Earning or Removing Privileges for Your Teen

For a long time, I found that just ‘taking’ things away was not the best way to teach my kids to take responsibility for their behavior. Later, my kids and I met as a family and discussed what it is to ‘earn’ certain privileges and how to ‘earn’ them from being put on hold, suspended (i.e. xbox game subscriptions) or permanently removed.

The idea was no longer about temporary pain by taking things away… it simply became and continues to be for our family, about earning privileges and once these privileges are abused or their behavior clearly states ‘Houston, we have a problem’ then these things are discussed openly and honestly and the such items / time committed to it, etc will be altered; to include removed.

An example of this is the use of a cell phone. My teens seems increasingly agitated when family time interfered with her chat time. Considering the cell is a privilege, then we address the observed behavior and then address the fact, that this device (cell phone) has increased your inability to enjoy spending uninterrupted time with your family, so, let’s look at what’s going on; to include seeing if the phone is the best thing to have at this time. Usually we end up working out an ‘understanding’ of how to manage those emotional ‘needs’ and desires and at the same time value family time.

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