure that they have nothing to lose.
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Old 22.11.2010, 13:55
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Re: How do you discipline your teenager?

Oh God, I am happy that I still have plenty of time ahead! But the remove of the door is one to remember....

Ok, If your parents were that loose with you and if you do the same with your kids, what about boyfriends/girlfriends?

Do you let your 16 have one and do you let them sleep over?
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Old 22.11.2010, 13:59
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Re: How do you discipline your teenager?

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Do you let your 16 have one and do you let them sleep over?
woah no way. My parents wouldnt let me have a girlfriend sleepover at all. Even at 21-22. That was their way of telling me to get my own place
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Old 22.11.2010, 14:00
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Re: How do you discipline your teenager?

I have a 15 soon to be 16 year old and it is difficult to get her to do anything, the only thing she likes is the internet so when she doesn't do as she is told (homework, clean room, backchat etc.) I have to resort to turning off the wi-fi which punishes us as well, but its easier than taking the laptop away, normally 24 hours is enough for her to behave for a couple of weeks.

We are about to start a new allowance with her, can someone give me an idea of what an fair allowance would be? She has had pocket money in the past but as we have recently moved here we can't decide on how much to give.
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Old 22.11.2010, 14:02
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Re: How do you discipline your teenager?

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Do you let your 16 have one and do you let them sleep over?
Go get yourself a basement room for guests Your daughter can have friends but no boys in her room with the door closed. It's a matter of respect for you, and you have a right to live in your home feeling comfortable. Doesn't have to make sense to your daughter - you paid for the home, you get to set the rules. Very different IMO from curfews etc.
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Old 22.11.2010, 14:03
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Re: How do you discipline your teenager?

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I have a 15 soon to be 16 year old and it is difficult to get her to do anything, the only thing she likes is the internet so when she doesn't do as she is told (homework, clean room, backchat etc.) I have to resort to turning off the wi-fi which punishes us as well, but its easier than taking the laptop away, normally 24 hours is enough for her to behave for a couple of weeks.

We are about to start a new allowance with her, can someone give me an idea of what an fair allowance would be? She has had pocket money in the past but as we have recently moved here we can't decide on how much to give.
Set up your wi-fi router to only allow certain MAC addresses to connect to it (e.g. your laptop, her laptop, etc). If you need to disable her access, then just disable/delete her MAC address. This way, you get to continue using the Internet, but not her....unless there's an open network nearby.
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Old 22.11.2010, 14:06
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Re: How do you discipline your teenager?

My parents did this too. Gave me my own key at 14 at 16 they knew I was going to pubs on weekends. However I also had my first job at 14 so was spending my own money and they operated an open door policy so we always had a house full of my friends or my sisters friends, this way they knew exactly who we were hanging out with. My parents gave us a good upbringing & instilled the right values in us so while I was drinking regularly at 16 I never came home steaming drunk, never slept around and managed to get myself a decent education. They showed us respect and got it in return.

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Looks like it.

I wouldn't tell my 16 year old when he/she has to be home. The only thing I'd ask him/her is to stay with the friends. That was my parents requirement during my teen years. For the rest, I could stay out and drink as much alcohol as I liked. I'd do it similarly with my kids (not that I have any yet).
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Old 22.11.2010, 14:06
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Re: How do you discipline your teenager?

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I have a 15 soon to be 16 year old and it is difficult to get her to do anything, the only thing she likes is the internet so when she doesn't do as she is told (homework, clean room, backchat etc.) I have to resort to turning off the wi-fi which punishes us as well, but its easier than taking the laptop away, normally 24 hours is enough for her to behave for a couple of weeks.

We are about to start a new allowance with her, can someone give me an idea of what an fair allowance would be? She has had pocket money in the past but as we have recently moved here we can't decide on how much to give.
Give her a job - no allowance. Something with a regular time, regular rules, regular pay. 70chf for a Saturday of work.
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