How to Correct a Teen

By Tiffany Raiford
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Being the parent of a teenager means you will encounter times when correcting your teen is necessary. Whether you have to correct her inappropriate behavior, her mistakes or even her language, it’s not always an easy task because your teen probably doesn’t like being corrected. She’s at an age where she’s learning to become independent and she views herself as much more of an adult than she actually is, which leaves you looking for a way to correct her without escalating the situation at a rapid pace.

Step 1

Ask your teen why he chooses to do something you don’t understand before you correct him, advises KidsHealth. If he wants to get a tattoo or piercing, ask him why he feels the need to make such a permanent change to his body. Your job as his parent is to understand why he is behaving in a way that needs correction before correcting him. Once you know why he wants to do something or why he already did something, you can correct him with a little more understanding. This causes less conflict.

Step 2

Use specifics when setting rules for your teen, advises the Mayo Clinic. This minimizes the need for correction. Instead of telling your teen to be home at a reasonable hour on the weekends, set a specific time for her to be home. Her idea of reasonable and your idea of reasonable might be two very different ideas, which could cause conflict. Additionally, if you write down the household rules, your teens are less likely to break them and need correction.

Step 3

Develop a list of consequences for breaking the rules with your teen, advises the Mayo Clinic. When he has a say in the type of behavior corrections you use on him, he might see those consequences as fair and be less likely to break them. However, if he does break the rules, it makes correcting his behavior that much easier as he already knows the consequences and expects you to enforce them.

Step 4

Offer rewards to your teen when she obeys the rules, advises KidsHealth. If she makes it a habit to be trustworthy with an ability to handle the rules, offer her something in return. If she always makes her curfew, considering extending it by a half hour on the weekends to show her you trust her. Correcting your teen is not always about disciplining her; sometimes it’s about showing her that good behavior warrants good things.