At Sundance Canyon Academy, we get a lot of questions from parents wondering about the best ways to discipline their teens. We realize that discipline methods have changed over the years. So, we are writing about the types of teen discipline that work in 2021 to help parents keep up with the latest discipline trends.
It’s weird to think that discipline trends exist. Music trends, sure. Fashion trends, of course. Everything seems to have a trend, and teen discipline is no exception.
There’s a difference, though. Companies try to sell you their products based on the latest trend. There’s no product to be sold regarding teen discipline.
Updates on discipline come from leading psychologists and other parents. Parenting trends change over the years due to a few reasons:
We keep learning more about human brain development.
Teen trends (their likes and dislikes) change over time.
Types of families evolve.
As we learn more about brain development, we better understand what discipline methods work and which ones don’t. As teen trends change, parents can alter their discipline to match their teen’s goals. As family units morph, parenting styles need to evolve as well.
The traditional “family unit” of a mom, dad, and kids isn’t the only family unit anymore. Kids can be raised in multi-parent households, single-parent households, or even be raised by someone other than their parents.
In any of these situations, the adults in charge need to know how to effectively discipline the teen.
Teen discipline in 2021
The overall concepts of teen discipline haven’t changed much over the past few years. Looking back over the past few generations, though, there have been some significant changes.
We now know that adolescent brain development happens a lot slower than we once thought. The brain doesn’t fully form until early adulthood, and the last part of the brain to form is the part that monitors impulse control and judgment.
So it’s no surprise that teenagers might behave impulsively and make bad decisions.
We’ve also learned that teens respond well to consistency and family involvement. No matter the type of family, teens function better when adults show that they care and consistently hold them accountable for their actions.
These are some primary teen discipline trends to enact in 2021:
Set clear boundaries. Teenagers want to exert more independence and make more choices for themselves. They’re OK with learning some tough lessons on their own, but they don’t always realize how severe the consequences could be. Set clear boundaries on their independence by creating rules for their behavior.
Stay consistent. Once you’ve set rules for your home, stay consistent. When parents are inconsistent, teens don’t feel stable. They don’t know if they can trust what you say or not. When you’re consistent with your rules, they’ll feel more secure.
Try to see where they’re coming from. Teens tend to feel like their parents don’t understand them. Part of it is just that teens can’t see past their situation, and part of it is that adults are so far removed from their teen years. Even though you might not understand why your teen feels the way they do, it’s crucial to your kid that you at least try.
Stay on top of current trends. Technology has advanced a LOT since we were kids! There’s always some new trend that’s sweeping the internet and the world of teen social media. A lot of these trends are silly and seem ridiculous to adults, but some can be dangerous. If you stay on top of current teen trends, you can avoid some potential trouble in the future.
Give age-appropriate freedom. As your teen grows up, it makes sense to change your rules a little bit. If they’ve shown that they can handle it, you might be able to ease up on some previous restrictions to allow for more age-appropriate freedom. However, let your teen know that freedom comes with responsibility. They can always lose that new freedom if they don’t follow through with their responsibility.
Even when you follow all of the latest teen discipline trends, you can expect your teenager to challenge the rules from time to time. Teens often want adult levels of freedom, but they don’t show adult levels of responsibility yet.
As parents, it’s our job to hold them accountable and teach them to be responsible adults. It’s entirely normal for teens to test their parents’ boundaries and see what they can get away with sometimes.
If your teen son flagrantly breaks your rules and regularly challenges your authority, there might be a problem. Some teens display defiant behavior and don’t seem to respond to any level of discipline. This type of behavior can become dangerous and can lead to serious consequences.
If this is the case in your home, your son might benefit from outside intervention. Contact us today to learn more about our residential boarding school for troubled teen boys.