How-to stop teen from breaking rules

How-to stop teen from breaking rules

Stop teen from breaking rules: What to do when your teenager breaks rules. How to handle it. Ways to discipline them. How to give a punishment and then be sure that they do not repeat this again in the future.

How to make sure that we deliver up message strongly yet without hurting or discouraging a teenager.

Personally, for me as a parent I found this to be very stressful. Someday or the other I find them try to push their boundaries and await my reaction.

A firm handling yet with a velvet it is quite difficult at times.

If you are a parent who feels as I did then I am hoping that this article which is based out of my experience dealing with my sons will be of some help to you.


  • Introduction
  • How to stop teen from breaking rules
  • 10 things to keep in mind when you plan a punishment for your teenager
  • Conclusion
  • Disclaimer


Parents can shape their child personality in teenage years. It is the time when you can nourish your child young brain and help them in their personality development.

During teenage phase child usually make mistakes as they are over excited and over emotional in this phase of life. There also in a stage where they try to imitate being adults. So, in their quest for independence date try to push boundaries so that they can move around as adult.  And this means sometimes having to break established family rules to try their luck.

If your child also demonstrating such kind of behavior on daily basis and you are worried how to deal with such kind of child, you can get help from this blog.

I will share some tips and techniques with parents who are going through troubles because of their child behavior.

Remember: You are not alone

If you are having such troubles with your child, you are not alone in such situation. All of us have been through this phase and it is common.

The only thing you need to do is good planning and good strategy and be consistent so your kid can come back to their permissible boundary. And to avoid punishing the kids all the time. As James Lehman says “you can’t punish kids into acceptable behavior’’

How to stop teen from breaking rules

I have listed few things in my experience that I have done that I feel helped to stop teen from breaking rules of the house… There are always few slips and misses… How to deal with these slips and misses is covered further in the article.

Set clear Rules

It is very important to establish clear rules of your home and clear the consequences if anyone break those rules. Tis will act like a deterrent. It will help to stop teen from breaking rules.

For instance, if someone will break the rule of “no swearing in the house’’ then that child not allowed to use electronics like mobile phone, pods for 10 mins for every word they sweared.etc. Or if there is a rule of no going out until homework done. Then you also clear the consequences if someone break this rule.

Be a role Model for your child

They say actions speaks louder than words.

For instance, if there is a rule of no lying in the house but you lie in front of your child even in small matters. What do you expect your child will be doing?  

The best way to encourage a positive teenage behavior is to walk the talk yourself. When you don’t break the rules it will also stop teen from breaking rules.

Teach Responsibility to your teen

A vital part of teenagers parenting is to teach them how to be responsible about things and how to make decisions.

Kids need to learn that whatever choices they make either good or bad have consequence.

So, they should be very careful about their actions. Responsible behavior of your child leads them to follow the rules of family and stop teen from breaking rules. They will be clear about their responsibilities and consequences of an irresponsible behavior.

Teaching teen responsibility is one way to ensure that they are exposed to situations. And when teenagers are exposed to different situations they are faced with multiple challenges.

This teaches then very important life skill of how to face challenges in life. If you like to know more about how to teach your kid to face challenges read article face challenges.

Be consistent and strongly firm about family rules

Usually teenagers are master in negotiating and in manipulating things. They always have a bundle of reason about their actions. They will try to negotiate with you about the consequences. But you must remember one thing if you fall for it.

If you give in to their pleas and be lenient then your child will expect the same response every time, they make mistake. They are even will start to point it right back at you and call ‘foul’.

Due to this they get more likely to break your set of rules in future. That’s why you should be consistent and firm about your rules so to stop teen from breaking rules.

Both parents on the same page

If you really want your child not to break the rules of your family then both you and your partner should be on the same page.

You both should show firm and consistent behavior towards your family rules to get the message across to your teen. Your unity will stop teen from breaking rules.

If there will be difference in your point of views about family rules, then there is strong possibility that your child shows non-serious behavior towards these rules. They might even play one against the other.

If one parent says yes to one thing and other say no, your teen is going to know exactly which parent to ask.

So, do not get them to play you guys. Be a step ahead.

Stay involved in your teens

The best thing you can do regarding to this matter is stay involved with your child thoughts and actions.

It is the best way to stop teen from breaking rules. There is no need to spy on your child or listen their telephonic conversations, you just need to be involved in your child daily activities and to become an interesting parent. 

In a friendly way you can ask your child where they are going or who they hang out with and when they will come back. No need to be strict you can ask in a polite and friendly way.

Give warning to your teen

If you are feeling that your child is continuously ignoring your instructions and shows irresponsible behavior towards your set of rules.

Then it is time to give your teen a warning or tell them sever consequence they can face for their irresponsible behavior. This acts as a reminder and stop teen from breaking rules.

Any punishment or line of punishment should be in escalating nature. You can start with counselling followed with warning before you even take it further.  

By starting it slow and increasing it gives you and your teen more time to get accustomed to the rules.

If you overdo your punishment and start giving them a heavy punishment the value of the punishment will start diminishing.

It can also lead to your teen becoming a defiant one. And then other issues such as anger and back talk will start showing his nasty head.

If you like to know how to deal with teen anger do you read articles teenage anger.

10 things to keep in mind when you plan a punishment for your teenager

If you are confused about what kind of punishments, you can give to your teen for an effective result. Often parents’ number one choice is to temporarily remove something valuable in their child life. Don’t I don’t know if that is advisable all the time or is it well thought through and will stop teen from breaking rules.

So, I have outlined below things to keep in mind when you plan a punishment for your teenager so that the punishment becomes a learning experience and one that is progressive in nature.

Punishment should be made clear:

List out the common misbehaviours that you think your teenager my try to do. Also list out the House rules and the consequences if your teenager breaks it.

By having a list like this you are not only making it clear for the teenager on the consequences. But it also helps you in been consistent with your punishment.

Since this is laid out well in advance the chances of you bringing in your emotions and punishing as per “your mood of the day” can be prevented or completely avoided.  

You will also prevent a lot of backtalking and agitation from your teen. Since your teen is aware of the consequence in advance.

If you like to know other ways to avoid teen backtalk or deal with it read article back talking.

Punishment should be very specific:

All punishment should be very specific. Example your teenager hit their younger sibling. You can make the teenager write a letter to his younger sibling appreciating what they like about them.

This sounds funny but I have always found this very effective. Especially when the boys fight around, I make them stop and ask them to tell 5 good things about the other person.

Your teen would not only learn his lessons, but such kind of punishments will help in building up bond between Family members.

If you like to know how to emotionally connect with your teen do reader article emotional connection.

Do not overexpose and weaken your position:

Do not take away all the freedom form your teen. When you do that your child lands of having nothing to lose. So, what is preventing them from breaking all your rules.

And on the other side you lose all your bargaining power because you have played all your cards up front. Always have few chips in your hand and couple of trump cards hidden.

The punishment should be related:

The punishment that you are giving should be somewhere related rule that they broke. Example if your teen is sitting on the dining table and during dinner time your teen starts acting or and misbehaves.

You can give him a little punishment of doing the dishes post dinner time consequently to him misbehaving on the table.

Punishment should not be a hindrance to growth:

When you are taking away privileges from your child. Ensure that they are not privileges that helps in your child growth and personal development.

Privileges such as going and playing sports, Participating in a competition. Or taking up a hobby. These are things which should be encouraged in your teen.

In fact, these things help your teen to express themselves better. And, when they develop the skills, they also develop their self-confidence. If you like to know other ways of developing self confidence in your teenager read article self-confidence.

However, you can prevent them by holding back their electronic gadgets. Or listening the TV viewing time etcetera.

Punishment should be proportionate to the misbehavior:

While yes, every misbehaviour still misbehaviour. There is nothing call small lie or a large lie.

However practically, dealing with every misconduct of misbehaviour with the same intensity only drains us and our teenager out.

So, it is wise to choose our battles (this does not mean that we let go of small misbehaviours. For those we can council or warn). We choose our punishment as per the intensity of the consequence of the behaviour.

Punishment frequency and Intensity:

Just like medicines the dosage of the punishment needs to be measured and given. And always in small doses.

It is still better and drives home the point more effectively if it is given in small doses but consistently whenever the same wrong behaviour appears.  

Rather than going for one large punishment and left standing naked not knowing what to do when it reappears.

One of my husband’s favourite punishment for our boys is to make them read the newspaper. The number of pages depends on how mischievous they were. (The jury is still out if it is a good punishment or bad one. Since my son’s associate reading newspaper to punishment.)

Unless of course it is life threatening or haring others and, in such cases. Punishment is not defective resort.

Have very time specific punishment:

If you are thinking about grounding your teen the you should keep grounding for short term. Can you give punishment for a longer duration? It slowly starts losing its importance.

Either your teen will and up very depressed and lonely. Or might start raking up more trouble in the house.

The punishment should not completely isolate the teen:

Do not cut off all social contacts of your child. For example, if there is a punishment of keeping them at home for one weekend then ensure that you engage with your teen some way or other. (Though trust me it is not easy when they are always sulking around). Give them a book to read or some paint brushes or games.

Do not isolate them completely. Because such kind of situation can cause depression and stress in your child. You can even ease the punishment by allowing them to meet their friends in your house, so they do not lose their social positioning.

Too much Isolation from social circles might make your kid be vulnerable when they get back to the circles. This might lead them to do certain things to fit in and regain their social positioning.

And such peer pressures can turn out to be harmful for your teenager. If you like to know how to help your teen deal with peer pressures do read our article peer pressures.

Punishment should not rip your teen of their dignity:

Any punishment that you are planning should be that which addresses the misbehaviour. And not the person.

Be very careful that the punishment you are giving out does not affect your teen’s dignity.

Example. some punishments can get to a situation where the teen loses face in front of their peers. They might land up being name called or joked. That should be avoided completely at any cost and it is not acceptable at all.

If it is done unknowingly and when you get to know about it correct immediately. Apologise to your teen if need be.

I personally had once made my second son go to school carrying his books in a plastic bag.

The punishment was given because he dragged his scold bag on purpose on the road the previous day and came with a completely damaged bag.

However, his friend started calling him ‘plastic bag’ and that hurt him a lot.

I immediately gave another old bag that we had and worked out a solution after apologising to him.

In short, your punishment should be that which points out to the behaviour that you like your child to change.

And be creative in your punishment so that it encourages your kid to change their behaviour.  Rather than getting more agitated or depressed.

One Bonus Tip.

One of my sons is more outgoing and independent. When he reached the age of 16, he slowly started to violate the family rules.

We had constant fights over these things at home. Specially the father and son fight were just too much testosterone flowing in the house.  (I guess all this parenting is what made me has been writing article how to deal with teenage sons based on the experience he had the privilege to undergo raising his children)

And then he took a yellow chart and made a chart of rules and strict consequences and display that chart on our fridge.

After that whenever my son would go to fridge, he read that paper with rules and consequences. After some time, we all saw positive changes in his behavior, and he started to take the family rule seriously.

This also helped in making the rules clear for his younger siblings. Who were watching what their brother was doing and knew the consequences by heart even before they became teenagers?

If you are facing the same problem, I suggest you make a clear chart of family rules with strict consequences and place it where your teen can see every day. You will feel a positive change in the behavior of your child.

Important Note to parents

There is nothing in the world that is impossible, with good planning and clear instructions. You can solve such kind of situations only if you are consistent in your approach.

Do not feel alone in such kind of situation, thousands of people in the world with children face such kind of issues.

Just relax and sit with your partner and discuss briefly about your family rules and consequences.

After that give clear instructions to your child about these rules. Also inform them about the result if they break any rule. Do not give empty threats. Then your whole disciplining will become a joke.

Even if the punishment is very small or trivial it is still better that you follow it through. This thing will help you a lot in getting things back on track.


In the conclusion I just want to say you that walk with your talks and be an ideal role model for your child. Child usually look forward to their parents.

So, try to set a good example for your child. Do not become frustrated and too angry in such situations.

Believe me these things are not going to help you at all. You just need a little patience and well-planned strategy for such kind of situation.

In few years you will have your teen thanking you back for the decisions that you have taken at this time of their life. And even for the punishments that you have given lovingly to correct them and set them off in the right course.

God Bless!!..


In the disclaimer I just want to mention that I am not a psychologist or a medical practitioner, But I am a keen observer of teen behavior and psychology.

As I have teens at my home with different attitude and behavior and I know very well about their actions and behavior.

I am just sharing my experience here about child and their teenage phase changes. This information is only for knowledge sharing and information purpose.

General Parenting Challenges Tweens & Teens