What effective parents don’t do with their teenagers
1) They don’t micromanage their teenager’s lives
Teenagers need to learn how to manage themselves. They are in that phase of life where adult responsibilities are emerging, minimally at first, but at a steady stream nevertheless. Effective parents realise that they need to find the right balance between helping their teens and letting them learn the lessons of life for themselves.
2) They don’t forbid teenage relationships with the opposite sex
This is one mistake that I see many parents of teenagers making. It is a short sighted strategy that rarely works. If your teenager is in a relationship with someone you do not approve of, instead of forbidding any contact, effective parents maintain perspective. They remain as neutral as possible and allow their teenagers to have contact with whomever they wish. It is the wise parent who allows their teenager to make up their own minds about the company they keep. It is a much better idea to keep an eye on what your teenager is doing whilst keeping the lines of communication open. Forbidding a relationship often forces a strong willed teenager to start lying and seeing the forbidden person anyhow. They do this secretively and well meaning parents lose that vital form of communication. More often than not, a well balanced teenager will realise that they need to move on…but they need to realise this for themselves and not be forced into it by their parents.
3) They don’t stifle their teenager’s independence
Some parents have their own issues when it comes to dealing with their teenagers growing up. They find it difficult to make the transition and stay stuck in the past, seeing their teenagers as incompetent children. This is when a teenager is likely to rebel. Learn to move with the times and embrace the development that is unfolding for your teenagers.
4) Effective parents don’t interfere unnecessarily
Effective parents do their best to allow their teenagers to learn the skills needed to negotiate the challenge’s of life. They do their best to offer advice when it is necessary or when asked instead of trying to tell their teenager’s what to do. Teenagers are more likely to listen and value their parent’s advice in this way.
5) Effective parents don’t treat their teenagers like children
Effective parents understand that being a teenager is a tough time. There are many changes taking place and there are often times when a teenager doesn’t know which way is up. The best parents offer a supportive and loving environment whilst allowing their teens the freedom to explore and learn confidence through their own decision making.
Treating your teenagers as competent people gives them the confidence to face the world. Acting as if they don’t know what they are doing and implying that they always need parental guidance can undermine their efforts to forge an independent life. Be supportive and loving but also allow the freedom for individual expression and self determination.