Foster Cline and Jim Fay suggest that the simpliest way of following through is to get your teen to think so that they make the decisions. When teens are making the decisions there is no anger to rebel against. No-one's doing their thinking for them or telling them what to do. Sounds like they're having their own way, doesn't it? This is why getting the language right is so important with this way of parenting. See Part 2 of the Raising Teenagers series and I Love You Too Much To Argue With You.
When it comes to disciplining our teens the Love and Logic way suggests you make statements about:
- What we will allow
- What we will do
- What we will provide
"Feel free to join us to watch the DVD when the washing up is finished."
"I'll be happy to let you go to your friends as soon as you've put your clothes away."
Then follow through.
What I have found with my teen is that if the 'reward' for doing the request is of a low priority for them then there is little chance of it getting done. For example, my teen may just choose to forgo the DVD and NOT do the dishes. In this circumstance I would move on to giving choices, "You can choose to do the dishes or mop the floors so I can do the dishes." If this is ineffective my back-up is that the next time he asks me if he can have X-Box time I can say, "I don't think I can give you X-Box time. All these extra jobs around the house have made me really tired. I think we'll have to pass on X-Box time until your completing your chores around here."
In this case, my teen has been getting plenty of choices, but now that things are not so great, it's my turn to make the decision.
Following through is making sure that the choice or decision happens. If your teen decides to argue remember you can respond with:
- "What were the choices?"
- "I know."
- "That might be so."
- "I love you too much to argue about this."
- Your own statement that keeps the focus on the issue and not on you.
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