TELL THEM HOW WORRIED YOU GET
Showing that you care or talking about your feelings with your child is never ridiculous or stupid. Make it clear to you teenager that you get very worried – when they drink alcohol or come home late, for example. It’s not about guilt-tripping – you’re just saying how it makes you feel.
ESTABLISH THE CONSEQUENCES OF BREAKING THE RULES.
Parents and teenagers alike tend to handle the situation better if they’ve agreed in advance what the consequences will be if they break the rules. Why not have an open discussion about what will happen if your teenager comes home late, for example. It’s good if it feels like a mutual agreement.
If you get punished, you just get annoyed and angry. You don't learn anything from it.
Melissa, aged 14, Örebro
TALK ABOUT IT TOGETHER
If your teenager comes home late and you haven’t already decided on the consequences, then it’s a good idea to say something. If you say nothing and simply impose a punishment, there’s a risk that your teenager will close themselves off. The punishment might have the opposite effect then you intended. Talk to your teenager about what they think is a reasonable consequence and what you both can do to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
AVOID EMPTY THREATS
Sometimes, your patience runs out and you simply can’t handle a talk right now. When this happens, it’s very easy to just impose a punishment without having really thought it through. You might regret what you’ve said when you’ve calmed down a bit. Or you might even forget what you said in the heat of the moment and it becomes an empty threat, rather than something that enables your teenager to learn from their mistake. Using empty threats regularly might just lead to a less respectful relationship between you. So try and stand by what you’ve said and what you’ve agreed. If you’ve said something in haste and now regret it, then say so. The most important thing is that you talk about it.