Attempting to convince teen boys not to do something they have their minds set on is not an easy task. Teen boys are often impulsive, daring and willing to try just about anything once. As his parent, your job is to make sure your teen has the ability to make good decisions. It’s unlikely that he’s going to approach you to talk about his desire to make a bad decision prior to making it, which means you won’t have the opportunity to convince him not to do something. For this reason, teaching him right from wrong and the power of good decision making is one of the most important lessons you can provide.
Lead by example, advises the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding. It may seem like common sense, but sometimes it’s easy to forget that your teen is watching everything you do. When he sees you make a decision that isn’t the best, he files that away and thinks that it’s okay to make poor decisions from time to time. When the situation is appropriate, ask him to help you make decisions that will become good examples for him. This allows you to show him the importance of considering both the pros and cons of any given situation and weighing the different possible outcomes. You may indirectly be responsible for convincing him not to do something during his teenage years by teaching him this method of decision making.
Stop using the term, “Because I said so,” when you tell him not to do something, advises the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding. When you are trying to convince your teenage son that drugs are bad, don’t tell him not to use drugs because you said so. Tell him why drugs are bad, what negative health effects they have and provide him with examples. He’s not going to turn down a drink with friends or another bad idea simply because you told him you said he has to; the way to convince him not to do something is to make sure he understands what will happen if he does.
Monitor your teen carefully, advises Dr. Kristen G. Anderson Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology at the Reed University Adolescent Health Research Program. Always know where he is. Make it a point to call the parents of his friends to confirm sleepovers and visits, get to know his friends and their parents, and form a friendly relationship with his teachers. When your teen knows you are on top of him and his activities at all times, it will help convince him not to do anything inappropriate because of the likelihood of getting caught and disappointing you.
Always enforce the rules. When your son makes decisions that break the rules, enforcing the consequences and making him suffer for his poor decision making will stick in his mind the next time he considers doing something inappropriate. Losing the ability to use his phone or the car for a week or two might be all he needs to convince him to make better decisions.