How to Teach Behavior Modification to Your Teenager

The evidence seems to say yes, depending on what type of behavior you are looking to curb and if it is done correctly and consistently. Teenager behavior modification is a psychological principal that has its root in what was once known as “conditioning”. As a parenting technique behavior modification basically is the idea of rewarding desired behaviors along with appropriate and proportionate punishment of negative behavior. When implementing a teenager behavior modification plan you will want to backtrack to earlier times, and find out exactly where they went off course.

Experts agree that a chart system works best for young children but many parents have also found this to produce incredible results when trying teenager behavior modification tactics. You can create a chart of your own or try one of the several that are printable on a number of behavior websites. Make a list of desirable behaviors such as listening, honesty, cooperation – and each time the child exhibits one of these traits reward them with a sticker next to that trait. You can use a sticker of favorite characters, or assign point values to different color stickers. The important thing is to be consistent and to immediately reward the good behavior. It is that immediate recognition of “doing the right thing” that has the most positive effect on a child. While this may sound like a simple or goofy plan for teenager behavior modification programs, you will be surprised at the response you will receive as they begin to receive rewards for their positive behavior.

Here are some pointers to succeeding at teenager behavior modification:

  1. Develop some very concrete rewards for them to earn such as having a friend sleep over, letting he or she choose to watch an hour of their favorite TV programs, an extra hour of computer time, or an extended curfew.
  2. Approach them with the attitude that you get more if you give more. Like it or not, this is how the world works and they must learn how to manage themselves.
  3. Be patient as they progress at their own pace. It is important that you judge them based on their abilities and not what other teens are doing.
  4. Stick with it. Never let your guard down or “give in” to their demands. While teens are will naturally believe that they are can do things without you, the truth is they can not. It will take your loyalty to your teenager’s behavior modification to make sure results are achieved.
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