3 Things You Should Stop Saying To Your Teen

April 21, 2020

(Pixabay CC0)

It's not always easy being a parent, especially when our children become teens, and they start to act out in difficult and unusual ways because of their growing independence and fluctuating hormones. 

Thankfully, we can learn as we go along, and while we might make mistakes, we can try to make up for them later. We can benefit from the advice of other parents too, as well as parenting podcasts that can bolster our learning. 

However, it's important to remember how fragile our teens are. It's important to remember that our words can wound them, affect their self-esteem, and cause them to act out. So, while we will sometimes say things we later regret, it's useful to know what these things might be at an early so we can stop saying them. By doing so, we can protect our teens and our relationship with them now and in the future.

Here are three things you should stop saying to your teen.

#1: It's not that bad

When your teen comes to you with a problem, you might be tempted to say, 'it's not that bad." But while the problem might not seem bad to you, for your teen, it could seem like the end of the world. You see, there are problems teenagers experience that, for them, are very serious. It could be something to do with their grades, with their attempts to fit in at school, or with a negative word somebody had said to them when they were sitting in the dinner hall. Minor things to us can be exaggerated for our teens, and these can lead to feelings of stress, depression, and teen anxiety. So, don't minimize how your teen is feeling. Listen to them, try to understand their concerns, and try to support them if they need that extra help.

#2: Why can't you be more like…

Our teenagers are never going to be perfect. They will sometimes do and say things they shouldn't, and they will sometimes struggle within certain aspects of their lives. When we aren't happy about the way our teens are behaving or performing, we might compare them to ourselves or to others, and set our teens standards that we want them to follow. But here's the thing. Teens already compare themselves to others, especially at school, so their self-esteem is already a little rocky. So, when you compare your teen to others, you might compound their feelings of worthlessness. 

And here's another thing. Your teen is unique and special, and that is a good thing. While it's okay for you to correct their behavior, you should think twice before pushing your teen to be something they're not. Instead, you should honor their individuality and help them to express that in positive ways.

#3: Because I said so

As a parent, you're perfectly in your right to protect your teen. But if you're going to lay down a rule, and if you're going to stop your teen from doing something, explain why. The response of 'because I said so' is only going to get their back up and that might cause friction between you. Instead, talk to your teen, share your worries and concerns, and explain the worldly dangers that you want your teen to avoid. 

Thanks for reading!

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