TELL THEM HOW WORRIED YOU GET
Talking about your feelings with your child is never ridiculous. Tell them how worried you get if they drink alcohol or come home late, for example. It’s not about guilt-tripping: you’re just telling them how it makes you feel.
Showing appreciation and affirmation when your child sticks to what you’ve agreed is more effective than threatening punishments if they break the rules.
If you want to make it clear that there will be consequences if your teenager fails to stick to what you’ve agreed, it’s a good idea to talk about the consequences in advance. That makes it a kind of contract.
If your teenager is late home and you haven’t decided in advance what the consequences are, all you can do is react. But imposing a punishment without an explanation seldom yields the desired effect. A better approach is to talk to your teenager about what you can do to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
"Punishment doesn’t help. It’s better to have a proper talk".
Gina, aged 15, Örebro
AVOID EMPTY THREATS
Sometimes, your patience runs out and you end up imposing a punishment without having really thought things through. And you might regret it after a while, or even forget what you said in the heat of the moment. And as a result, it becomes an empty threat, rather than something that enables your teenager to learn from their mistake. Repeated empty threats can result in a loss of respect for what the parent says.
Try to stand by what you’ve said. If you’ve said something in haste and now regret it, then say so. Feeling regret is OK, but it’s still important that you talk about it.
"My parents haven’t told me what I am and am not allowed to do. I do what I want and deal with the consequences, whatever they may be".
Axel, aged 15, Örebro