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Raising a teenager is a whole new level of parenting. This stage of childhood is when your child desires independence yet still needs your guidance, support and parenting skills. It’s difficult to parent a teen who has conflicts between wanting to push you away yet have you there at the same time. We all do our best to parent our teens to the best of our abilities but often parents make the same mistakes with teenagers over and over again. Here are some tips on what not to do in raising a teenager to help guide you forward in raising your child.
Before we start, I would like to share some parenting books you might want to check out in the bookstore or library:
Parenting Teenagers: Systematic Training for Effective Parenting of TeensHave a New Teenager by Friday: How to Establish Boundaries, Gain Respect & Turn Problem Behaviors Around in 5 DaysParenting Teens With Love And Logic: Preparing Adolescents for Responsible Adulthood, Updated and Expanded EditionThe 5 Love Languages of Teenagers: The Secret to Loving Teens EffectivelyYes, Your Teen is Crazy!: Loving Your Kid Without Losing Your MindThe 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens
What Not To Do in Raising A Teenager
Ask Open-Ended Questions
Once your child hits the teen years they won’t be as forthcoming with information. When you ask, “How was school today?” you will often be met with a shoulder shrug, an “I don’t know” or similar reply. Do not ask a question that
leaves the ability for your teen to cop out of answering; instead ask a concise, direct question that will require a detailed reply.
Use the Term About or Around
Now that your teen is trying to push limits and be their own independent person, terms like “about” or “around” will be taken and run with. Not being specific about a curfew or expectations leaves room for interpretation. That last thing any parent wants is room for their teenager to interpret what “about” or “around” means. Instead, use straightforward language and terms.
“Just Give me a Minute!”
This is a simple reply that worked well when your teenager was a younger child. This statement makes your hormonal teenager feel as if their needs do not matter. Parents often say this when their teen is rambling about something important to them. While this statement didn’t offend your child back in the day, it will cause your teen to shut down and stop coming to you to talk.
Parents do this throughout the entire duration of childhood. It simply comes naturally and isn’t meant to be harmful. During the teenage years, your child is more sensitive due to their body changes and hormone fluctuations. When you start to compare your teenager to their younger siblings in a way that’s meant to encourage them to “be better” it will backfire on you and stir up a lot of anger within your teenager.
Expect the Worst
Last, but not least, many parents to teenagers will expect the worst. You hear the horror stories of teenagers and how unruly they are but remember every teenager is different. No two situations will be the same for your teen compared to others, give them the benefit of the doubt and build trust. Expecting the worst in any scenario will only discourage your teenager from learning how to be self-sufficient and confident.
Parents are imperfect human beings, just like the rest of us. There’s no reason to give yourself a hard time if you have done some of these examples. There are many times when parents make the mistake of saying something to their teenager, and they all lived to tell the tale later on in life. Truth be told, raising a teenager takes a serious level of compassion patience and the ability to let go a little. Have Faith it will all work out and continue being the good role model and support system for your teenager.
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