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Old 21.11.2010, 20:32
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How do you discipline your teenager?

Imagine this situation:

You have a 15-16 years old girl and she is out with friends. You gave her a time she has to be home. Let say 9h pm (this is mandatory and it is nothing new).

She is late and you try to contact her many many times but she doesn't answer her phone and shows up 3 hours later...

What would you do, say? What would be your consequences?

PS: That wasn't Little Princess* obviously, but my sister in law's daughter...
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Old 21.11.2010, 20:36
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Re: How do you discipline your teenager?

Teenager home before midnight ?

What would I say ?

"Hi darling, so glad you're home safe...night night xx"
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Old 21.11.2010, 20:39
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Re: How do you discipline your teenager?

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



On the other hand 9 is a bit early tho I believe. 10.00 would be an appropriate time in my opinion.
I never missed a deadline cause that was the consequence....and a few slaps with that.
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Old 21.11.2010, 20:46
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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......
I flat out don't believe you have ever successfully used this punishment on a 16 year old. Teenagers of this sort of age aren't stupid and they can escalate things very quickly to a situation you don't want to be in (if you want to try and lock them up, be my guest but you won't like the results).

A more adult solution would first be to examine whether the "rules" are in fact reasonable. It's important to move with the flow of traffic and examine what her peers are up to and when they have to be home - if it was 9pm, that's faintly ridiculous. I'd say midnight-1am or whenever the last train is. It's really difficult to come into parenting at 16 - if she's been brought up correctly then it'll be relatively straightforward to reason with her as to why it's important to be back at a certain time, and that civilised people don't stay out till the early hours, get very drunk etc. If she gets it, no punishment should be necessary. She's testing the boundaries of course, but a bit of nuance is required here. Treat her like a child and you'll get what you deserve.
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Old 21.11.2010, 20:50
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Re: How do you discipline your teenager?

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I flat out don't believe you have ever successfully used this punishment on a 16 year old. Teenagers of this sort of age aren't stupid and they can escalate things very quickly to a situation you don't want to be in (if you want to try and lock them up, be my guest but you won't like the results).

A more adult solution would first be to examine whether the "rules" are in fact reasonable. It's important to move with the flow of traffic and examine what her peers are up to and when they have to be home - if it was 9pm, that's faintly ridiculous. I'd say midnight-1am or whenever the last train is. It's really difficult to come into parenting at 16 - if she's been brought up correctly then it'll be relatively straightforward to reason with her as to why it's important to be back at a certain time, and that civilised people don't stay out till the early hours, get very drunk etc. If she gets it, no punishment should be necessary. She's testing the boundaries of course, but a bit of nuance is required here. Treat her like a child and you'll get what you deserve.

Dont have one yet.....but that is what I will try cause it worked on me , my sister, and my brother....so I guess it does work. Do agree that the time is a bit early
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Old 21.11.2010, 20:54
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Re: How do you discipline your teenager?

If you have to discipline your teenager you're too late.
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Old 21.11.2010, 21:00
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Re: How do you discipline your teenager?

I think it depends on who she's with and where they are. I know times have changed a lot, but when I was that age my parents had to know my friends and where I was (usually we were at someone's house). My curfew varied according to the night of the week and what we were doing... for example I wasn't allowed to hang out in the streets until midnight, but watching movies at a friend's house until late was no problem. All my friends had the same rules, so it wasn't a big deal. I'd be terrified of having teenagers here in Switzerland because alcohol is so freely available. I'm not saying we never drank in Canada, but it was difficult to get our hands on booze and besides, no one had enough money to get ridiculously drunk: more like one bottle of wine for 6 people. In fact, I guess our parents kept control over us by limiting the amount of momey we had to get into trouble with! But the key is to raise them well, to teach them respect for themselves and others, and get to know their friends. Then you have to just trust them.
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Old 21.11.2010, 21:04
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Re: How do you discipline your teenager?

Ok, beside the time...

Personnally, I believe that midnight for a 16 years old is out of question!

That is not the point in this situation. You forget something important. Here is a time asked, a phone and 3 hours late.

As a parent, what can you do? To treat kids like adults, they will act like adult, and this wasn't an adult like acting.

16 years old aren't adult, not even close. So what you do if you can't or shouldn't treat them like a child?
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Old 21.11.2010, 21:06
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Re: How do you discipline your teenager?

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).
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Old 21.11.2010, 21:09
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Re: How do you discipline your teenager?

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Ok, beside the time...

Personnally, I believe that midnight for a 16 years old is out of question!

That is not the point in this situation. You forget something important. Here is a time asked, a phone and 3 hours late.

As a parent, what can you do? To treat kids like adults, they will act like adult, and this wasn't an adult like acting.

16 years old aren't adult, not even close. So what you do if you can't or shouldn't treat them like a child?
She is home safe, and presumably had a nice time. The apron strings are cut and the outcome is positive, all those years of raising her have paid off. Maybe a word in her ear to get a message back to the home about wherevshe is and what time shevwill be home is all that is needed. The more autonomy and trust she is given , the more she will respect her parents and the emotions involved.

Times have changed, 15 yr olds are smart, street wise etc. Midnight is fine.
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Old 21.11.2010, 21:11
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Re: How do you discipline your teenager?

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16 years old aren't adult, not even close. So what you do if you can't or shouldn't treat them like a child?
No I agree she is not an adult, but well on her way. At 16 years old I was working in London, which was a 45 minute train commute. Some nights I wasn't even home from work by 9pm and of course they was no such thing as a mobile phone. So if I had to be in that time I probably would've laughed. In some ways you have to give them enough rope to hang themselves. Think back to when you were young........if you were told you couldn't go out there probably would be lots of flouncing, door slamming and climbing out of the bedroom window! It's important not to alienate her so she doesn't go completely off the rails. Probably a stern talking to with the consequences etc, etc. With a harsh warning that if she ever does that again there will be huge repercussions. Cut off her money so she can't afford to go out, something along those lines.
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Old 21.11.2010, 21:12
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Re: How do you discipline your teenager?

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Times have changed, 15 yr olds are smart, street wise etc. Midnight is fine.
That's a bold unsupported generalization that may or may not be true in this specific case. If kids or so 'street smart' why are teenage alcohol abuse and teen pregnancies still such a problem?
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Old 21.11.2010, 21:12
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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).
Yep! The phone was in my book the worse in this story. She had her phone with her and like I know her, she is breathing through that phone, having her finger on it ALL THE TIME! Her excuse was that she didn't see that her mom called!

I brang the subject on EF not to look for a punishment for her (I would never involve myself in someone else education) but just to see what people would do in this situation and if what I would do fit in some sort of socially acceptable discipline.
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Old 21.11.2010, 21:15
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Re: How do you discipline your teenager?

Well my mom was very strict with me when I was a teenager, especially when it came to being on time and curefew. Indipendently of the time, if I had to be home at a certain hour, I better be there on time. The tolerance was only within 5 mints, if I was going to be later than that due to traffic, I had to phone or sms.
Punishment always followed when I broke the rules - from having to do extra housework, to not being allowed to use my scooter (in Italy you can drive a scooter when you are 14y.o.), to no pocket money, and usually being grounded and having an even earlier curefew once I was allowed out again.

The key thing thou it wasn't the punishment itself, it was more the fact that my parents always sat down with me, talked to me about responsability, and how if I wanted to be trusted and treated as an adult I had to behave like one and always keep my word and do what I had agreed to/promised to (including being home at a certain hour). Also, they tended to "negotiate" the time I would have to be home rather than impose it (so they could tell me after: we had an adult conversation, agreed to a reasonable time, you better stick to it).
They also had a rewarding system (if I started to behave they would reduce my punishment) ... I guess that helped.

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Old 21.11.2010, 21:16
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Re: How do you discipline your teenager?

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I brang the subject on EF not to look for a punishment for her (I would never involve myself in someone else education) but just to see what people would do in this situation and if what I would do fit in some sort of socially acceptable discipline.
I would simply say that if she doesn't know how to use her phone then she has no business having one and take it away for a month. For a teen these days, that's probably torture. That and I'd play the "I'm very disappointed in you" trick. I know if my mom had done that to me, I'd have felt worse about that. I probably would have offered my own punishment at that point. If they haven't owned up to their error, then I'd say you also have to address that.
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Old 21.11.2010, 21:16
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Re: How do you discipline your teenager?

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No I agree she is not an adult, but well on her way. At 16 years old I was working in London, which was a 45 minute train commute. Some nights I wasn't even home from work by 9pm and of course they was no such thing as a mobile phone. So if I had to be in that time I probably would've laughed. In some ways you have to give them enough rope to hang themselves. Think back to when you were young........if you were told you couldn't go out there probably would be lots of flouncing, door slamming and climbing out of the bedroom window! It's important not to alienate her so she doesn't go completely off the rails. Probably a stern talking to with the consequences etc, etc. With a harsh warning that if she ever does that again there will be huge repercussions. Cut off her money so she can't afford to go out, something along those lines.
I believe that you were pretty independant and responsable at this age. Sadly, this teenager in my exemple is a lazy, spoiled teenager who doesn't bring good results from school, spend all of her time on internet and her phone. She doesn't work and have no responsabilities what so ever beside helping in the house.
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Old 21.11.2010, 21:16
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Re: How do you discipline your teenager?

16 year olds are basically adults. They may not be as mature as 40 year olds, but neither are 30 year olds. In any case, 16 is old enough in the UK to drink alcohol in certain situations, have sex and get a job. It's a bare two years from majority. I have never had a curfew and was never punished during my teen years. There was a strong expectation to "act sensibly" and to "do well". These expectations were never defined, but then they didn't have to be - I was an adult. The true aim of having a teenager is to try and foster a continuing "adult conversation". Barking orders won't get you anywhere, arbitrary curfews won't either. Treat your teenager as you would like to be treated now, or treat them like children or idiots and they'll react as you would.
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Old 21.11.2010, 21:20
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Re: How do you discipline your teenager?

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I believe that you were pretty independant and responsable at this age. Sadly, this teenager in my exemple is a lazy, spoiled teenager who doesn't bring good results from school, spend all of her time on internet and her phone. She doesn't work and have no responsabilities what so ever beside helping in the house.
Clarejane wasn't an adult at 16 because of luck or an accident of nature. Things like punishments or curfews are self defeating. They're easy outs but they rob children of maturity which in turn means more punishment. Punishing a child is a very blunt weapon - if it doesn't work you're in deep trouble. If you "ground" your 16 year old, but prepared for her to say "F you" and walk out the house. There's nothing you can do.
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Old 21.11.2010, 21:22
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Re: How do you discipline your teenager?

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Clarejane wasn't an adult at 16 because of luck or an accident of nature. Things like punishments or curfews are self defeating. They're easy outs but they rob children of maturity which in turn means more punishment. Punishing a child is a very blunt weapon - if it doesn't work you're in deep trouble. If you "ground" your 16 year old, but prepared for her to say "F you" and walk out the house. There's nothing you can do.
The success of grounding depends on a) whether said child knows they were wrong and b) whether they respect their parents or not. In this case, it doesn't sound like that's true (I may be wrong).
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Old 21.11.2010, 21:23
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Re: How do you discipline your teenager?

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16 year olds are basically adults. They may not be as mature as 40 year olds, but neither are 30 year olds. In any case, 16 is old enough in the UK to drink alcohol in certain situations, have sex and get a job. It's a bare two years from majority. I have never had a curfew and was never punished during my teen years. There was a strong expectation to "act sensibly" and to "do well". These expectations were never defined, but then they didn't have to be - I was an adult. The true aim of having a teenager is to try and foster a continuing "adult conversation". Barking orders won't get you anywhere, arbitrary curfews won't either. Treat your teenager as you would like to be treated now, or treat them like children or idiots and they'll react as you would.
I guess I have a lot to learn about what is it to be a teenager... My years weren't nice and I certainly didn't keep a nice memory. I was in an army discipline kind and I won't tell you what time I had to be home, that would give you a heart attack.
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