How to Avoid Alienating Your TeenagersPosted: July 27, 2015
This is a widespread fact that growing children, precisely adolescents, create a lot of havoc during parenting for their parents. Does that mean, we should alienate them to make our lives easy? Should we shut them up, everytime they come up with a weird request? Or we should keep treating them as kids and never let them act mature to save ourselves of the embarrassment? Today we’ll help you with the answers to all these questions and some more to help you introspect – if you are alienating your adolescents. Also, we’ll let you know of various other healthy practices (well, all don’t this time…) that you should follow with your kids to maintain a healthy relationship and avoid resilience in their behavior.
1- Don’t Threaten or Give Physical Punishments
While your kids are growing up, they make memories that lasts for their lifetime. You don’t want your kids to carry the scars on their shoulders throughout their life – Don’t punish them physically. Also, it is adolescence when the strongest emotional bonds are build up between you & your kids, you wouldn’t want to hamper that by continuously threatening them and punish them.
2- Don’t be Inconsistent in Your Behaviour
Teenagers are newly exposed to open world and start exploring the complexities, as well as they perceive most things in black & white at this stage. If you are inconsistent in your behaviour with them, for example, if you yell at them for a particular action one day and let it go unnoticed the other day; your kids get confused and panicky and would most likely not respond to you and trust you. Try being consistent with your list of acceptables and unacceptables and clear the repercussions to be more trustworthy with your growing kids.
3- Don’t Shame Them Publically
Like mentioned in the previous pointers, your words for your kids put an everlasting impression on them. These verbal communication help them frame their self-worth and confidence. If you constantly look down upon them and verbally put them down – you can imagine the harm you’ll be doing to your kids and your relationship with them. Don’t call them by insulting names and never shame them in public, instead talk it out with them one on one.
4- Don’t Nag Them
Appreciating the goods and giving feedback on not-so-good behaviour is expected out of every parent and your kids are ready for it too. But, being constantly after them and continuously following up on the problem areas and failures actually help you cross the thin line between caring and nagging. No one likes being nagged. Especially the teenagers have a tendency to retaliate and alienate themselves from the entire family.
5- Don’t Forget to Define Rules and Boundaries Clearly
Talking things out and discussing the concerns and questions your adolescents have should be encouraged. This is a new stage in their life and they might be experiencing the social independence probably for the first time. Rather than assuming that they should know the boundaries and rules expected by the adults of the family, let them know clearly. Don’t just punish them for breaking the rules that you never made them clear of. Getting grounded or punished for something that is presumed right in their own minds will infuriate them and result in alienation.
6- Don’t Look for Substitute to Your Time
We all struggle to strike that perfect balance between work & family and fail miserably at it most of the times. At times, to maintain the lifestyle that we have created for our family, we go a little overboard with work. This absolutely doesn’t mean that you can shower your teenager with money, gifts, games or movie tickets in lieu of your family time. Looking for substitute will only weaken your bond with your adolescents.
7- Don’t Intrude in Their Private Space
Do you like being followed, or kept eyes on? I am pretty sure you won’t like it, so does your teenagers. Nothing can be worse than your own parents violating your privacy or peeking into your personal stuff. Adolescent show a strong resentment if their private diaries are read or their conversations with peer are overheard, don’t do it if you want to keep a healthy relationship with your growing ones.
8- Don’t Compare Them with Their Siblings
Teenagers undergo a lot of peer pressure already, don’t add up to it by constantly comparing them to their peer, neighbors and siblings. If you constantly compare them to their better off siblings for every small and short mistakes, the teenager’s mind cements the negativity and start retaliating. Treat them as individuals and every individual differs, don’t force them to behave like their siblings in all the aspects of life.
9- Don’t Stop Them from Taking Decisions & Learn from Them
Since your teenagers have freshly tasted the social independence, encourage them to set some rules and adhere to those to make them learn responsibility. Discuss home issues with them to know their say, involve them into as many things you can, so that they feel loved and capable of taking decisions that would be good for the entire family.
10- Don’t Hesitate to Say Sorry for Your Mistakes
The last thing to do as a parent is to keep sticking to your ego and not uttering ‘Sorry’ even after you realize you were at fault with your adolescent. It’s a powerful word and helps in reconciliation and building up the bond between you and your teenager.
We hope you are working on most of the pointers written above to keep up with changing moods and requirements of your growing kid. If not, please start following the basic rules of thumb. Start including your teenagers more in your day-to-day life so that they don’t feel alienated. Tell us the methods that worked for you best in the comment section below.
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