Establishing discipline and rules for our children, especially our teens, is very important, but it’s best done and has the best effects when our children are young. The rules are there to protect our children, so have that in mind when you set the rules.
Teens know that some rules can be broken, and they will test the limits and try to break your rules, by that they will learn what rules are important. You need to use the rules as a guideline for establishing discipline and teaching your kids that the rules are there to keep them safe.
When setting the rules, it’s not just enough to tell your kids the rules, you need to explain the rules and even show them in order to be sure that they understood them. The rules need to be clear in order for your kids to respect them and follow them, that is the only way to establish discipline and rules, by making your teens understand the rules as clearly as possible.
The goal of the rules we set is to teach our children respect and self-control, so the rules need to be positive in nature. Make sure that there aren’t too many rules as that can get confusing for both you and your kids. A confusing rule will be broken, so make sure to limit the number of rules as well as keep them clear.
Positive discipline is all about incentives, so make some rules that end up with rewards and privileges. Instead of making your teens respect your rules because they are afraid of the punishment, make them want to follow the rules by hoping for the reward and keeping their privileges alive.
Establishing discipline and rules for your teens is one thing, enforcing them is something else. You need to keep to your word, so if there is a need of punishment don’t delay it and don’t forgive, but the same goes for rewards, keep to your word and to your promises, that is the only way to make your teens follow your rules. If you don’t respect your word, neither will your children.
The thing about teens is that they will not accept the rules unless they like them, so that is one more reason to start early and embed the understanding into your children that your word is final, for both punishment and rewards, your rules must be followed.
One thing you can do when establishing and setting the rules for your kids is to involve them in the decisions of the rules. The only way they will like the rules is if you make them a part of the decision making process, that will make them feel like they contributed and they will not be able to complain later on that your rules are too strict.
All in all, your rules need to be reasonable, there is no point in setting impossible rules to follow, that will eventually backfire on you. Make sure that your rules are simple and easy to follow and in the boundaries of reason.
The rules that we set out for our children are meant to protect them and to guide them. They are meant to keep them safe from both physical and emotional harm, the rules of positive discipline reflect on respect and discipline and the only way for them to work is if both you and your kids follow the same rules. In the end, the best way children can learn to respect something is by following an example, an example that you will set out for your kids.