Parenting Tips: Improving Teenage Behaviour

This video explains why using guilt and shame doesn't work if you use it to try to improve the behaviour or to motivate your teenager.

This method may improve behaviour in the short term, but it can cause problems in the longer term.

Teenagers Know When They Have Messed Up

When a teenager messes up, perhaps by being constantly late for school or failing at school they already know they have a problem. Sometimes the easiest thing to do is criticise and try to make your teenager feel guilty about how their behaviour makes you feel.

Instead of using this method look for other ways to motivate your child to resolve the problem.

One of the first steps is to get a better understanding of why the problem is occurring. If you can get your teenager to sit down and talk about a specific problem they are facing then you are off to a good start.

Working Together Gets The Best Results

To get the results you want it is a case of working together by offering support and assistance. This is more likely to lead to seeing the improvements you would like to see than creating a guilt trip.

Your teenager is almost certainly to feel guilty about the problems they face without you prompting them to do so. As adults when we do something we know we shouldn't we usually feel bad about it. It doesn't help if someone comes along and makes us feel worse about it. You are more likely to respond positively to someone giving you support and guidance. Teenagers work in the same way.

Improving Your Relationship With Your Teenager

An added bonus is if your teenager thinks you have been supportive and helped them get though the problem they are far more likely to turn to you in the future. So as well as solving the immediate issue this technique can also help to improve communications between you and your teenager.

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