Parenting Teenagers: Avoiding Common Mistakes
Parenting teenagers can be a very difficult and challenging endeavor. Teens are at that stage wherein you can no longer call them children, but they are not adults yet. This period of transition makes for a tense-filled and frustrating stage for both the teenager and the parents. Although they want to be identified as grown-ups, parents are not that keen on giving them complete freedom. Aside from that, there is the protective nature of parents wherein they are reluctant to let their “little” boy or girl enter the troubled world of adulthood.
The struggle to protect and nurture and the growing need for independence has led to parents making some crucial errors in their dealings with their teenagers.
You probably hear teenagers complain “My Mom and Dad don’t listen to me!” When it comes to teens, open communication is very important. Always set aside whatever it is you are doing and listen to their concerns. This will help your teen to recognize that you are there for them whenever they have problems or worries. In this way, you also don’t have to worry about your teen’s being led astray by the bad advice of peers.
While it is very important to earn money for the family, don’t do so at the expense of the emotional needs of your teenager. Don’t riddle your schedule with too much work or activities and allot some time to your family. One of the worst things that any working parent can do is to bring home paperwork from the office. After office hours and weekends should be spent with your teenager. You can watch a TV show or movie or play video games with your teen, or indulge in fun outdoor activities over the weekend like going to the beach and playing your favorite sports.
One very annoying habit that some parents have is that they cut off whatever it is their teenager is going to say and finish it for them. Don’t make the mistake of second guessing your teen. Such a habit is just as irritating as not listening to them. The best thing to do is to just shut up and listen while your teen speaks his or her mind.
Overprotectiveness in a parent is something that a lot of teenagers complain about. Such behaviors only causes your teen to be afraid to make their own decisions. Allow them to go on a date, but get the name of the boy or girl they are going out with, set a curfew, and get the name and phone number of the place where they will be going. Instead of choking your teen with your overprotectiveness, let them spread their wings a little while remaining a guiding light at their side.
Many parents complain that they don’t get any respect from their teens. However, these parents don’t know that their teenagers cannot accord them any respect when their moms and dads themselves don’t give them respect as well. This occurs whenever parents constantly bombard their teens with criticisms and always insist that they obey them, making the teenager feel that they are woefully inadequate and inept in their parents’ eyes. If you want your teen to respect you, allow them to make their own decisions and pursue the activities that they want to try out. Don’t be too critical of their mistakes and, instead, praise them for their achievements, no matter how small.
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