Why is it so difficult to raise a teenager

The 7 biggest mistakes in parenting during puberty

To say it right from the start: making mistakes is not bad

Not even in bringing up or dealing with one's own children. After all, parents are only human. And you can learn from mistakes. Provided you are willing to admit your mistakes and deal with them within the family. If you have a healthy self-confidence, it won't be too difficult for you, e.g. B. sometimes "That was not sent by me" to say and apologize for a certain behavior. A little sentence like "I'm really sorry that I was so loud / unfair / ..." can be very helpful.

The children then notice that their (hurt) feelings are seen and taken seriously. And above all, they watch it and can then (later) admit and admit mistakes. However, many reactions happen so unconsciously and quickly that we have the feeling that something happens “automatically”. It can be that we react emotionally violently to a relatively harmless statement without immediately understanding why. If this happens to you often, you should ask yourself what makes you so furious. It is important to put your own (educational) behavior to the test every now and then. The following questions could be helpful for this:

  • What do you achieve with your behavior? Is that what you want to achieve, or just the opposite of that?
  • What provokes you about your child? Then at what sore point does it get you?
  • What does your child accuse you of more often? Is there any truth to these allegations?
  • What behavior do you regularly use to provoke violent resistance from your child? What could you change?

A single awkward reaction, a wrong tone of voice or even an excessive punishment seldom harm a child. It is more the regularly recurring, fundamental “mistakes” that - if not the child - can at least damage the relationship between parent and child.

  • My advice:Be self-critical, but don't be too harsh with yourself if you notice that you have expressed yourself inappropriately or reacted inappropriately violently. But then also tell your child that you are sorry. But please do this only out of conviction and not to get the "blessing" of your child and so calm your guilty conscience.


The 7 most important parenting mistakes - and how to avoid them

Mistake # 1: Always wanting to have everything under control

What is not helpful about that: Pubescent children gradually want and need more freedom in order to be able to experience themselves increasingly as self-determined and to become independent. Whether school, friends or hobbies: If parents exercise too much control, this severely limits the child's horizon of experience. They may feel patronized, treated like a "toddler," and may begin to act rebellious. The way to a self-determined life is then more difficult to find.

What you can do instead:

  • Be more conscious of holding back with control questions.
  • Don't ask the same questions more often than necessary. In order to "annoy“You just and make your child feel like they don't really trust him.
  • Learn to deal with the fact that your child has secrets from you and does not include you (any longer) in everything. See this as an important and positive development step and not as a personal injury!

Mistake # 2: Blame yourself

What is not helpful about that: Adolescents sometimes provoke with their behavior and more often do not stick to appointments. It is understandable that parents then get angry and want to vent their anger. However, accusations are not suitable, as they inevitably force the young person into a subordinate role and put him under pressure to justify himself. Since teenagers want to break out of this subordinate role, they react particularly violently to allegations. Even when you hear "grumbling" or "ranting" you like to switch your ears to draft or counter loudly.

What you can do instead:

  • Avoid confrontation as much as possible when you are emotionally charged because your child is "has missed". Such a situation can escalate quickly without the content being clarified.
  • Take a deep breath first and think about how you are going to deal with the situation.
  • Think carefully about what you want to say to your child. The clearer it is to you what you want to convey to him, the greater the chance that your message will get across.

Mistake # 3: Don't take a stand, put up with everything

What is not helpful about that: Young people need adults with whom they can grapple and rub themselves against. This discussion helps them to find their own point of view and to differentiate themselves further, i.e. to develop a personality. Mothers or fathers who often avoid discussions and problems, do not express their own opinion or are otherwise not active in communicating with their child are often challenged by their pubescent children. They seek contact and, if necessary, provoke the other person with violent means, such as reproaches, provocations, etc. Parents who put up with practically anything from their adolescent are also doing him no good. Because then the children feel equipped with a power that they cannot handle (responsibly) at all.

What you can do instead:

  • Try to be honest and clear with your child.
  • Make your opinion clear and clear. Don't expect your child to have your opinion. But make it clear to them that they have to respect your opinion.
  • Show your limits clearly. "I don't want you to talk to me like that"Or"I expect you to listen to me“Are simple, clear and important statements.
  • Express your expectations even if you feel that your child doesn't care. Most of the time that's not true anyway; but it is also important that your child knows what your position is.

Mistake # 4: Dismissing the child's problems and feelings as “puberty behaviors”

What is not helpful about that: Again and again you hear sentences like "My child is so moody, it's just because of puberty". This statement may not be wrong, but it will not help the affected child if his feelings and problems are based solely on puberty. Because that doesn't help them to endure these feelings and solve their problems. Telling the child, “That'll be over again” may be temporarily comforting, but in the end it is of little help.

What you can do instead:

  • Take your child's feelings and problems seriously and address them specifically.
  • Sentences like "It's because of the hormones"Or"You're going through puberty“Have a relativizing effect: they give the feeling that the problem is not serious. Avoid such generalizing and trivializing sayings as much as possible.
  • Never worry about "Puberty problems“Funny, and don't disparage typical teenage behavior. Even if young people can be really annoying at times, they still always deserve our respect!

Mistake # 5: impose (inappropriate) penalties

What is not helpful about that:Fortunately, punishments in parenting have recently gone out of fashion. In pedagogy, people are now focusing more on “consequences” that the children have to face if they have shown so-called “wrongdoing”.

Many parents only use punishments when other educational measures such as admonishing or speaking no longer help. However, the older children get, the more difficult it becomes to punish them. For example, it is almost unrealistic to prescribe house arrest to a stubborn, vigorous 16-year-old - and also makes little sense.

Young people often experience punishments as helpless attempts at extortion by their parents or as a pure show of power. They often do more harm than good and should therefore be used as infrequently as possible.

What you can do instead:

  • Try not to impose punishments out of anger or indignation. Young people often see this as arbitrary and injustice.
  • Try to define regulations (going out times, etc.) together, i.e. to find a common solution with your child. If they have a real say, they'll be more willing to stick to the appointments.
  • Agree on a plan B for certain situations, for example if you are worried that your child will not come home on time. "If you miss the last bus, please call a taxi and use your pocket money to pay for it.“Hopefully such a consequence will be enough of a deterrent to pay attention to the departure times of the bus - or it will just be accepted.

Mistake # 6:impose too many or inappropriate prohibitions

What is not helpful about that:Of course, there have to be a few clear rules for young people too, which they should adhere to. Adolescents, however, are always interested in questioning or weakening these rules. This is because they are becoming more independent and want to determine more and more about themselves and their lives. Particular caution applies to prohibitions: prohibitions that are too strict often lead to young people starting to lie or doing what is forbidden behind their parents' backs. This puts a strain on the relationship of trust and brings with it new difficulties.

What you can do instead:

  • Reconsider bans every now and then: are they still age-appropriate?
  • Relax the rigid prohibitions the older and more independent your child is. Increasingly, let them make their own decisions.
  • Discuss prohibitions with your child and accept compromises or exceptions from time to time.
  • Always give your child a leap of faith, i.e. the opportunity to prove their reliability - even if it has not worked two or three times in the past!

Mistake # 7:withdraw (hurt), leave the child alone

What is not helpful about that:When teenagers are stubborn, often dismissive, or extremely provocative, parents understandably feel rejected. This insult to the parental ego can be very painful and lead to resignation and withdrawal. This behavior is then intended to protect against further injuries. As understandable as this reaction is, it is just as unfavorable. Because then the young person loses the parent's presence, which he needs so badly.

What you can do instead:

  • Try to figure out what exactly is hurting you. Discuss it with your partner or a good friend.
  • If that doesn't help, get professional help from a counselor or therapist.
  • Often deeper-seated, older injuries come to light again through the behavior of the young person. These should be worked on so that one can turn to the child again.