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Parents, are you part of your teenager’s problem?

Sometimes although well-intentioned, parents can be part of a child’s barrier without realizing it. There are some common mistakes that parents tend to make with their teenage children. Here are they are with some points you should be aware of and try to avoid.

Acknowledge Your Child’s Feelings

Do not overlook or diminish your child’s feelings. Saying, “It’s not a big deal,” or “It’s not important” contributes to teenagers’ feelings of not being understood. If your teenager is upset about something, then it is important to them. Acknowledge the importance of the issue and acknowledge their feelings. Then talk them through it. Not doing so will only discourage them and make them feel distant from you. When they reach for a goal and do not attain it, talking about it will make them feel understood and validated.

“Just Try Harder” is a No NO

Never assume that your child isn’t trying. When things are not going well or your teenager is not performing to the level you expect, do not assume it is due to a lack of effort. Never tell your child to put more effort into their work. Experts warn against doing so even when your child is truly not trying their best. Accusing them of not putting enough effort into their work does not help. If your child is not motivated to try their best, there is usually a reason for it, such as feeling like they won’t succeed.

Set Realistic Goals

On the same note, do not have unrealistic expectations for your child and never compare them to others. Your child will feel like a failure when they try to work at another person’s level or someone else’s level of expectation. Make sure your teenager sets up realistic academic goals that are not out of their reach.

Taking Responsibility

Do not rescue or take responsibility everytime your child struggles with schoolwork or has a difficult problem. If you do for your child what s/he can do for her/himself, it sends the message that s/he is not capable.

Do not let your child blame others for their own failures. If your teen learns to take responsibility for their errors, then they will more likely merit credit for their successes. In addition, teaching your child to take responsibility for their errors creates resilience and opportunities to learn. 

Praise Your Child

Lastly, do not praise your child undeservingly. Giving praise without merit takes away from its truthfulness. Only praise your child when it is merited. Offer constructive advice only when it is important. Experts say that the correct ratio is four praises to every criticism. So, support your child by creating realistic goals with ample opportunities for success. When they struggle academically, please do not hesitate to contact us. We can help with tutoring services or academic coaching.

By reading these common mistakes and being aware of them, you are already on the path to helping your teen succeed. We are happy to announce that we will continue providing research-based articles for your parenting needs in the near future.