One thing is for sure, parents want to always do the best for their children, especially teenagers. But what parents seem to forget is that their child isn't a little kid anymore, they're a teen now and the time has come when you need to tweak your parenting to keep up with them.
Parent Teen Relationship
Mistakes you can avoid
Most of the biggest parent-teen relationship mistakes are tailored to the following:
- Parent trying to be protective & shelter their children from any kind of emotional pain
- Parent don't know enough, or feel exhausted and overwhelmed with their new parenting role
- Parents forget their ultimate goal
Yes, they are probably always moody, and you now have curfew to set, look out for their dating life, and so on. The key here is to always remember that as a parent, your job is to raise a teen to become a responsible adult. This means you can't always swoop in to rescue them from every mistake, you can't tell them yes when you know you should say no, you can't ignore warning signs when you know something is out of place, and you can't simply sit back and hope for the best.
Sometimes they'll even test your limits and patience, but you must understand that although they'll not admit it, they still need you.
Will you make mistakes? Yes! But effort always pays off, and you can improve your parenting style by avoiding the following mistakes.
In all my teen therapy sessions, I haven't met a teen yet who does not want to know they'll continue to be loved even when they've made mistakes. Of course loving someone is always easy when everything is going well. And when you're dealing with teens, that may not happen too often. Instead, they end up breaking the rules and eventually their lives spin out of control if they're not well disciplined.
One of the biggest mistakes you can easily avoid is yelling all the time. Although it is quite understandable that you as a parent get to shout, scream and raise your voice when you lose your tempers, it has never been an effective disciplinary strategy. Instead, set up clear and precise rules and consequences for breaking them.
2. Wanting to be our Teen's BFF
It's your job to step up to the plate and call the shots, take on your responsibility of parenting your kid. I believe they have enough peers and friends, they really don't need us to fulfill that aspect of their lives. Of course, you can be friendly to your teen, but there's a limit.
In fact, there's a clear difference, and the bond of your relationship with your kid surpass what any friend should hold. Friends come and go; meanwhile, parents are forever, which means there's more to your relationship that being friends with your teen is simply a downgrade.
As a parent, you should be able to have a conversation with your teen, during a calm period, maybe before bed or anytime you see fit. Everything from homework, chores, dating, drinking, smoking, and curfews should be discussed freely.
3. Forgetting what it felt like to be a Teenager
Parents should not forget what it felt like to be a teenager, experiencing all these emotions for the first time, the peer pressure, hormones, house chores, and school requirements. Teens are stressed and acknowledging that will make you better understand them, which in turn steer you away from some terrible mistakes.
It's true that your teen's stress isn't very important to a parent in comparison to the magnitude of their grown-up and responsible lives, parents must do well to note that these things are important to our teens. It is their world, for now, try your possible best to respect and permit it.
4. Sweating the Small Stuff
Little things should be treated as such, while it's important to get involved in our teen's life, especially since we are trying to both maintain and improve the parent-teen relationship, don't get too involved. Challenge yourself every once in a while to take a step back and let your teenager make their age-appropriate decision and also learn from the consequences of his or her choices.
This is a long-term benefit for them as it absolutely helps prepare them for the adult world they'll have to face soon enough.
5. Ignoring the Big Stuff
Parenting a teenager can be sometimes overwhelming, worrying about the drugs, gangs, sex, school, and quality of friends. You get to a point where you feel like shutting down, putting your head in the sand and just ignore them.
Do Not Ignore Them
Well, when things this serious start knocking on your door, the only way to avoid addiction and even more disastrous situations is being watchful not ignoring them. Using the fact that they are just going through a stage as an excuse doesn't work on the big stuff, it can ruin their entire life, so to prevent this, you have to watch out for changes in their behavior, academic performance, appearance, and friends. Remember, they'll always need your guidance.
If you're already at this point, then teen therapy should help. If Ignoring the big stuff is bad, utterly disengaging from your teen should be completely frowned out. I know teens have an outrageous way of cutting their parents to the core with their thoughtless rejection. At that point, it might seem easier to withdraw than to dedicate your precious time to the eye-rolling and snide remarks emanating from the child you once knew, but that’s just the worst thing you can do to them.
Trying to make your kid understand that you care for them may not really be easy, show them support and continue to make them know you love them. Trust me they do, even when they act as if they don't, this way if something should go radically wrong, you'll be the one they'll run to especially when you have that awesome relationship.
And if you're yet to get engaged with your teen, then you can do it in just this two ways:
(1) practice active listening and
(2) find out your teen’s interests and join them there.
Listening sure improves every relationship and knowing their interest helps build your teen's confidence in you, thus strengthens the parent-teen relationship.
7. Underestimating Character
While loving our teens, some parents don't want growing up to involve any form of pain, failure or disappointment, but this level of protection only ends up preventing your teens from experiencing life fully, not only that with this they don't get to express themselves and face life's challenges their way.
By letting them face a few of these minor challenges themselves, you get to have a feel of their moral fiber and character. Knowing your child this way, understanding that you've raised a success is actually all that matters.
All the eye rollings, the moans, and groans fade away from your memory when you know you've curated someone who possesses the right attributes and attitude to achieve greatness and take on the world in his/her own way.
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