How Do You Discipline a Tween?
Disciplining any child can be tough. But It can be especially hard with tweens, who are known for unpredictable behavior and a tendency to act out. What are some suggestions you have for disciplining a tween?
I believe that at some point you have to take away everything that is not a necessity. Kids feel they should have the phone, games systems, own tv...NOT.... I also found that IF you don't stick to your guns & your partner is not on the same playing field as you then you might as well give up, it has to be a united front. My tween (11) was recently caught in 1 heck of a lie at school, which earned her a visit by me at the school and a subsequent grounding from all of her electronics for the balance of this month (that was around Feb 7th) - she is still grounded from them, including the fact that Friday is technology day at school - oh well she won't be taking anything electronic to school....and she was assigned by her dad to write an apology letter to the principal and staff at her school....she cranked out 550 words on not only what she had done wrong, but reasons why lying is not good. I sat with her and explained that when you start playing Adult games - you get Adult reactions & punishments...
Again Stick to your guns, be up front about punishments & rewards...don't always look for the negative - it is like training a dog to a degree - reward the positive and give them a positive role model to pattern themselves after. Remember they are just trying to get a grip on anything when everything is changing...expectations, school work, and their body - hormones are bouncing around like a ping pong ball gone crazy...
The best discipline we've found is extra work. When my son acts out, be it disrespect, outright disobedience or anything else, we pile on the chores. "I don't want to go to bed!" is met with sweeping the back patio. "Because I didn't want to." is met with cleaning the bathroom. We have also allowed our kids to pay us to do their chores for them, but we're not cheap! Cleaning my son's room costs him his PlayStation. Our kids know that if they don't want to do as they've been told, we
can find them something much more unpleasant to do instead.
Stay calm and have a soft tone even when your giving some direction or redirection. When my voice sounds angry my tween mirrors it. Find time to play and laugh.
Funny this should be brought up, as I just finished an evening of "attitude adjustment" with my 12-yr daughter. She is a really good young lady, but lately has been SUPER CRANKY (pms/hormones), not following basic rules (refusal to take showers because she "gets cold"; not brushing her teeth and getting lectured at the orthodontist) and I have to CONSTANTLY nag her about being getting up and not being late. It is ridiculous! She is a straight A honors student and is in the school musical, but lately has been pushing the limits.
After she refused to eat dinner (she didn't like what we were having) I had enough! I gathered my thoughts about what needed to change/wouldn't be tolerated and began a discussion. I sat down with her and calmly reviewed expectations. For every action (or lack thereof) there is a consequence, starting with the loss of privileges. I agree--short periods work best. I left her alone to think about it for 30 minutes or so, then offered my help to her (homework, cleaning, whatever.) We ended up working together on a detailed homework assignment!! She apologized and was so grateful for my help that we actually had some laughs by the nights end. Not saying this will work for every tween/teen. It is a start!
My son is 11 (Aug birthday), 5th grade. I have informed him that I will remove everything out of his room, except his bed, dresser and clothes. I will store them with a relative (they are aware of this) and he will have to earn everything back, it will be much more difficult to earn them back than it was when he got them. I am prepared to follow thru with this, if need be. This is for grades slipping, disrespecting others, back talk, etc... I believe in not spanking my child, personally, but I also believe that there are some individuals in this world that spanking is the only thing that works for them.
Im a mother of 6 kids, 3 teens and 3 preteens, my suggestion is to take a time out, when trying to deal with a teen , tween or preteen, send them to their room for a much needed moment to think. When all is calm then approach them and let them know the behaviour was inappropriate. I am a true believer in second chances, explain that this will not be tolerated a second time from them. If a second time happens remove items from them , starting with one day and work your way up. Taking favorite items away for weeks at a time does not enforce any type of point, short periods of time have better results :) good luck to us all lol
I agree with what Catherine Somerville-Stonard says. Taking priviledges is probably the best thing after they have a good understanding of what is going on. The biggest thing you have to do is be consistant. Just like when your child was two, it cannot be OK to do this today and NOT OK tomorrow.
I also have tween and I think the best advice is to make sure everyone takes a timeout. Once everyone is calm then you can have a discussion. Most of the time my tween realizes she was wrong and she apologizes and we talk about it. At this age is where you want to be able to have that much
needed communication. God Bless us all!
This age is hard! I feel like my life has been turned upside down with my previously so obedient daughter, and especially as she has 4 younger siblings who are watching this live display of parenting "class". She is going through a lot of physical changes, so I know that is a part of it. One thing I am grateful for is that she knows we love her. It is hard to take things away when she makes bad choices, and honestly when she has no friends/phone/ tv/ computer for a week, it's hard not to feel like I'm getting punished too. However, we need her to know that some things are unacceptable, and there are consequences. Period.
If there is one thing I feel like has helped me, it is that kids need to be shown an increase of love during/ after discipline. That does NOT mean caving in and letting them get off without a consequence. But through it or after the punishment, love can be shown in many ways- one on one time, doing things together like making a dessert, playing a board or card game, reading out loud together, are examples. Hugs, kisses, and lists of good qualities and what I love about this child are other ways to show love. Helping them with their work also displays love. I think this is important- children who know they are cherished will continue to work on the relationship as you do. They will have stronger desires to obey and become confident, competent, adults.
With some kids or families, I also think therapy and a trip to the doctor can be so helpful. Sometimes people just have extra issues, sometimes through nobody's fault and sometimes because that's what life hands them. If they can use whatever tools are out there, they're more likely to overcome. With violence, I would advise for immediate intervention with the help of school counselors, family therapists, and drs.
Finally, prayer: because we all need God's help. He knows and loves that child and He knows what will help more than anyone else.
I found that removing things from my son wasn't working as much. Now, we have started a system where we not only punish bad behavior, but reward the good. My son is 13, and we have had our issues mainly with lying, homework/schoolwork and backtalk. We have decided, even at his age, to use a chart. He gets stars for good behavior and loses stars for bad behavior. He has to "buy back" the items that he lost as punishment by earning enough stars to do so. Each item is given a star value, and we allow him to help assign the values to them, within reason. That way, he feels as though he has truly worked to earn back what he has lost. It gives him the help he needs to empower himself to make good choices, instead of trying to lie to keep himself out of trouble. He has learned the hard way that we always find out the truth and it is better to tell the truth to start out with.
I am the mother of a teenage boy and two tween girls. They are both 11, my daughter and step-daughter, two weeks apart in age. I feel that there should not be not set punishment but should be based on the child and what the childs personality, temperment and interests are. I also feel that the act for which they are being punished should be taken into consideration. My daughter is ADHD/ODD and is very loud, outgoing, energetic, disorganised and has a very short temper, she is also very defiant. My step-daughter on the other hand is very easygoing, laidback, a neatfreak, and strives to make everyone happy. One of the common things that the girls get punished for is arguing and fighting therefor the punishment is some kind of chore that forces them to work together, such as cleaning the bathroom. Something I use for my daughter is we sit down and talk and I allow her to voice her opinion on why she commited said "crime" and what her punishment should be. It makes her think about what she has done and what the punishment should be. One of the punishments she absoulutely hates the most is writing lines. It works at school, why shouldn't it work at home? I'll usually discuss what the problem is and then decide what the line should be and then depending on how mad I am at the time give a value of how many times she has to write the line, of course the line reiterates the crime and how she will not do it. An example may be if she sass-mouths my husband or I; I will respect my mom and dad and I will not back talk them. Usually the crime is not commited again for several months.
Go by the Goodwill and fill up the closet. This took away ALL the attitude that my son was giving me. He finally understood that we work hard so he can have nice things, so he needs to work hard at taking care of them. He has also learned that he must respect us in order to keep these things and to continue receiving them. Sometimes my son just needs to be grounded, not the sit in your room for two weeks, but reality that he cannot act this way and still get to have/do the things he wants.
I agree with restricting privileges. I always tell her that things like games internet/TV time are not rights and they can and will be taken away. I guess she never believed I would take them away until I actually did. It took some time for her to come around but she eventually did. It worked so well that she was originally being punished for her temper and disrespectful attitude but it seems that it solved another problem as well. She is normally very resistant when it's time to get ready for school. The biggest struggle is getting her out of bed and when she finally gets up she moves soooooooo slow it's difficult to watch without getting angry. I have been battling with her for years with this and it seems that her punishment has showed her that I'm serious and her stuff/privileges can and will be taken away I also agree that communication is extremely important. She was always very comfortable opening up to me about anything and that hasn't changed except that now she lives in La La Land and she only talks about TV and books and fictional stuff. That leaves me to wonder if this is all that's important to her right now or if shes starting to hide the important stuff. What's your take moms?
Same with mine ... she just turn 13 and has been having a very ugly attitude towards me and her dad ....
She slammed her bedroom door to her dad and he took the door down .. so no privacy for her ....
I decided to give her the silent treatment and it is killing her ...
I just hope this attitude of her does not last too long ....
I recommend the books the negotiation generation and the entitlement trap. They will give you great tools!
Yes...I'm am agreeing with a lot of what has been said. Taking things away like the game systems, the cell phone and facebook will totally make them think.
I have a tween that is consistantly doing (not doing) the same thing. I allow my children to have a fair amount of freedom. We live in a small community. However, I must know where they are at all times. If they change places I must have a telephone call. This child constantly moves around and no telephone call. I found out over the weekend that she wasn't where she was supposed to be due to a facebook post by the mother of where she was supposed to be. I called and confirmed that she wasn't with them and she had told the mother she was going to another child's house.
Any thoughts? Right now she is not allowed to leave our yard unless she is with an older sibling.
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I was thinking about this issue in my hub, maybe it will be helpful:)
Spanking (not too hard and only with your hand) and take away fun things. I take away my sons video game rights, computer use and phone use. I also make him go to bed earlier. He is 11.
I was fed up with being disrespected, back chatted and taken for granted, do I went on strike. I did the cooking but stopped the taxi service, stopped doing the laundry, ironing etcclearing plates from the table, washing up the pans, loading the dishwasher were no longer my responsibilit. My son found it worse than having the electronics confiscated as they were sat looking at him but he had no time to play with them!!! This punishment seemed to work.....we have had a much cheerier, helpful son since
The only thing that works in our house is taking away the electronics...........
My daughter is 12 and I too have been very frustrated about lack of hygiene, RESISTANCE, and white lies. I find when I walk her through things they get done but don't always have the time to do that. We also make an agreement with consequences on paper so there would be no room for argument. This has worked in the moment but we still have the same behaviors coming up. Any ideas on how to inspire better behavior?
How do you discipline a tween that is also bipolar and has ADD?
Revocation of priviledges starting with the least important and gradually moving up until you have stripped them of their creature comforts. I usually start off with taking away gadgets (iPod, Kindle, cell phone, TV, radio) and then priviledges like a Friday night teen activity that is held at a local church, being picked up from school as opposed to walking with friends. I never involve chores in punishments because chores are your responsibility whether you are grounded or not. Dishes, floors, her room, her bathroom are all her responsibilities. I make a rule that when grounding is in effect....I don't care what comes up under the sun. Prom, school trip, clubs, your cousin's wedding...I don't care what it is...you're not going! You and your husband/partner have to be on the same wave with this or it won't work. I've also been known to "flip out" and give her a dose of her own attitudenal, uncooperative behavior in places like Wal*mart or the mall where we might run into some of her cult followers (friends). I kind of fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants with the parenting thing.
My husband and I have literally removed EVERYTHING from our son's room...he had a TV, a game console, cool wall track hot wheels things, all kinds of toys, all that jazz...we left him with his clothes, bed/bedding and that's it. He's 10, will be 11 in June and he takes his punishments rather stoically, improves where he needs to improve, and we don't have any more problems with that particular issue.
Our daughter (just turned 9) is another story entirely...she is prone to screaming fits that drive us insane, severe back talk, even occasional hitting...we've tried everything with her that we've done with our son and nothing works, I don't understand.
I have a 13 year old that has become extremely violent. I've tried everything that is suggested below and nothing works. If you try to correct him he just gets worse, send him to his room and he'll keep the fight going, ignore him and he just keeps pushing, spank him he swings back. I don't want to ship him off to military school but I'm at the end of my rope with him. This child I love with all my heart is single handedly killing me, my husband, and our marriage. His sister also sees what he's doing and tries to talk to him about it but all that does is get her hurt. I've tried to contat the cops but they try to stay out of it until there is physical evidence, like one of us getting bruises from him hitting, but anytime I get a new bruise they suspect my husband because of his stature. At this point the only thing I can think to do is pray it calms down on it's own and let him have his way all the time
I have 12 year old son who has a real problem with listening! He has seen several counselors so far and right now he is seeing one from SAS for 90 days to try and help him. I had to admit him to Methodist hospital in our area because he decided to get mad one night and stab his stuffed animal he has had since he was a little boy several times and it scared me to death! I was scared to sleep for several nights! I don't believe he would hurt us, but he did admit he had fleeting thoughts about hurting his step-father. So we admitted him over at the hospital and after a week, they felt it was safe for him to go home, but he needed more counseling and they put him on anti-anxiety medication. He takes that every day! Even after this counseling, I see some improvement, but he still has lots of problems with listening. He wants to debate everything! I can send him to his room to calm down, but then he won't stop there. He will continue to debate until I get so angry. I have learned to stay calm and not argue with him, but it's very difficult at times. I guess i just want him to grow out of this! He has been acting like this for year! I know part of it is that his natural Father isn't being the Father he should. Recently he took another job, flying to Las Angeles on Sunday and returning on Thursday's. There are has already been two weekends he has not been able to see him. I have learned I cannot change his Father, but it just kills me inside because I guess I figured no matter what happened between his Father and I, that they would always be close!
I agree with all of you that communication is key. At this stage my 10 year old girl needs those talks. Sometimes she gets in trouble over just misunderstanding, but sometimes she's just being rebellious ... those are time out and take away times.