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Teen Behavior Modification – Defiant Teen Help

Behavior Modification

Parenting can be a daunting task at times, especially during the teenage years. Patience, love, and sound parenting skills should all be used as children continue to get older. At times, however, even the most loving parents may have a hard time getting through to their teenagers. Behavior Modification is defined as therapy as the use of rewards or punishments to reduce or eliminate problematic behavior. Teen Behavior Modification can be very useful in helping teens deal with or even eliminate difficult behavior problems.

First Steps

The first steps or actions to take in Behavior Modification is to observe the teenager before, during, and after they present a certain behavior. After considering what happens during each stage of the behavior, parents can then start targeting different behaviors with different techniques. Let’s look at an example. A teenager is consistently breaking curfew and comes home late when he/she is out with friends. The parents try grounding the teenager, but this is only making the teenager attitudinal and unkind to the rest of the family. The parents could turn to behavior modification techniques to help solve the curfew issue. First, what is happening before the teenager comes home late? Most likely, the teen is having a good time with friends, and simply doesn’t want to come home yet. Or, perhaps none of the other teens have a curfew, therefore making it hard for the teenagers with a curfew to come home on time. These are just some of the factors as to why the teenager may be coming home late and breaking curfew.

Parenting With Love

In observing the second stage, (the “during” stage), parents may find that the teen knows they are to be home, but once they are late, they are going to be grounded anyway, so they might as well continue to stay out late for the night. Lastly, the parents may observe that after the teenager is home (and grounded), he/she is angry with the parents and thinks curfews are pointless. In the end, everyone is upset and unhappy Behavior modification could help in this way: First, parents could talk with the other parents and decide on a curfew for all of their teenagers, making it easier for the teenagers to comply with the curfew rule.

Next, while the teenager is out with friends and the curfew is approaching, parents should gently remind their teenager (with a phone call or text message) that it is almost time to come home. Finally, instead of a punishment for bad behavior, parents could instead reward the good behavior. So if the teenager comes home on time, they are rewarded. Rewards could be extra allowance, less chores, or even extending curfew if the teenager proves him/herself over time. Above all, a teenager should know that there parents are always there for them, even in difficult situations. An important part to successful behavior modification is to keep the lines of communication open between parents and teenagers.

Is Your Teen’s Behavior Out Of Control?

Teen Behaviors

Parents at times find themselves wondering what to do or how to handle teen behaviors that are unacceptable. The problems parents face with their teens can range from back-talking to not following through with specific household chores or assignments. Or, perhaps teens are demonstrating more serious behaviors such as lying, stealing, or destruction of property. No matter where the issue lies, parents must first take a step back and analyze the problem in its entirety. The teen, for example that has a problem with not following through with assignments, may be able to be helped by parents that apply the following steps.

Teen behaviors and Expectations

One way to help your teen follow through with assignments is to ensure that they know what is expected in completing a particular task. Parents should explain how it might be accomplished and what the end result should be. Through better communication parents and teens will both know the expected outcome.

Teen Behaviors and Rewards

Another way to help teens follow through with specific tasks is to offer a reward or privilege for a job well done. That’s not to say that every small task deserves a reward, but for specific tasks teens will see the benefit in the old adage “where much is given, much is required.” With this mentality, teens will understand they need to earn certain privileges.

Teen Behaviors and Consistency

Being consistent is oftentimes the most crucial part with helping teens to develop responsibility and a good work ethic. When parents stick to the game plan, their teen will understand what to expect when it comes to assignments given, but also the level at which you expect them to perform in every facet of their lives. Now, parents could see how this would work for teens they are trying to motivate, but what about the teen that is constantly breaking the rules? For example, how do parents help with the teen that is late for curfew? Parents should use the same basic formula.

Teen Behavior and Ground Rules

Ground rules are similar to expectations in that they are set in place in the beginning. However, ground rules are much more like boundaries. Using the curfew scenario when the teen knows and understands exactly when they are due home, show that there is no room for excuses or room for error. If the teen is late, they know they have stepped outside of the boundaries.

Teen Behavior and Consequences

Once the rules have been broken the teen will know what the consequences are because like the ground rules they will already have been explained and set in place in the beginning. The teen cannot complain of the unjust consequences because they knew in advance what the outcome would be if they were late.

Teen Behavior and Consistency

Consistency is paramount. Without it, the teen will wonder if they can get away with being late tonight because they were not punished the last time they were late. By sticking to the structured plan, parents will ensure that their teens will learn the principle of cause and effect which will serve them well for the rest of their lives.