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Parenting Problem: When Teenagers Fight Your Discipline

Disciplining Teenagers Isn't Always Easy

If your teenager fights your discipline and you feel unsure about what to do, our parenting skills expert, Annie Fox, is here to help. She authored the amazing book, Teaching Kids To Be Good People. You'll find out what a 15-year-old girl did, how her parents disciplined her, and their doubt about their methods. Annie will share her response to the parents.

The Problem:

A 15-year-old daughter was told she couldn't date an 18-year-old boy. She acted like she agreed but she dated the young man behind their backs.

If This Was Your Teenager, What Would You Do?

1. Would you shrug your shoulders and give up?

2. Would you yell and scream?

3. Would you lecture her?

How the Parents Disciplined Her:

1. They took her cell phone away.

2. They grounded her.

3. They said they'd restore her privileges when the relationship was over.

The parents contacted Annie wondering if they overreacted. They wanted their daughter to understand their perspective. 

Annie's Wisdom for Parents

1. She agreed that the daughter was too young to date an 18-year-old.

2. She agreed that the daughter defied them.

3. She agreed that taking away the cell phone and grounding their daughter was appropriate.

4. She acknowledged that getting their daughter to understand their position was unlikely.

5. She also suggested, if their daughter didn't change her attitude, that the family see a family counselor. (Pages 121 and 220)


Jean's Thoughts

I like Annie's wisdom. She analyzes difficult situations with clarity. Many parents experience the problem mentioned here. Sometimes they're uncomfortable and wonder if they were too harsh. Even when they're kind, firm, and consistent, their teenager is likely to fight hard to get her way. 

In my opinion, parents need to stick to their reasonable rules even when life at home is miserable. If they don't, their adolescent may treat them with even more disrespect and behave even worse. Why? Because they know they can get their parents to back down.

I agree with Annie that finding a good family counselor may be the best next step. If the teen rebels and won't attend, at least the parents will receive support and professional advice.


Let's PRAISE Annie for her insights and support for parents and teenagers. She is an online advisor to teens and parents around the world. Annie has 30+ years of experience.

Author Annie Fox
    Annie Fox, M.Ed.

Pick up Teaching Kids To Be Good People: Progressive Parenting for the 21st Century. You find the questions, stories, and advice you need.

Cover Teaching Kids To Be Good People

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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

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