7 Mistakes to Avoid when Parenting Teenagers ...

Alicia

Parenting teenagers is not for the faint at heart. It is easily one of the most difficult stages of raising a child and there are a lot of mistakes parents should take caution to avoid. None of us will be perfect parents, of course, but we can do our best to be the best parent we can be when we are parenting teenagers.

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1

Yelling

Yelling is not an effective way of communicating with your child, no matter what their age. This holds true when parenting teenagers, too. When you begin to yell, your teenager will shut down and no longer hear what you are saying. But most parents do yell from time to time. This is usually because they feel frustrated when they are not getting through to their child. When you feel like this, it is better to take a time out until you, the parent, are calm enough to communicate more effectively.

2

Not Listening

It is very important to listen when you teenager talks to you. They are not always open to conversation so you have to grab those moments when they occur. This is a lesson I have had to learn while parenting my own teenagers. It is hard to do when you are in the midst of something but it is important to do so. You want to communicate with your teenager whenever they are open to it.

3

Being Too Busy in Your Own World

We as parents have our lives going on. We have jobs, finances to handle, our marriages to nurture and many other things going on in addition to parenting. It is easy to get wrapped up in our own world and forget to get involved in theirs. But we cannot do that. It is imperative that we find a way to get into our teenager's world, too. We need to talk, hang out and be available for them in whatever way they allow us to be.

4

Not Snooping

Another mistake parents of teenagers make is not snooping. I do not believe that you have to snoop all of the time but there will be times you need to do so. If you feel concern over something that is going on in your teen’s world and they are not willing to share with you, it is probably time to snoop. The best way to handle this is to tell your teenager there will be times that you look into their media accounts so they are aware it can happen ahead of time. That is part of the deal in our home. If our children wish to participate in social media, Mom and Dad have the passwords to those accounts.

5

Believing a Fantasy

I see a lot of parents that fall prey to this mistake. They believe that their teenagers are not capable of making the mistakes that other teenagers make. They think it is not possible that their teenager would lie, get into drugs or do other activities that teens sometimes get up to. While it is good to think the best of your child and have high hopes for them, you also have to be realistic and realize that the temptations are out there. It is good to realize that your teen could fall into those behaviors and be aware of the signs of it.

6

Not Supervising Your Teenager

A lot of parents believe that if their teenager is well behaved they are completely trustworthy and there is no need to supervise. This is false. While we want to recognize when our teenager is making good decisions, we still have to remember their age and maturity level. Teenagers are known for risky behavior and sometimes when their parents least expect it. You should always make sure your teenagers have adequate supervision, tailoring how much they need to your own unique child.

7

Not Talking about the Hard Stuff

A lot of parents of teenagers think that they do not need to cover the hard stuff with their teenager. You certainly do. You need to talk about all of it, even if you think it is not going to be something that your teen will ever face or be tempted into doing. I would much rather have these difficult conversations with my teens that were perhaps not necessary, than skip them thinking that my teens didn’t need that particular bit of guidance only to find out later that they did and regret that I did not cover it. It is much better to err on the side of caution.

Parenting teenagers is challenging but also rewarding. What advice do you have for parents with teenagers? I would love to hear from you.

Feedback Junction

Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

This could apply to ALL relationships.

Being a teenager, I agree with most of these except snooping. Because my parents snooped on my Facebook and on my laptop, I haven't trusted them for years and my relationship with them is hanging from a thread.

Completely disagree on snooping. My mother does this to me all the time and not only do I feel violated of my privacy, I feel not trusted and I am ever wary now and that's not a good thing in a relationship.

i agree with the snooping argument, but i also think listening to what we have to say is really important too. its what has really seperated me and my mom so much. i dont feel as if she listens so it pushes me farther away. Seems as of she texts more than i do.

so far its just mostly teens against snooping on the child's internet site. my mother snooped on me, it never broke my trust with her, it probably actually saved me from alot of trouble. teens think in the moment, not the consequences of their actions, so its my job to make sure my child is making safe decisions on sites where everyone can see and will float around in cyberspace forever. I trust my son, but he's still needs guidance, just because your old enough to have your own social media account doesn't mean you have the maturity to use it correctly. as much as I trust him,.he's still human and humans make mistakes..

I completely disagree with the snooping abd social media part with doing those you're simply letting your child and yourself know that you don't trust them teenagers need to feel trusted not on a leash

I completely disagree with number four as well. All that leads to is the child feeling like you don't trust them and that they don't have any privacy. Like reading their diary. Which then leads to them hiding their owned media accounts. Sure if your kid is 10-12 and wants to use the computer. Not if the kid is 16. Reminds me of those crazy religious parents my friends used to have when I was younger. They were super in their face for everything (such as had all their passwords). They weren't even bad kids but now their relationships with them suck years later

I would never snoop around my daughter things I have enough trust to believe if she makes a decision I will stand by her and if it fails I will be there to catch her no matter what

As a teenager, I disagree with the snooping part. As Riley said, it will most likely only cause the teenager to feel distrusted, which will then only make the teenager insecure. I do agree with the part of talking with your parents, I solve many of my problems that way.

I think its the teens or younger readers that have the biggest problem with the snooping. My eldest and I were born only only 17 years apart so I new to snoop if I absolute (and I mean absolutely!) Felt I needed to. If you're not doing anything then it shouldn't be a problem. Having said that, as a single mother for 17 years, I didn't have the luxury of a coparents input or help. I found that if I talked with my teen when we were both in a good mood and in a good place in our relationship, it helped us get through the rough ptches. Remind them ALWAYS that you love them no matter what either of you do or say (even in the middle of an argument). Remind them that even when you've made the most horrible mistakes, the things you do, come from a place of love or atleast always start that way. When my son and I were having those mother/son convos that we tended to have on long drives or while waiting in line somewhere, I tried to make it a point to remind him how much he means to me and how very much I loved him. Also, as adults sometimes we tend to think that we are always right. They are adults in the making and the best way to teach the respect is to practice it on them (in most instances). Apologize when its merrrited. Even if you are right, in a lot of cases, it can make a huge difference in your interactions. For example: "I am not sorry I looked at your fb messages but I'm sorry you feel so violated. I wanted to make sure you were okay not make you feel like you aren't trusted." Sometimes shedding a little light on the reason behind your actions will allow them to feel a little less like a victim and more like an individual who is cared about. Atleast these have been my experiences. Y'know imho

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