You’ve probably heard that consistency is key when it comes to raising your toddler or preschooler, but you rarely hear people talk much about being consistent with your teenager. However, because teens are embarking on adulthood, is even more reason to be consistent in the remainder of their upbringing.
Be consistent in their schedule
One of the key areas you can help your teen develop into a responsible adult is in their schedule. It’s important to help them see where they’re spending their time, and therefore to help them find places they might be wasting time. Get out a calendar, sit down with them and have them write down every single activity they’re involved in. Things to include are: school, any after school activities, work, time for homework, time with friends and family activities. Fill in any doctor appointments or any other things your teen is involved in not mentioned here. You and your teen will be able to see areas they may need to cut an activity out or even where you can add an activity if they need something to do.
As they learn to be consistent in their time management, they will also learn to be disciplined in other areas, such as money management.
Consistency in money management
One thing I hear continually from many of my adult friends is that they weren’t taught as a teen how to manage their money. I think it’s very important to teach our children how to manage their money as soon as they are old enough to start earning an allowance or even given their first quarter. If you haven’t started, it’s not too late. There are a couple of articles posted here and here that you can refer to that will help you teach your teen how to manage money.
Consistency in Discipline
Yes even with teens we as parents need to be consistent when it comes to disciplining them when they do something they’re not supposed to or are disobedient or disrespectful. Even though we probably won’t be spanking them or putting them in time out, there are other ways that we can discipline our teens.
One thing that worked well for me, was to take away special privileges like video games, iPods, cell phones, cars, stereos or any other item that they really treasured. Whenever one of my kids were disrespectful or didn’t do what I say, I would literally take one of these things away for a determined amount of time, like a day or a week, even a month depending on how “bad” the offense was. Once they knew I meant business, they began to obey and respect me a whole lot more, especially once I was single.
As I stated above, it’s really not too late to start. But you have to begin somewhere. The best place is to start with a conversation with your teen, and not when you’re in the middle of a disagreement or argument. Sit down with them, when you’re both in a calm state, and let them know some things are going to change. Let them know that if they don’t start obeying you and respecting you, that their [insert favorite object, gadget or activity here] is going to be taken away for [insert appropriate amount of time here]. And as soon as they start to disrespect or disobey, then so as you said you would. It will take a few times, but they will get the message and soon you will start seeing changes, for the good, in your teen’s behavior.
Teens expect and need us to be consistent with their upbringing, even if they’re not conscious of this need. Your teen will actually feel more loved when you show them you care by being consistent with their schedule, their money and their behavior.
For further reading and guidance on raising your teen, be sure to check out all of the articles here on Parenting My Teen. If you need further help with parenting your teen and would like to talk one on one, see the information entitled Parenting Coach.
Take a look at the Parenting Your Teen Program and learn how to handle your teenager and all situations involving him or her in a true “WIN-WIN” Manner and develop the co-operative, down-to-earth, frustration-free relationship that you’ve always wanted.