Remember the time when your kid took his first steps? The tight grasp on your finger when he stumbled was just adorable. I am sure you still cherish the moment when he walked all on his own without the support of your hand. Although you kept an eye on your little one, even when you released his hand. Same is the case with your child entering adolescence. Releasing your hands, he takes his first step from childhood to adulthood. Although supervision is needed, you can’t hold him back. But apparently, very few parents realize this simple concept. Keeping this in mind we will talk about some common parenting mistakes that most of the parents do with teenagers that cause some serious damage. Take a look at the most common among all parenting mistakes and the correction for the same-
1.) Being too harsh verbally
If you are a disciplinarian, you are probably used to giving commands and getting your work done only by giving instructions. Well, until a certain age (8-9 years) this can be considered as a legitimate grooming technique. But as soon as your child enters his pre- teen years you have to bring a certain amount of softness in your tone. Due to sudden hormonal changes, pre-teens are prone to mood swings and emotional weakness. Your job is to make the process easier for them.
For example- If you want some help regarding household chores.
- Instead of saying,” The house should be perfectly clean by the time I reach home!” try saying,” It would be great if lend me a hand by cleaning up a little bit. I would really appreciate some help.”
- Thank them after they help you even if they didn’t do the task perfectly or as per your expectations.
- Instead of pointing out their flaws bluntly, politely teach them the correct method.
2.) Saying negative things about their friends
Friends are more precious than diamonds for teens. Saying negative stuff about their friends or trying to keep them away from their friends even if they are a bad company is sure to backfire.
If a certain friend seems to be a bad sign, try to explain the situation calmly. It’s better to let them realize on their own. Although, there is a great chance that they won’t listen to you, but if you command them to stay away from a particular friend, it is a sure thing that they will leave no stone unturned to be as close to that friend as possible.
3.) Giving advice without their consent
One of the biggest parenting mistakes! Wait, what? Now I need my kid’s consent to teach them life lessons? Well, not exactly. Parents’ advice is certainly valuable because they are way more experienced. But it has to be done within a limit. There comes a point when parents over stress about their child’s well-being and load them with advice. Within no time, your kids start perceiving advice as instruction.
It is perfectly natural for parents to guide their wards when they are facing a problem. But instead of going on and on about what you want them to do, try saying,“I understand how you feel and I would love to help you out. If you don’t mind, can I offer you a piece of advice?” Now, I know this sounds way too formal, but most of you will agree to the fact that this is hard to say no to. At least they’ll listen to you.
Although, in a rare instance your child might ask you to stay out of it. While it is obvious that this will make you feel bad but at that moment it is best to give them their required space. If the problem persists, don’t hesitate to take the help of a counselor.
4.) Comparing to the previous generation
Gone are those days when merely a stern glare from your elders was enough to discipline you. Nowadays, teens have their own individuality and views. Instead of obeying anyone blindly, they need a rational answer for everything. So you are bound to avoid one of the huge parenting mistakes.
Instead of constantly comparing the present case scenario with your childhood, accept the fact that times have changed. Modify your parenting methods according to that and save no room for parenting mistakes. Embrace that your teen is developing into a reasonable and rational- minded human being.
5.) Sweating over little things and ignoring big stuff
There is a really fine line between protecting teens and smothering them. Until and unless you don’t find them indulging in self- destructive habits, there is no need to put unnecessary restrictions on them. You can bring a horse to the stream but you can’t make it drink water. Similarly, you can guide adolescents but cannot control their actions. If you bind them too much, there is a great chance of them trying desperately to break free of the shackles out of rebellion and risk falling prey to the wrong hands.
But you should remember that you shouldn’t ignore big stuff like underage drinking and drug abuse. Take the help of a rehab to rescue them from this vicious cycle.
To conclude, I would like to say that not all parents are right always. Although ‘Parents always do what is right for their children’ is a cliche. Parents are also human beings. So, it won’t be wrong to say that they don’t commit mistakes. However, most parents are reluctant to admit this which leads to various parenting mistakes. Having insecurities regarding your teens is totally normal. But don’t let these insecurities spoil your parent-child relationship.
Indeed, all parents have intentions in the best interest of their children. But it is the anxiety that overpowers them and leads to unmendable parenting mistakes. Remember, no one is going to remember your intentions if your actions contradict them.