Raising a teen poses many challenges. If your teen daughter has been breaking rules, behaving disrespectfully or generally making life difficult through negative behaviors or attitudes, you may be pondering what types of punishments are appropriate. While every teen and situation may be different, there are a few options to consider when punishing your daughter.
To maintain peace in your household and increase the odds that your teen will follow the rules, it's important that she first understands the rules. Sit down with your daughter and tell her exactly what is expected of her. You should also outline the consequences for breaking the rules you set for her, suggests the website of Huck House, an organization which provides family outreach and support for troubled teens.
Grounding a teen is a traditional way of punishing negative behaviors, although the term varies from household to household. Some parents ground their daughters by not allowing them to leave the home for social reasons. Other parents ground their daughters by restricting or prohibiting certain privileges within the home. How you decide to ground your daughter -- and the length of the grounding -- should depend upon the seriousness of the infraction. But be careful not to make your child feel overwhelmed with the grounding. For example, if you ground her for three months straight, she may feel like there is no end in sight to her punishment and this may actually work against you. Instead of learning a lesson, she may learn to simply resent you.
When your teen breaks a rule, consider imposing restrictions. For instance, if you catch her on her phone in the middle of the night or you find out she's texting during school hours, take her cell phone away for a few days. If she breaks curfew, take her car away for the weekend. In addition to taking things away, you can also add more chores or responsibilities if she breaks rules, like taking on laundry duty or cleaning out the garage.
HealthyChildren.org, the website for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), explains that even teenagers are not too old for time outs, although the way you carry out the time out will differ. For your teenage daughter, send her to a calm and quiet place, like the dining room or kitchen, instead of to her room, where she has access to her phone, TV and game system. If she's rude, disrespectful or out of control, have her sit down in one of those rooms and come back when she's calm enough to discuss the behavioral issue.