How Not to Do What Every Parent Fears?

Most of the parents stand tough against their teens because they follow certain myths which may have a false verdict but still parents choose to practice it. This may be due to the fact that controlling their child boosts up their ego and makes them happy about it. Parents however need to know that myths are different from facts.

Parenting is the most difficult job to do. It is a system of rewards and letting them face the consequences when they go against parents’ discipline and it works only if you play it consistently. Some enjoy it while others mess up things pretty bad. Usually they ruin things because they are trying to control their child instead of improving their parenting skills. As I mentioned, parenting is tough so parents should not panic if things don’t turn out the way they expected them to be, instead they should start working on their own abilities and parenting strategies which are clouding and affecting their vision to deal with their teen. So, before we go any further, let’s clear up some of the myths and misconceptions parents have about their teens.

1. I can’t be friendly with my teen
This one is the most common myth that parents usually throw at their children every time their child demands extra attention from them. However, this is not the case in real. Some parents believe that being friendly with their teen will confuse their roles for teen and their teen might start taking them for granted. They think that if they leave their child in a more relaxed environment, it will be hard for them to maintain discipline. They want to be close to their teens but they are equally afraid of being disrespected by their child in a vulnerable setting. This may be true for some, but again, misconceptions lie everywhere. A set of clear rules, penalties, limitations and boundaries should be established firmly and maturely. Along with this, parents also need to be understanding and forgiving. It is always good to be friendly with your teen and it’s a plus point for you too because this will help you know more about your child and every time that your child is in a trouble, he will not look for an advice or solution from a third person to intervene in his issues instead he’s going to look for you at every stage of life.

Parents are supposed to be their child’s guide and not companion. They provide directions, stability and protect their child. So, you need to be a good influencer with a little flexibility and your teen will do more for you out of respect than out of fear. It is parents’ job to maintain balance between both the roles.

2. A good relationship is a peaceful one
Every healthy relationship should have a balance. A little peace will do but too much peace and quietness will always create troubles just like the silence before a storm. Every parent is supposed to guide their child about the right and wrong, good and bad. If you want to minimize the chaos in your relationship, you need to focus more on eliminating communication gap. You don’t have to be all nice to your kid, instead teach him things by being the bad guy if needed. Sometimes giving your child a little pressure will help him deal with the hardships of life in the future.

3. Once a bad kid, always a bad kid; Once a good kid, always a good kid
Parents need to learn the importance of forgiving their children when they make mistakes no matter how terrible the mistakes are. If parents keep shaming their child over and over again for that one time the kid messed up, there is a high chance that their relationship gets negatively affected. Parents are supposed to be the guide and protector. Every time a child makes mistakes, parents are requested to teach them how to fix things instead of complaining, criticizing, scolding and making the child feel worthless. No child deserves to be labeled as a “bad kid”. Similarly, the perfect ones shouldn’t be labelled as “golden kid”. Parents need to learn how to treat their children equally and give them a chance to learn and gain trust if they have lost it.

4. No conflict is resolved until you and your teen see eye-to-eye
We understand that every individual is different from the other depending on the kind of influence they receive and the kind of hardships they face. Keeping in mind the differences, we need to respect everyone’s decisions, feelings and choices. Parents should never impose their choices, likes and dislikes on their offsprings, instead, they should take in consideration their child’s feelings and respect their choices. It is very unrealistic to expect your child to do things you like. They have a different mindset and forcing your opinions on your teen is just so unfair. This will suppress their feelings and lower their confidence. Parents may have different lifestyles than their teens but not to forget, they have same feelings and they love their children.

5. Share everything with your teen
We may have come across a few parents who love to share their childhood stories and all the good and bad experiences with their children. They enjoy telling long tales without skipping their negative experiences which may have a bad influence on their child, so it’s better if parents just stick with the good only but, that doesn’t mean they have to lie and make up fake stories to impress their children. Connections are made through mutual support, understanding, honesty and trust. Parents should work on developing a strong emotional bond with their teen.

6. You can fix your teen
Teenagers are always so full of energy. They run around, break and mess up things because what else do we expect from a teen after all. However, parents are only trying to control and fix them. The only things that parents need to learn is that every individual is different from the other and they adapt things from the environment and surroundings. It is parents’ responsibility to make their child know the difference between right and wrong instead of pushing things for their teen. Changing a teen is not an easy task to do. At times you have to put yourself in their shoes and learn best ways to deal with them. You can’t fix people who refuse to accept that they have any problem. Similar is the case with teens, they seek love and attention so forcing them to do things won’t make it any easy for you to discipline them.

It is parents’ responsibility to deal with their children in a respectful manner, keeping in mind their values. One best way to improve your relationship with your teen is by learning different skills to manage the undesirable behaviors instead of trying to fix their teen.

Author: Arooba Laraib
Clinical & Counseling Psychologist
Family First Institute

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