When it comes to parenting teenagers, many parents become apprehensive. Here are 3 parenting mistakes you should avoid with teenagers. Parents find it easier to train a young child who can still be shaped and moulded. When they reach the point of making their own decisions, parents can get scared of making too many mistakes and corrupting their teenagers. However, these mistakes can be avoided with proper parenting skills.
Below are 3 of some of the mistakes parents make with teenagers and therefore can see what to avoid.
Worrying over Little Things
“A lot of parents don’t want growing up to involve any pain, disappointment, or failure,” but protecting your child from the realities of life takes away valuable learning opportunities — before they’re out on their own.
Your child isn’t a little kid anymore. They’re now teenagers and it’s time to tweak your parenting skills to keep up with them. No doubt about it: Your teenager will test your limits, and your patience. But they’re still your child. And, though they won’t admit it, they still need you!
The key is to know what efforts are worth it, and which ones backfire.
If it’s not putting your child at risk, give him/ her the leeway to make age-appropriate decisions and learn from the consequences of their choices. Of course, you’ll still be there for guidance and comfort — you’re still the parent. But challenge yourself to step back and let your child know you’re there for them.
Expecting the Worst
Some parents dread the teenage years, and when they approach, they assume their children will turn into uncontrollable monsters. Because they have read and heard stories of drug abuse and sexual activities happening during adolescence, they may feel their daughter will inevitably fall into the traps when she becomes a teenager. Having these assumptions is more likely to lead a child down a destructive path and sets you — and your teen — up for several unhappy, unsatisfying years together.
To avoid this way of thinking, do not jump to conclusions when your child is out of your sight. Have frequent conversations with her regarding her interests and hobbies. Staying involved in your teenager’s life will allow you to be more aware of the activities she is participating in, which can set your mind at ease.
Negative expectations can actually promote the behavior you fear most. A Wake Forest University study showed that teens whose parents expected them to get involved in risky behaviors reported higher levels of these behaviors one year later. “Focus on your child’s interests and hobbies, even if you don’t understand them. You could open a new path of communication, reconnect with the child you love, and learn something new. “-Lerner
Too Much, or Too Little, Discipline
Some parents, sensing a loss of control over their teenagers’ behavior, crack down every time their child steps out of line. Others avoid all conflict for fear their teenagers will push them away. You don’t have to do either of those things. It’s about finding a balance between obedience and freedom.
If you put too much emphasis on obedience, you may be able to make your teenager fall into line — but at what price? Teens raised in rigid environments miss out on the chance to develop problem-solving or leadership skills — because you’re making the decisions for them. Yet too little discipline doesn’t help, either.
Teenagers need clear structure and rules to live by as they start to explore the world outside. As their parent, it’s up to you to set your family’s core values and communicate them through your words and actions. That’s being an authoritative parent, an approach that “helps children develop the skills they need to govern themselves in appropriate ways,”- Lerner.
Remember, your influence runs deeper than you may think. Most teenagers say they want to spend more time with their parents. Keep making time for your child throughout the teenage years. Even when it doesn’t show, you provide the solid ground they know they can always come home to.