Parenting teenagers isn’t easy – chances are you’ve made a few mistakes along the way. Are you wondering if there’s any easier way to parent? Are you wondering what common parenting mistakes are so you can avoid them?
Your child simply isn’t a child anymore – they’re somewhere between a child and an adult. As your child grows into a young adult, your parenting style has to adjust so that you can keep up with their needs. Along with the teenage years come a variety of challenges: hormones, mood swings, defiance, dating and rebellion. As a parent it’s important that you remain their rock throughout this challenging time. One of the best things you can do is avoid the five common mistakes that many parents find themselves making.
1. Reading too many parenting books
While there are some great, helpful parenting books on the market, you can actually be flooded by material if you read too many. Often parents make the mistake of ignoring their own instincts and instead following the parenting books word for word. While parenting books make a great guide, they are made for the “average situation” and should be used as a loose guide rather than a hard and fixed rule.
2. Lecturing instead of talking
Throughout the teenage years you’re going to have a lot of big discussions with your teen where you will share your opinion. It’s important that you get down to their level, and instead of lecturing teenagers talk to them like you would a good friend. When you overwhelm teenagers with information their immediate response is to withdraw. By speaking to them a little more casually and not offloading too much at once, you’ll notice your teen pays more attention.
3. Too much or too little discipline
There’s a fine line between being too strict and being too loose when it comes to parenting. It will be up to you to find the perfect balance that works for your family. Too much discipline and your teen will ignore you, rebel and withdraw from the family. Too little discipline and your teen might go crazy: partying and taking their freedom too far.
4. Brushing over the big stuff
There are lots of important issues parents just tend to ignore and hope their teens will figure it out. If you don’t talk to them about these issues, they’ll ask their friends, Google it or just guess. You don’t want to leave important issues such as racism, bullying, sex, drugs, alcohol and abuse to chance. Make sure you give your teens the right information right from the beginning, even if the topics are a bit difficult to talk about.
5. Dismissing their issues
When you’re a teen, some seemingly small issues can feel like the end of the world. As a teen your priorities shift; friends become more important than family (for a period, at least). Many parents brush over teen issues, dismissing them and distancing themselves from their teen. Try to take your teen’s issues on their face value – as something that is bothering your teen. It’s good to relay to your teen that in the long run these issues probably wont affect them, but if they are upsetting them now do your best to listen to them and comfort them – it will make a world of difference for your relationship with your teen.
What have you found helpful in parenting your teen? Are there any standout mistakes you made you wish you could have avoided?
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