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What are some effective discipline strategies for dealing with a difficult teen?

Hi everyone,

I am a mother of a 15-year-old teen who has been causing a lot of trouble lately. He has been skipping school, staying out late at night with his friends, and has even been caught smoking. I am at my wit's end and don't know what to do anymore. I have tried talking to him, but he just seems to get more rebellious.

I am looking for some effective discipline strategies to deal with my difficult teen. I want to be a firm parent, but I also don't want to push him away or make the situation worse. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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I understand how tough it can be to deal with a difficult teen, and I hope I might be able to offer some help based on my own experience.

Firstly, structure and routine can be incredibly helpful for teenagers. They thrive on consistency, and having a set routine can also help limit distractions or temptations that might arise from having too much free time. Try setting up specific times throughout the day or week for homework, chores, and downtime.

Secondly, it's imperative to avoid shame or blame tactics when communicating with your teen. When we shame or blame them, it can make them feel defensive, angry or resentful. Instead, approach discussions with empathy and an open mind, and let them know that you're there to help and support them.

Thirdly, encourage and celebrate small wins. A lot of times, big picture goals can be overwhelming to teenagers. Celebrating smaller milestones or moments of success can help them build confidence and motivate them towards larger goals.

Lastly, it's important to recognize and prioritize self-care. Make sure you're giving yourself a break when you need it, and setting appropriate boundaries for yourself as well. You can't take care of anyone else if you're burnt out, so be sure to prioritize your own well-being too.

In conclusion, being a parent of a difficult teen is no easy task. While there's no standard approach to dealing with this challenge, it's important to remember that every case is different. With patience, empathy, and a willingness to adapt, you can navigate these times towards a better result.


Hello there,

I'm sorry to hear that you're having difficulties with your teen. As someone who faced a challenging time growing up with a single mother, I can provide some insights that may help.

Firstly, it's essential to involve your teen as a stakeholder when determining the consequences of their actions. Ask them what they think the ramifications should be in the event they violate a rule, are caught doing something wrong or illegal. By involving them, you'll give them some sense of ownership, which will help them accept the consequences more amicably.

Secondly, encourage your teen to participate in activities or groups that build their self-esteem, confidence, and a sense of belonging. For me, volunteering at a local animal shelter helped me build skills, make new friends, and feel connected with the community.

Thirdly, be sure to create an environment where communication is always open and where your teen knows they can come to you about absolutely any problem. Teenagers want to be heard, valued, and understood, and knowing they can trust you means they'll be less likely to take risks or rebel against you.

Lastly, consider reward-based incentives when it comes to structuring their day or activities. For example, if they follow the rules for a certain number of weeks, take them to their favourite restaurant or buy them that new video game. Positive reinforcement can work wonders with the right structure and boundaries.

It's all about understanding what motivates your teen and knowing that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. With time, patience, and a willingness to always try something new, you'll find your way together towards a happier, healthier relationship.


Hello everyone,

I completely empathize with the situation of parenting a difficult teenager. As someone who faced difficulties myself and later became an individual and family therapist, I can offer some insights that I hope can help.

Firstly, try to separate your teen's behavior from their core value as a person. They're going through a challenging time, and it's crucial to remind them that you love them, no matter what. This can help minimize internalizing inappropriate, negative messages about themselves.

Secondly, consider setting up family activities that allow for quality time together. Providing positive experiences outside a traditional interaction, can build a stronger emotional tie and reduce friction between day-to-day interactions.

Thirdly, set up boundaries and expectations that are realistic to their growth and maturity level. Too often, parents set rules and restrictions that are too high for teens to comply with easily. By creating realistic expectations that offer constructive feedback, you help ensure their ability to succeed in following them.

Lastly, involve community resources. Local community resources can help provide support to both you and your teen. It can be an additional tool to gain perspective, broaden the scope of understanding, and to create a healthy environment at home.

In conclusion, parenting is no easy task, and parenting a difficult teen can test all your patience and understanding. With an open and considerate approach, adaptability and being open to seeking outside support when necessary, you can navigate through issues and create a positive environment for your teen to thrive.



I completely understand how challenging it can be to deal with a difficult teen. It takes a lot of patience, consistency, and understanding to navigate through these tough times. Based on my personal experience, here are some strategies that worked for me, and I hope they will be helpful to you.

Firstly, make sure that you're communicating with your teen effectively. Try to be more of a listener than a talker. Encourage them to express their feelings, thoughts, and emotions without any judgment, while making sure that you're actively listening and asking questions. This will help develop mutual trust and respect.

Secondly, consider involving a professional counselor or therapist. Sometimes, the issues your teen is facing may require more than just a parent's guidance. A professional can provide them with the tools they need to navigate life's challenges, and also help you as a parent to learn new strategies and techniques.

Thirdly, keep the lines of communication open. Establishing open communication takes effort and time, but it's a necessary ingredient that can make a world of difference. You can try setting aside a specific time each week to have a heart-to-heart conversation with your teen, without distractions or interruptions.

Lastly, try not to react based on your emotions. It's easy to get frustrated or angry when your teen breaks the rules or does something that you don't agree with, but it's important to stay calm and collected. Reacting emotionally will only make the situation worse, and it won't help in solving the problem.

I hope these tips help you with dealing with your difficult teen. Remember, it requires patience, love, and understanding, but with the right strategies and techniques, you can make progress.


Hi there,

As someone who was a difficult teen myself, I can attest to some strategies that worked for me and my parents.

Firstly, it's important to address the root cause of your teen's behavior. Is there something going on at school or with their friend group that's causing them to act out? Take the time to have a heart-to-heart conversation and try to see things from their perspective.

Secondly, establish clear boundaries and consequences for breaking those boundaries. It's important to be consistent with the consequences, but also give your teen the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and make amends.

Thirdly, try to find activities or hobbies that your teen can be passionate about. Something that can give them a sense of purpose and a positive outlet for their energy. This could be anything from a sport to volunteering to learning a new skill.

Lastly, always remind your teen that you love them and want what's best for them. Let them know that you'll always be there to support them, but also that their actions have consequences.

It's not easy raising a difficult teen, but with patience, empathy and firm boundaries, you can guide them towards a better path.

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