Having trouble with your teen? Or just want to make sure you're handling your parental responsibilities correctly? Either way, check out these exclusive CBSNews.com tips from psychologist and discipline expert Dr. Ruth Peters.
Tips On Disciplining Your Child:
Set clear, concise, and fair rules: Kids do not deal well with gray areas. If you have a rule for one day, and don't use it the next, you are training them to break rules, nag, etc. Set rules and stick to them so that it is fair to you and fair to your child.
Set the bar high: Every parent should expect a lot from their child and set the bar high. However, make sure you are realistic in setting goals and expectations. Remember, if you don't set it, no one will.
Develop a family code of values: Sit down with your family and create rules that the entire family has to follow. These values could include expectations on lying, stealing, cheating, etc.
Communicate and listen to your teen: Pick a time everyday to sit down and listen to your child. Ask about their day, but mostly listen to what your child is saying. Don't jump in and try to solve all of their problems; mainly listen to what your child is communicating to you.
Don't be too critical: Make sure not to be too judgemental of your child. Remember what it was like to be a teen, and address problems from that standpoint.
Be involved with your child: Make sure to play an instrumental part in your child's life. Watch and observe what they are doing.
Choose your battles: Tackle the issues that are most important to you about your teen. If this issue is drugs, go about it in the following way: If you suspect your child is using drugs, check the situation out and do something about it. For example, you could subject your teen to random drug testing. Also, you could call school and make sure your child made it to class, or check to see if they are in at curfew.
If these tips do not seem to work, seek professional help: Go to your child's school and consult the guidance counselor. You can also seek help with a therapist. Make sure that both you and your child like this person; if for some reason you do not, find another.