Common Mistakes Parents Make in Parenting Teenagers – Not Listening

“No one is perfect” is a phrase said by those of us who have made mistakes. Yes, we often hear this adage from young and old alike, from parents, teens and people from all walks of life. We hope people learn from their mistakes, as it is a great teacher. As parents, we must admit, we do make a lot of mistakes especially in parenting our teenagers. Anyone living with a teen knows how incredibly hard it can be to deal with teenage behavior. Parents always want the best for their children but sometimes life isn’t always a bed of roses, thorns get in the way.  “Thorns” are the problems that parents encounter in parenting teenagers. We must admit it’s a tough job and there is no perfect playbook to follow.  I’m going to write a few blog posts giving some mistakes parents make and solutions for the situations.  Hope you enjoy.  I keep the posts short, as I don’t like to read long posts myself.  Share with your friends if you find them valuable.

Mistake – You don’t LISTEN to your teenager – many parents don’t take time to talk and listen to their teens, perhaps, they’re too busy or in a hurry or they just want to resist the child’s whining.

Solution: We all like to be listened to so listen to your child.  Sit or stand on their level and look at them.  Parents should set a time for conversation with their teen, perhaps during a calm period, when you could talk about homework, love life, drinking, smoking, curfews and household chores. Teens want to know that you care and support them, a feeling that they are important to you; that if something wrong happens, they can count on you.  Let them know you love them unconditionally.  That doesn’t mean that you always approve of their behavior or decisions.

Sometimes it is hard to get a teen to talk.  Instead of asking a teen how their day went, ask them how their day was on a scale of 1 to 10.  If they say 3, ask them what needs to happen to make it a 4.  If they say 8, ask them what made it an 8.  This technique is a great way to open a conversation with your child or even your spouse.  It helps you know their mood.  Listen carefully to your teen, he may have something to share with you or he might have personal problems that need your assistance.

Watch their facial expressions and body language.  Can they look you in the eye?   Is their body facing you?  Do they seem nervous – pumping foot, twirling hair, can’t sit still, etc.?  What is their posture?  Are they sweating? Are they distracted?  Do they seem down about something?  Are they frowning or smiling?  Get used to looking for body language because it can tell you a lot.  Also, help them learn to read body language of other people.  It is a great skill to have.

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