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Showing posts from January, 2014

Help! Our Teen Smoked Pot!

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The parent who sent me this message was seeking help with choosing the right punishment for her teen’s bad choice.  I advised her that punishment rarely works in teaching children valuable lessons and actually can backfire and cause more problems than what the parents started with.  In most cases, the only things that a punishment accomplishes are making the child fearful of the parent and to doing a better job of hiding the misbehavior the next time.
A more effective response to a child or teen’s bad choices is a consequence, rather than a punishment.  Consequences help a teen to make smarter choices and are healthier and more respectful forms of discipline.  The consequence can also be selected by both parent and teenager, and should be related directly to the misbehavior.  Over time, using more consequences instead of punishments can actually strengthen the relationship between the parent and the teen. 
If this was the first time that you caught your teen smoking marijuana, then I w…