Online Parent Support Chat

What do you do to cope?

Parents Support One Another @ = I need help with the following issue:

My teens don't really like the new rules or my new parenting strategy, but they are doing what is asked. It sure is hard to be the odd man out when we all use to be so close. Anyone else feeling this alienation? What do you do to cope?


Anonymous said...

First, be thankful that you are seeing improvement. Second, remember this is not about you -- it's about preparing your kids for adulthood!!

Anonymous said...

None of us set out with the intention to alienate our teenagers. We all want to be good and effective. We all want to be good and effective parents. The reality however, is that we are only human and therefore capable of making mistakes. What’s important is that we identify these mistakes and understand some of the common ways we alienate our teenagers. This will help us avoid some of the common pitfalls and build a batter relationship with our youngsters.

This is the single most common way to alienate your teenagers. Rigid parents are so strict with their teenagers that their children often have to lie about where they go and who they go and who they are with for fear of igniting their parents’ anger. Such parents feel insecure unless they are in control all the time. They don’t trust their teenagers to do anything on their own. Such parents act as though they are platoon commanders directing, instructing and threatening when their children fail to comply. They rule with iron fist.

What Teenagers Need

Rigid parents fail to understand that teenagers need freedom to grow and learn, and to make decisions and choices of their own. Teenagers need parents who can guide them and give them space to make mistakes occasionally, not rigid parents who control them in everything they do. Such rigidity can crush their will power.

Don’t Worry about the Way You Communicate

When parents communicate to teenagers in cold, harsh tones, they can easily distance themselves from their teenagers. How often have you uttered word like these ?

Because I told you so, that’s why.

Why don’t you act your age?

Just wait till your father gets home.

Do I have to do everything for you?

You’ll never amount to anything.

Parents can also alienate teenagers when they passive communication. Here parents don’t say much at all and rarely seize the opportunity to enter into a meaningful conversation with their teenagers. Instead they answer with yes, sounds good, or oh, that’s terrible!. They also seldom allow their teens to discuss and reason with them. Opportunities to encourage their teenagers to open up and talk about issues like drugs and premarital sex are lost on these parents.

What Teenagers Need

Teenagers need to hear and see from parents the things that are closest to their hearts - messages of love, limits, grace, tolerance, respect and understanding. They need parents to provide an open environment that welcomes and includes them as active participants in meaningful communications. They need parents to listen to their problems. They want to be able to discuss, reason and express their feelings and view. They don’t need parental nagging!

Don’t Worry About Setting Boundaries and Limits

This is yet another common way to alienate your teenagers. Parents become permissive when they believe that teenagers are old enough to decide everything for themselves. They allow their youngsters to do whatever they please, letting them bear the consequences of their action. Permissively can also arise when parents don’t want to get into constant fights or arguments with their teenagers. They then let go of their control and guidance. Permissive parents think they get along better with their teenagers who love them for not being strict.

What Teenagers Need

Many parents think that teenagers would prefer to have pushover or permissive parent. The truth is that such parents confuse their teenagers by not providing the guidance, accountability and structure they so desperately need. While it is true that teenagers need greater latitude in making choices and decisions on their own, they still want their parents to be around to lend them support in times of need. Teenagers need parents in the background to guide them and help them say no to peer pressure. They want limits and boundaries that are consistent and considerate.

Forget About Discipline When They Break Rules

Parents who don’t discipline or correct their teenagers when they break rules are actually saying they don’t care. When parents show a ”no care” attitude, they build a barrier in their relationship with their teenagers. Not only have the teenagers not learned good behaviors, they take their problems elsewhere since their parents don’t care whether they are good or bad. Hence, the parent-teenager relationship becomes cool and distant. Parents who don’t take an interest to correct their teenagers’ misbehaviors face the consequence of alienating them.

What Teenagers Need

While discipline is painful at times, teenagers still want their parents to enforce their correcting prerogative. In fact, teenagers feel secure from knowing that their parents care enough for them to discipline them, or withdraw their privileges when they do wrong. They feel secure in their parent’s love.

Don’t Worry About Building Self-Esteem.

One very easy way to alienate your teenager is to destroy his self-worth. Parents who do not encourage or build up their teenagers’ abilities and potential, but instead tear down their self-confidence and self-worth are hurting the parent-child relationship. Many parents don’t encourage their teenagers for fear that the more attention a child receives, the more he wants. This however misconception. In fact, just the opposite is true. The “don’t give too much, because they’ll just want more” approach actually communicates a tremendously alienating message. Many parents are also guilty of criticizing and magnifying the negative aspects of their teenagers, and even of name calling. This often destroys the teenagers respect for both himself and his parents.

What Teenagers Need

Teenagers need parents who show confidence and trust in allowing them to take a little more control of their lives. They need parents allow them to experience their potential, understand their limits, and enjoy their talents. They need encouragement when they fail or when they don’t measure up to their own or their parents expectations. They need to be uplifted, not crushed!

You Should Never Let Them Grow Up

Such parents feel that their teenagers still neeeeed them! They find it hard to relinquish the reins just yet. Hence, they still insist on choosing their teenagers’ clothes, career and friends. Frequently, these controlling parents ignore or discount their teenagers feelings. They tend to be overprotective, smothering their teenagers in the process. Teenagers are not allowed to grow in independence may rebel against their parents.

What Teenagers Need

Adolescents need to be giving a chance to flap their wings and become airborne on their own. They may forget they have wings if they continually find themselves grounded securely under their parent’. Teenagers need to experience their own limits and boundaries in increasing amount as they mature and earn their parents’ trust. They need to increase their skills, in decision-making and choice making. While teenagers should be given sufficient room to grow, they will still need their parents’ support and encouragement throughout the growing up process.

This secret to successful parenting is to fully understand the common ways we alienate our teenager. When we know what our teenagers need, and how to improve our relationship with them through better communication. I’m confident that parent’s will not only become more effective, but that they will derive more enjoyment from the teenager-rearing experience. (The teenagers will also enjoy you more!)