How do I discipline a 13 year old daughter who is very stubborn and won't listen to her parents and keeps doing everything that we don't want her to do e.g smoking, sneeking out of the house when everyones asleep. Please help!

  • 2
    Could you please expand on this a bit more? What have you done so far? What have her reactions been? Have you tried talking to her about these things? What has she said? If we can get a better idea of her frame of mind and what you have done thus far, we can provide far better answers.
    – Becuzz
    Aug 15, 2017 at 12:23

4 Answers 4


Stubborn is really just another way to say she is strong willed. That isn't inherently all bad and can carry her a long way in life when she is able to channel it.

There really is limited info to go on here. I don't know what you have done up until now, so I can only go on what I know worked for me with those wild teen years. I worked on connection. I dropped threats, taking anything, being the enemy. I didn't see that working well for anyone else anyway. Most of my friends and myself all had all sorts of consequences, and when we got caught, we paid. It didn't stop me though. It just made me creative and often angry at my parents for "never listening". And when I think back to myself then I still don't think I was wrong. They didn't really ever listen. I never felt like what I was going through mattered much or that they cared that what mattered to me could be valid even if it was different from what mattered to them and even if it was different than what was going to matter to me later, as an adult. That didn't change what felt important today.

So you can try giving this a read as an intro to the idea: http://www.ahaparenting.com/Ages-stages/early-teens/positive-discipline-teens

Then try watching this if that didn't seem too far out there for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlMkWJY5T_w

And if that resonates even a little, then this book is a great way to follow that, as well as the book that accompanies that video.

And try to remind yourself that a lot of is strong willed wild ones turn out to be great adult kids and people.

  • +1 for the suggestion of trying to understand why she is being "stubborn and angry." Even if part of the cause of this is hormonal, these feelings aren't happening in a vacuum, and there has to be something going on. (Maybe many things). Making it SAFE for her to tell you is paramount though.
    – MAA
    Aug 15, 2017 at 16:42

Perhaps it is time to negotiate. Agree on what is acceptable behaviour and what punishments will follow for not following the rules. But you can get her input on the rules. You can still insist on reasonable things and have the final say but let her feel like she is involved. Here's one for instance: if she says your sending her to bed too early. Agree she can stay up a half hour later, provided you don't have to nag her out of bed and she gets to school on time. If she doesn't then she loses that half hour and must go to bed sooner. Once she shows that she can do so for two weeks, you will go back to the later time. This lays out clear expectations on both sides of what is and is not acceptable. Want her to quit smoking, talk to her about why she does it. See the American Lung Association for info on teen smoking. You will be able to influence some of her behavior but not all. So only fight about the major things, not small stuff like keeping her room clean or not having orange hair.


Not sure i fully understand what info you are looking for.

But if you are looking for some kind of punishment/incentive then you can try and control the home Wifi by changing the password daily (be sure to change the admin password too, kids know about this) and block data on her phone.

When she behaves as you want she can get back online to social media, for a 13 year old it's going to be a super strong incentive / harsh punishment.


Incentive/reward programs tend to be effective as long as your adolescent relies on you for allowance.

You can work out with her a value system both +'s and -'s. Although star charts are better for younger kids, hard currency works better on teens.

However, leaving the house at night is terribly risky behavior and needs to be stopped. She needs to understand there are some things worse than others, and exposing oneself to predation is a real problem.

This is only an aside: I worked for a time at a junior high where pregnancy was epidemic. The girls wouldn't even identify the fathers, presumably because they were statutory rape cases.

Door and window alarms can work, but being brought home by police once or twice in handcuffs (if you have curfew laws) is usually pretty convincing. You can introduce yourself at your local precinct, explain your problem, and they'll take it from there. This almost always works.

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