So, I was a teen once. I know, shocking and hard to believe. I totally hated my life and took particular glee in showing the world how unhappy I was by doing things like failing classes, barking at my parents, and just generally being a snot. Unfortunately, karma is a cruel, cruel mistress. She has provided me with not 1 child with a strong will so like my own, but 3. And while one is currently a teen and driving me insane, the other two have years before I have to use these 10 Sneaky Ways to Get Unruly Teens to Behave. Here’s to hoping I perfect the formula with kiddo #1…
10 Sneaky Ways to Get Unruly Teens to Behave
- Lose Things. Like one time, the remote for my TV was mysteriously gone for nearly a month and the only channel we could get was Andy-Griffith-all-the-time. My son totally never got the connection, but he didn’t watch anything un-authorized, either.
- Put Locks on Their Windows. Even if they’re not sneaking out, this will drive them insane with wondering how low your opinion of them really is.
- Tell Other Parents That Your Kid is Grounded. So they’ll just turn your kid away at the door. Heh.
- Only Buy Cereal for Yourself. Because its truly punishment for a kid to not have their cereal…I mean, I’ll do ANYTHING to get teens to behave. Seriously.
- Refuse to Take Them Places. Like anywhere. The mall, a friend’s house, whatever. Until they behave, they can walk.
- Insist They Earn Everything. This is a tough one. But yeah, you want $5 to buy a ticket to the school dance? Do some chores. If the kid was behaving, this wouldn’t be a thing–but since he’s not? No dough.
- Stop Washing Their Clothes. This goes hand-in-hand with earning things. Mom is not the teen’s slave. And if they can’t respect their parents enough to follow reasonable directions, they don’t get luxuries from mom like laundered clothing–they can do it themselves when they run out of clean garments.
- Refuse to Cook Anything They Ask For. Make excuses. Anything. Because they should not be rewarded with their favorite Hamburger Helper dish if they can’t stop calling dad a jerk at the dinner table every night.
- Drop Them Off at School with a Kiss. By doing this, you are embarrassing the crazies out of them. Bonus points if you do it in pajamas with your hair going in all directions. You win if you do rollers. Heh.
- Talk. If they won’t talk to you, you just talk to them–through the door if you have to. Ad nauseum. Not only will this drive them bonkers now, but it’s actually the reason that I shaped my shit-up as a teen. My mom and dad talked to me. Non-stop. They told me why they made the decisions they made and why they weren’t letting me do whatever I wanted. They told me how I may not understand as a teen, but that I would as an adult. And they were right. And I can tell you the moment that I became an adult. It was in the car, on the way down the highway with my mom. And a fog was lifted from my brain. Seriously. I “woke-up” from a dense and horrible teen-nightmare between one breath and the next. But if my mom and dad hadn’t talked me through the tough times, I probably would still be making dumbass decisions to this day. Their talking did what it was supposed to–I learned, even though I didn’t in that moment. So talk to your teen. All the time. Non-stop. You’ll be glad you did.