Common Mistakes Parents Make When Parenting Teens – Too strict or too lenient

Mistake: They are either too strict or too lenient
Parents always want the best for their children. Rearing teens to grow up as responsible adults has always been a parent’s task. But along the way, kids have changed a lot along with the modern technological advances. Their behavior, worldviews, and perspectives are very different from their parents. Sensing a loss of control over their teens’ behavior, some parents crack down every time their child steps out of line. Every day the home becomes a war zone. Everyday there’s a new punishment. Then there is the other side of the coin. These parents avoid all conflict for fear their teens will not like them. They leave the kids on their own – let them explore because it’s part of growing up. Discipline for them is not in their vocabulary

Solution: If your kids won’t even listen to you, don’t ever expect them to listen to others. Both of the above situations are not good. Some parents have the false assumption that they can control their kids. I can hardly control my behavior yet alone someone else’s. It is important to let the teens know the rules, allow them to make choices, and then when they go out of bounds, discipline them. I think we are all raising our children to be independent beings so coming down too hard on them will not create independence. It is OK to make mistakes – we all do. Their self esteem goes up when they work through mistakes. Choose your battles and be consistent. The kids feel more secure when you are consistent.

The opposite approach, permissive parenting, is just as bad as too strict. The teens are not getting the guidance they need. They are not learning the “rules” stage of development. Kids need to learn that they will not always get their way. It’s important for parents to consistently communicate with their kids, by giving advice and proper guidance with discussion, negotiation and understanding of the conflicting needs of the child. Communication is the key.

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