Things You Should Know About Tween Discipline
When your child becomes a tween, it can be hard to know how to discipline them properly.
They are too old for “time out” and as they are growing older, they are less likely to listen to you when you ban them from their devices or anything else they love.
The topic of discipline is one many parents struggle with as they don’t want to let their tweens away with misbehaviour. Equally, however, they don’t want to go into overdrive.
Here are some things parents should know about tween discipline:
Keep to rules – Any tween needs to know the rules and unless you have a frank discussion, they may not be fully aware of them. Tweens are going to test you and flex their independence muscles but that doesn’t mean you need to let them. Talk to them about what is and isn’t acceptable. If your tween wants to walk to school alone offer a middle ground and let them prove to you, they can take instructions and behave well.
Think about discipline techniques – Obviously, you can’t put your tween on the naughty step and if you are considering this, you are not being reasonable. Tweens are full of character and they know how to rule the roost. Finding the right discipline technique can be anything from banning them using devices, watching YouTube or going out to play with their friends. It must be logical, and you shouldn’t lose the run of yourself. Start small by banning them from a device for a day instead of being angry and saying a week before going back on your word. This shows your tween you don’t follow through so take little steps and see how it goes. Always follow through!
Don’t ban things that can’t be banned – Some parents will ban their child attending their dance class or footie training, but this isn’t advised even if they love these activities. There is no point punishing them with something they do regularly and if your child is part of a team or club they need to be committed. Not turning up for misbehaving is not a good strategy for you and it doesn’t help their team. Ban things that don’t hurt anyone else. Don’t ban TV for a day if you have other kids who may want to watch TV in the sitting room because they lose out too and therefore, you are more likely to go back on your word.
Be clear – Tweens don’t really have the maturity to understand why they can’t do something. They will simply think parents are being mean so be clear and let them know why there are certain things they are not allowed do. Avoid the “because, I say so!” routine as it doesn’t help, and you will find your tween will follow you around asking for an explanation.
Be fair – When your tween behaves well then you should take note of it and tweens will often notice how bad behaviour gets attention, but good behaviour doesn’t. Be fair and pay attention to their efforts even if they don’t do everything perfectly. Your tween should help at home with chores and you should thank them for doing their tasks properly. It shows them you respect them and that their good behaviour is noticed just as much as bad behaviour is.
Keep at it and never stray from your rules. Tweens will be challenging but some give and take helps a lot. Good luck!
Emma Hayes is a thirty-something mum of two girls aged 16 and 10, planting her right into the teenage and tween-age years! Follow her on Twitter at @EmmaHayes25.