It is our natural tendency as parents (and often as partners as well) to pay attention to, and focus more on what is wrong, rather than what is right. As a result, our children and teens feel unappreciated and become less motivated to change or improve their behavior. In addition, they quickly learn that they can get more of our attention through negative behavior or “acting out.”
Children who misbehave usually do so for a purpose, taught U.S. psychiatrist and educator Rudolf Dreikurs. Misbehaving children and teens are acting out a feeling or need that they are unable to convey or express. Such a need might be: a need for attention when s/he is feeling ignored or neglected; a resentment over being controlled; a fear that s/he is not loved or lovable; or a feeling of inadequacy or helplessness.
Giving up control, threats, punishment and “logical consequences” (a disguise for punishment) as methods to discipline your teen is NOT about settling for broken agreements and unkept promises. Rather, it opens the door for alternatives that can actually teach your teens to accept responsibility and achieve cooperation.