Teenagers can be confusing to handle. You were one, I was one and if we think long and hard enough we can remember the teenager perspective. Yet, so many parents raise their teens as if their dealing with some kind of elaborate science project from out of this world.. Here are some typical mistakes made by parents raising teens.
Reading Parenting Books
Seeing a pile of parenting books lying around everywhere only tells your child that their parent has a huge lack of confidence in their own parenting abilities. Soon it’ll become quite clear that it isn’t their parent raising them at all, but rather some “expert” whom he/she has never met. When I was young my mom loved parenting books. They were everywhere. I even saw one in the car. Instead of reading about what the “experts” have to say, follow your own instincts.
Focusing on Small Issues
How your daughter dresses, her own personal style or the kinds of music she listens too should be of little concern to you. Look at the big picture. Her personality, her choices and the direction she is heading toward in life. If these small things aren’t putting her in any risk, don’t worry about them. You have to trust your child and also give them the freedom to express themselves.
Ignoring The Bigger Issues
Most parents have no idea what is going on with a child. Those teenage years are when kids start separating from their parents and delving into their own lives. I’m not saying snoop around, but keep an open eye. If you notice cough syrup missing or that the medicine cabinet is empty, you should say something. Also if you find any signs of substance abuse, you should put a foot down before it gets out of hand.
Disciplining Them Too Much or Too Little
During the teen years, parents usually fall into one of two groups. They’re either harder then even on their kids because they feel this loss of control or they’re afraid of creating distance with their child so they don’t discipline them at all. What you have to do is find a balance between those categories. Being too hard on a child can really stunt their growth, being too easy on them can send them out of control. They need structure to prepare them for the adult world, but they also need freedom.