Common Mistakes Parents Make When Parenting Teens – Buy their kids too much

Mistake – Buy their teens too much. Often parents want to keep the kids happy so when their child asks for something, they buy it. This is easy to do if the parents are wealthy. Also, parents that aren’t able to spend time with their teens may try to “buy” their affection.

Solution: It is important to let teens know that they won’t always get their way. Often I had my kids pay for part of what they wanted. In this way I found out what they really wanted. Often I would say, “Are you willing to pay for half of it?” Sometimes they would say no so they did not get it. Saving up for something is exciting. Did you buy your first car? If you did you know the thrill of finally getting it after often years of saving. When they work to buy something, it helps their self esteem. “Look at what I did on my own!” The thing that we don’t want is to have our teens feel entitled. “I should get this because I am in this family.”

Teaching them to wait for something is important. A few years ago there was a research project where they had a young child in a room. The adult put a marshmallow on a table. They said that if the child does not eat the marshmallow until they come back in the room, the child will receive two marshmallows. It was a test to see if the child needed instant gratification. Turns out some of the kids were able to wait. People who have high emotional intelligence are able to put off gratification. Teaching this to our kids is critical in this time when it seems we are rewarded with instant gratification all the time.

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