Discipline vs. Punishment for Teens


A Note From The Santa Monica Teen & Family Therapist

Punishment is designed to control a person’s behavior and is not effective for teaching teens to become responsible and independent young adults. Read on to learn why discipline is a better option. – Sandra

Punishment includes threats, yelling, and verbal insults. If you are frequently yelling at your child, chances are that they may start to pay attention to you only when you raise your voice. Insults are not healthy for anyone, and when teens hear you yelling and using verbal insults, they learn to do that behavior too.

Often parents punish teenagers by grounding them. Many times grounding is not related to what the teen did, therefore they have difficulty learning the lesson you are trying to teach them.

Some parents hit their teen out of anger. Hitting hurts both the teen and the parent, because the teen feels unloved and the parent feels guilty. The teen also learns that hitting is a way to get power or solve their problem.

Discipline is a respectful way of relating to your teen. Discipline teaches your teen to become more responsible and cooperative. Discipline allows your teen to learn from their behavior and the natural consequences of their choices.

Teens need limits, but those limits need to be adjusted as your teen becomes more mature. Many parents are often afraid to let their teen make their own decisions. However, it is very important to allow teens a chance to make and learn from their choices–within certain limits.

If your teen or young adult child is struggling socially or emotionally, I can help you to discover the cause and remedy it.

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