Common Mistakes Parents Make in Parenting Teens – They don’t know when to stop talking

Mistake – Often parents don’t know when to stop talking – they get involved in a discussion and don’t stop talking when in goes in other directions.

Solution:  Stay on the topic.  Don’t let the teen pull you into another topic.  That is easier said than done.  Adolescents are not rational people.  The frontal lobes (logical part) of their brain is not fully developed until about 25.  Most of their decisions are based on emotions and how things look.  They might ask if they can buy a dress and the next thing they are yelling at you about another topic.  They love to try to bully you and if you continue talking, you are feeding the fire.  They will keep it up until you say, “I give up.”

Don’t consider this a competition or something you need to win – like in a power struggle.  You actually lose when you continue the discussion.  Remember that it is important for you to be a role model.  You are the parent.  State a point and stop talking.

It reminds me of when I gave my dog a piece of food at the table one time.  Even though I didn’t give him another piece of food, each time I ate he sat there and stared at me just in case I would give him something.  If you continue talking and then give in, they will continue talking forever.

It is your job to set limits and their job to push against those limits or break them.  If everyone agrees on the limits it helps.  Teens are always pushing against limits.  I felt that every day as a junior high teacher.  Teens want what they want and they will try to get it.  It gives them a sense of security when you are consistent in your response.

A good column about this topic is by Anthony Wolf at this link:

Have you noticed that you have had more success when you stop talking?  Let me know what your experience is with this topic?

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