(Written by Grace Bailey) Having a teenager can be a serious challenge at times. The dissonance between generations is a serious obstacle for many parents which find it hard to keep up or understand their children once they reach that phase of their lives.
Parenting Tips For Teenagers: Try to put yourself in their shoes
So what are the biggest mistakes we as parents make when talking and dealing with our teens? We will do our best with parenting tips for teenagers to help you understand that so you’ll have an easier time dealing with what your family is going through.
For the most part the main reason for our misunderstandings is the inherent fear we all feel when it comes to what our children may do. Psychologically speaking we have been protective of our youth while they were babies, toddlers and children and now that they are slowly becoming adults.
We feel that with that autonomy comes the danger of drifting apart. The world is filled with plenty of dangers in the form of bad influences, drugs, sexual issues and diseases. Let’s be honest with ourselves – it scares us to the bone to imagine our children mixed in with something horrible and that often makes us overprotective.
What we need to remember is that this is a very sensitive time of a child’s development when they are discovering their newly found autonomy and identity. Their self-esteem is fragile as they want to prove themselves as someone capable and strong. This is a time where faith in their abilities, common sense and the upbringing we have given them will allow them to navigate the new waters wisely. We have all done foolish things in our teenage years and that usually translates into us being scared of our children following our footsteps.
For the most part you will be pleasantly surprised to find out that sometimes our kids are smarter than us at the same age and even more responsible. It all largely depends on the way we have raised them and for that very reason alone you have little reason to fear an dangerous outcome.
Fear has no place in any relationship or on a family because of its toxic influence on the bonds that make us what we are. When you think your teen can do something foolish don’t turn to accusations and never show fear. Remain calm and do your best to talk about it logically and without undermining their confidence. Express your respect for them and tell them you know they’ll do the right thing.
Expressing that belief in their abilities and personality will have a much stronger effect than attempting to enforce your will through restrictions and orders. As human beings we instinctively seek freedom and independence, a chance to pursue our own interests and any attempt to encroach on our territory usually ends with a negative reaction.
Try to put yourself in their shoes because your opinion of them matters a lot more than you think. They have seen you as a personal example ever since they were children and thus you are at the core of their world and will be long after they have grown up and we have left this world.
One of the most important things to remember is to not get into arguments. If you feel things are heating up and going out of control do your best to calm yourself, give them some space and return later on to restate what you want from them. Keep in mind however that they are individuals and regardless of how we feel about them they will still go their own way even if we give them advice from experience.
Entering a power struggle is the biggest mistake you can make because that only makes them lock up and fight harder. Avoid that and instead appeal to their own common sense and you’ll see positive results with very little effort. Be logical, practical and calm.
About the author: Grace is an author keen on parenting tips for teenagers, flowers and home organizing.