The tween years are challenging for parents and children alike. The combination of testing their boundaries and trying to gain independence can make disobedience a frequent problem for tweens. How do you deal with a tween who deliberately disobeys?
Eliminate Empty Threats
Tweens know when you’re making empty threats. If you have no intention of taking away their phones or video games, don’t use that threat as a possible punishment. You should always follow through.
A child who deliberately disobeys you could be testing boundaries. This is why it’s important that children learn that their actions have consequences. You can use the situation to teach them that negative actions can lead to negative consequences. If they misbehave, then they lose their computer or television privileges.
It’s not easy to avoid anger after seeing your child deliberately break an expensive item or ignore your rules about playing outside. However, anger can escalate the situation and make you forget the valuable teaching opportunity that has been presented. Your child can mimic your anger and become even more difficult. Instead, stay calm or take a brief break to control your emotions.
Avoid Harsh Punishments
Tweens strive for independence and push boundaries as they grow. Although you want them to behave, it’s important to understand they will make mistakes. A harsh punishment may be necessary in extreme cases of disobedience, but most situations can be handled differently.
You want to emphasize the rules while condemning the problem behavior, but you don’t want to make your child feel that the punishments have gone too far. Your final decision should make them understand the consequences without making them feel like you hate them.
You can find a balanced solution that works for your family and encourages tweens to behave without making them feel scared to breathe in your presence.