As your child enters into adolescence, you need to adapt your parenting skills for dealing with a teenager. Granted there isn’t a “how to” book, but if you want to maintain a healthy relationship, based on mutual respect with the potential to last a lifetime, here are some blunders to avoid from our sister site elev8.com:
Blunder #1: Lecturing
No one enjoys a one-sided conversation in which they’ve been relegated to the role of non-stop listener. For the mature adult patiently listening to some know-it-all bluster on and on without reprieve is next to impossible. For most teenagers, who characteristically have shorter attention spans, it is impossible. Polite teenagers will silently tune out while remaining bodily present. The less than polite will simply get up and leave. And who can blame them?
Before you launch into your next great speech, try asking open-ended questions that will require a thoughtful response. My rule of thumb is if I find myself speaking more than three sentences without interruption, then I’m probably talking too much.
Blunder #2: Offering Unwelcome Advice
When was the last time you asked a teenager (or anyone for that matter), “I have an opinion about that. Would you like to hear it?” When was the last time you waited to be asked for your thoughts before you offered them?
Even though the exact right advice might be on the tip of your tongue, exercise self-control. Wait to be asked for your opinion, or ask permission to offer it first. Teenagers’ biggest complaint is adults’ lack of respect for their personhood. Nothing shouts “I don’t respect you!” like clobbering someone over the head with your unsolicited opinion.
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