Whether your kid is 5 or 15, they’ll always be your little one. There is an urge inside every mother that forces her to see her children as babies who need attention, care, and control all the time. While this is mandatory in the first decade of your child’s life, things can get complicated when you follow the same mindset when your kids are no longer juveniles. As soon as your son or daughter becomes a teenager, almost everything changes. That’s why you need to be aware of some mistakes you might be making when dealing with them. That said, we’ll shed light on 7 mistakes parents make when dealing with their teenage children, so keep reading.
If your children are aged between 13 and 19, congratulations, they’re officially teenagers. This phase in their lives is always associated with adolescence, in which they deal with a lot of hormonal and physical changes.
1. Speaking to Your Teens as If They’re Still Little Kids
Photo credit: @wikkaa05
If you want to keep your relationship strong with your kids, your parenting must change according to their age. One of the biggest mistakes parents make is to address their 15-year-olds as if they’re little kids, giving them orders or not paying attention to their desires. Your teen child is no longer a little kid. Although it is hard to believe that, it is the truth. Treat them exactly like adults. Respect their point of view, even if you disagree completely. Disagreement doesn’t fly in the face of respect.
2. Not Accepting Your Child’s Personality
Many parents start commenting and even criticizing their teen children’s sense of style, the music they’re listening to, hobbies, and the list goes on. If you’re doing that, please stop! Your teen’s style, favorite colors, and music playlist define their personality. So, you’re basically criticizing their personality and not accepting who they are. You don’t have to like what they’re wearing or enjoy their favorite songs. As long as they’re not doing something that jeopardizes their life, let them be.
3. Treating Conversations with Them as an Obligation
Don’t make conversations with your teen child feel like an obligation or chore. We understand that you might be exhausted or don’t feel like talking. However, when your son needs to tell you what happened at school or when your daughter wants advice on how to make up with her bestie, you have to be all eyes and ears. Who else are they going to turn to? When you talk to them only because you have to or because the parenting book you’re reading told you to do so, they will feel that you’re not being honest and that hurts. Moreover, when chatting with your teen children, your conversations shouldn’t only revolve around school or studying. Talk to them as if you’re talking to your friends, considering the limits of a teen-parent relationship.
4. Multitasking While Talking to Them
Photo credit: @fieldsofheatherphotography
We know that moms are always busy. Household chores never come to an end and if you’re a working mom, you probably have a busier schedule. Unfortunately, when your teen wants to talk to you, you always find yourself doing something else instead of giving them your full attention. While we all think that multitasking is great to finish your chores quicker, doing it while talking to your teen children is a mistake. Drop everything you’re doing and listen to your teen child. Show them that you care and that you’re interested in what they’re talking about. They will extremely appreciate you and the fact that you dropped everything just to listen to them.
5. Too Little or Too Much Discipline
Photo credit: @hoffi.photo.graphy
Emphasizing making your child obedient or avoiding conflict with them, fearing that they will push you away are two extreme scenarios you need to steer clear from. A parent who wants their child to be obedient all the time may be able to make them fall into line. However, their teen kid will miss out on the chance of developing leadership or problem-solving skills because the parent is making all the decisions for them. Moreover, too little discipline isn’t ideal either. Teens need rules and a clear structure to live by since they’re still exploring the world.
6. Interrupting Them
You might find yourself finishing your teen child’s sentence or laughing before they’re done telling the joke. Your teen child will consider this disrespectful behavior. Give your children the space to express their emotions and allow them to finish. Even if you know what they’re about to say or you completely disagree with them, do not interrupt them.
7. Asking Them to “Be Safe” or “Drive Slowly” Only When They Leave the House
All parents worry about their children. That’s a fact that cannot be changed. However, when the last thing they hear before leaving is things like “drive safe” or “text me,” they will be perceived as if the parents don’t trust their teen children. Staying safe and driving slowly are important matters that should not only be mentioned when they’re leaving the house. Always talk to your teen child about road safety and educate them on how to protect themselves. When they’re about to leave, tell them that you love them and murmur your prayers to God to keep them safe.
No doubt that all parents love their children. However, finding the right way to deal with them and changing parenting methods according to their age is more important to facilitate communication and help you raise your children correctly. In addition, no matter how old your kid is, tell them how much you love them often. We always tend to forget to say it even though our hearts are full of it.
Main image credit: @christendominique