What Are Teenager Problems with Parents? 16 Positive Parenting Tips

5 Habits We Wish Youd Reconsider

1. You don’t notice the good we do

A lot of kids I know have jobs, school, and multiple extra-curriculars to deal with. They’re doing community service projects, and they’re working extra hard at a sport or exercise routine. They take every advanced course the school offers, and then some. They’re up until one in the morning getting all their work done so that they’ll pass all those classes with flying colors.

And they’ll still be called lazy because they haven’t taken out the trash on time. Maybe this doesn’t describe every teen, but it often feels like our flops gather much more attention than our efforts.

2. You press the things we don’t want to talk about

If your teen comes home from school and seems down, or stops hanging out with a friend they used to like, or won’t talk about how things are going in an extracurricular, ask them why. If they don’t want to talk about it, let it go. Teens hate to be forced to talk about things that they haven’t fully worked out themselves. And we feel cornered if we have to.

3. You monitor our activities (especially without telling us)

Parents like to know the password to their teens’ online accounts, to be accessed in case of an emergency. That’s fine, and totally understandable.

But some parents grow too invasive and take this idea uncomfortably far. Constantly checking a teen’s browsing history, or checking every e-mail they receive, makes a teen feel wronged. Even worse is when the monitoring is done in secret. Constant breathing down a teen’s neck can destroy mutual trust.

4. You get angry when we stick up for ourselves

Teenagers get this all the time. During an argument, they feel (sometimes rightly) that their voice isn’t being heard. So they object that they are being treated unfairly, only to be told that they are “back-talking” and need to be quiet.

From a young age, kids are taught to stick up for themselves—in fact, it’s their right. But suddenly the tables are turned when parents are concerned, and that double standard is really irritating.

5. You demand our respect

It’s important to make the distinction between two different implied definitions of the word “respect” in this case. Respect can mean (1) respect as authority or (2) respect as a person. These two connotations are often confused.

Sometimes, when adults speak of mutual respect, they mean that if a teen doesn’t respect them as authority, they won’t respect the teen as a person in return. But sometimes parents need to remember that they need to earn respect as authority. It is reasonable to expect your teen to respect you as a person. But teens do not accept “I am your mother/father, and you must respect me” as a valid claim. Demanding respect as authority will always lead to resentment from a teen.

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We know you love us. We know raising us is hard. But these five examples of annoying things that parents do (at least from our perspective) are easy to change. And we’d be so grateful.

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Some Tips For Parents of Teenage Girls

Not all teens are the same. Here are some additional tips on how to raise a teenage girl (12).

10. Make her resilient:

Yes, we may treat our little girls like princesses. Bring her up like a strong, resilient, and honest princess. Focus more on her character than her looks. More often than not, parents have this urge to protect their little girl from the bad world. While it certainly is your job to protect your kids, understand that you cannot always do so. And it is okay if they get a little hurt once in a while because that makes them stronger.

Your daughter will learn to deal with emotions like pain, sadness, jealousy and anger when she experiences them. Allow her to deal with breakups, fights with the bestie or something as silly as a bad hair day on her own. But let her know that you are there to hold her through difficult and painful moments.

Working through problems with her will help prepare her for life. If there is a problem, talk about it. Discuss possible solutions, but let her decide. Remember, her decision may not match yours. Support it anyway, as long as it doesn’t put her in harm’s way.

11. Instill confidence:

Instill confidence in your little girl, and you will help her make her dreams come true. That said, make the distinction between confidence and overconfidence. While it is okay to believe that she can achieve anything she sets her mind to, she should also know about her limitations and capabilities.

Teach her to take little risks that bring in rewards she desires. It is okay if she fails. Most importantly, make her understand that she doesn’t need to be perfect.

12. Periods:

Usually, most girls get their first period when they are 12 or 13 (13). However, Some might get it before. Talk to your child about it early on. When your girl gets her first period, make sure you help her deal with it.

There’s not much you can do about the mood swings at that time. But talk about the importance of hygiene during the periods and keeping track of the menstrual cycle to be prepared for it every month.

13. Talk to her about boys – they will happen!

Boys. You cannot keep them away from your girl. Your little girl, who was happy to stay home and play ‘princess’ by herself, is now going out with boys! While you cannot stop a teen girl from dating, what you can do is talk to her about it – boys, dates, kissing, sex and breakups (but not all at once!). Support her if she finds herself more interested in girls than boys.

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1: Tardiness

Tardiness is something that kids hate. We’re not talking about being late to school, church or basketball practice. Your teen may be consistently late to all of those functions without batting an eye. We’re talking about appearing late in their lives.

The teenage years are when some parents decide it’s time to finally show up and teach their kids a thing or two about life. But the truth is, your child has been learning from you from the very beginning. If you wait until adolescence to talk to your child about serious matters, or if you delay spending significant time with your kid until things start to go awry, he or she will resist your tardy appearance. This, of course, doesn’t mean that you should remain absent; but it does mean that you’ll have a tougher time getting your teenager to listen to you if the relationship hasn’t already been established. If you can avoid showing up late in your child’s life, take the opportunity to do so.

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There’s no perfect science to raising a teenager. Some days just don’t make sense. But if you know the traits teens dislike, you can at least brace yourself for what’s ahead.

‘My house, my rules!’

A lot of arguments revolve around who does what in the family home. It’s not uncommon to experience blazing rows over where to put wet towels, who washes the dishes or messy bedrooms.

Ironically, arguments are often about something that both you and your parents insist is “no big deal”, and yet you’re both yelling about it. Why? One big factor is how your teenage brain is suddenly responding differently to familiar events.

The parts of your brain that process rewards and pleasure have been updated and overhauled, so what used to make you happy – such as toys and colourful cartoons – no longer does. Simultaneously, the parts of your brain that crave independence and control, as well as novelty, are being ramped up, meaning you’re driven to do things your way, on your terms, and seek out new experiences.

Meanwhile, your parents have just spent more than a decade providing and caring for a small child who depended on them entirely. That’s how they understand your relationship. But now, your changing brain is throwing all that out of the window and your parents will appear to have transformed from being a source of safety and comfort, to wardens and gatekeepers. This is why teens often stick close to their friends and peers, and spend less time with their parents.

There can be tension and uncertainty as you all try to figure out how your relationship now works. But some research suggests that these arguments can be a good thing, helping everyone reach a newfound understanding much faster – so long as they’re not just about the negatives. Take every opportunity to show them how independent you are, and in a quiet moment you might even praise them for letting you have some space.

4: Minimizing Language

One thing your teenager wants is respect. And while it’s true that respect has to be earned, it’s also true that a person will try harder to earn it you give him a little in the first place. The way you talk to your teen is key. Telling him that he’s just a kid will only make him mad, and it’ll make him feel like he’s stuck in a time warp of your design, too.

In the same way, saying things like "you’ve got it easy" also minimizes who he is and what he’s going through. Sure, your teen may not have a full-time job, a mortgage and several mouths to feed, but being a teenager isn’t easy either. It’s a challenging process that deserves to be recognized as such. So when the trash doesn’t get dumped or the dog doesn’t get fed, be careful about lashing out with a "you don’t do anything around here" tirade. A better approach might be to acknowledge that it might’ve been a tough day at school, but let’s get a couple things taken care of around here before we kick back and relax.

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If you want the teen to feel and act like an adult, avoid language which can even unintentionally be demeaning. Nobody wants to be treated like that.

I Hate My Parents: What Do I Do?

If you hate your parents, you might be feeling panicked about what to do next. First, stay calm. Remember that it’s normal to have negative feelings toward your parents and other family members. Then, follow a few tips for navigating your next move, which will require first making one decision: whether or not you want to salvage the relationship with your parents. If that’s not possible or you don’t wish to make amends, then here are a few pieces of advice for you:

  1. Move out of the house. If you’re still living with your parents, it’s time to move out (if you’re 18 of course). While this is easier said than done, it’s important to get out of the unhealthy living situation. Talk to a friend about looking for an apartment together. Or, consider finding a place by yourself. Living alone might give you the space and freedom you’re searching for.
  2. Limit interactions with your parents. Prior to moving out and after moving out, don’t interact with your parents unless you have to. If you’re still living with them, it’s probably best to respond when they speak directly to you, in order to keep the peace, but otherwise, keep to yourself. When you no longer live with your parents, it’ll be much easier to keep these interactions to a minimum.
  3. Be the bigger person. If your parents are known to strike up uncomfortable conversations or arguments, do your best not to retaliate. Be the bigger person. Matching their volume or aggression will only fuel the fire and make matters worse. Again, do your best to keep your interactions with them minimal and focus on getting some much-needed space from them.
  4. Secure a support system. You might be all anger right now — but sometime in the future (probably soon), you’ll likely succumb to other negative emotions like sadness. It’s tough to end a relationship and cut a loved one out of your life, even if that relationship wasn’t the healthiest. Be sure to talk to your loved ones or a therapist about how you’re feeling and get the support that you need.
  5. Focus on you. Now it’s time to stop focusing on your hate for your parents and to start focusing on yourself. You can become the person you want to be, despite the resentment that you harbor toward your parents and the cause of that hate. Start spending time with people you love and doing things that fill you with joy.

If, on the other hand, you’re interested in mending your relationships with your parents, then you must sit down with them and have a heart-to-heart. Hate is a strong word and stems from strong feelings. If your relationships with your parents have gotten to this point, it’s time to share your feelings with them. Be sure to listen to what they have to say, too. And if you need or would like a mediator, consider going to family therapy. A therapist serves as that mediator, offers an outsider’s point of view, and comes with professional expertise to help you improve your relationships.

How Can You Resolve Parent-Teen Conflict?

Identifying the source of conflict is the first step to resolving the conflict. Here are a few tips for parents and teenagers to use:

  1. Focus on common goals: View each other as allies in the common goals you agree on, which usually include keeping the teen safe and seeing them be successful. Refocus your energy on these goals to keep from getting too adversarial.
  2. Speak thoughtfully: Use "I statements" to express feelings and make requests. Just say "I feel _____, when I _____." Make simple and specific requests. This is much better than blaming and name-calling, which normally happens when emotions run high.
  3. Brainstorm solutions: List possible solutions to the conflict together. This may seem obvious, but many times a conflict will polarize viewpoints until no compromise or negotiation seems possible. Just start listing creative ideas, whether they seem reasonable or not. Creativity is your friend when solving any problem in life, including conflicts with others.
  4. Make a decision together: It's still a conflict if parents tell their teen that they have to do something "because I said so." It's also still a conflict if the teen just gives in to a threat and the relationship gets damaged. Decide on a solution together when both parties are calm enough to make rational decisions. Don't try this when anyone is angry, though.

Stay calm to stay productive. Don't point fingers (literally or figuratively), and don't try to make a decision while you're still mad.

Photo by Raychan on Unsplash

Comments

logan on February 05, 2020:

holy clean your washer

someone annoyed on June 03, 2019:

please right about teenage conflict only not teeanage and parents and family!

booshka on February 06, 2019:

teenagers may seem evil at times, but parents aren't always right, you know

Franklin on November 17, 2018:

I salute your organized work of causes and solutions to tackle them

Ouba on August 15, 2017:

Parents are really think they know it all…if they bad things in the past they should not make that our problem

SharonBallantine on November 13, 2014:

No two people will agree on every topic all the time. Learning to get along with others includes learning to accept that we have differences of opinions–and even so, we can still respect and even like each other.

This is true within our own families as well. When we teach our children at an early age to look inside themselves and discover what makes them unique, we must also accept that there may be things about them that we would not have chosen for them if it were up to us.

Focus on the feelings behind the disagreements and learn to really listen to what is being said, and the emotions behind the words. And be willing to work with your kids to come up with alternative solutions in the face of disagreements. The best solution for the family is usually one you collectively choose. It might not have been your first choice, or even something you would have thought of on your own!

Russell Pittock from Nakon Sawan Province, Thailand. on September 11, 2014:

My wife and I were young parents and we thought that, for this reason, we would be more in touch with our children. Nothing could have been further from the truth. The areas of conflict that you have identified ring very true.

ghea on October 10, 2012:

usually the teenager now wanted to live young wild and free…

they do what they want… they don't care what other people say about. and they don't care who sees about it..

all they want to do is to have more fun in their life….

JP Carlos from Quezon CIty, Phlippines on March 07, 2012:

Teenage is truly a difficult time for both parents and the child. On one side is a child learning about himself, friends, society, norms rules etc., on the other end is a parent trying to protect the child. The balance is quite difficult. I'm a new dad and I'm already worried about these things. I guess, it's something all parents will eventually have to handle.

Aunt Mollie on January 12, 2012:

Excellent information for raising teenagers. A little turbulence during these years is perfectly normal. Voted up!

Nancy Owens from USA on January 01, 2012:

I like that you talked about seeing one another as allies in the area in which you agree. Knowing that both parties can agree on at least some things sort of helps to take the sting out of the part where you have to receive criticism. Voted up and useful!

Stephanie Das from Miami, US on January 01, 2012:

This is a cool article. When I was a teen, I fought with my parents about my party habits and slacking off at school. I was a bit rebellious, but luckily for me I was the youngest child, so I got to slide under the radar.

Denise Handlon from North Carolina on December 31, 2011:

Well written article with lots of important and interesting information.

Helen Murphy Howell from Fife, Scotland on December 31, 2011:

The pointers for helping to resolve conflict issues are excellent. Not many articles on this topic have these and only highlight the conflict areas. Great hub + voted up!

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on December 30, 2011:

I like how you not only point out the sources of conflict but offer some resolution strategies. Voting this Up and Useful.

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