10 Mistakes Parents Of Teen Can Avoid- Part 1

Mistakes Parents Of Teen Can Avoid – Part 1

I am a parent of a pre-teen now and I am always doubting my parenting skills. Should I be strict or cool? Am I nagging or just giving advice? Should I be a friend or a mother, is it really possible to be both? Should there be room for negotiation?

All these questions arise when I get into a conflicting situation with my daughter. The frequency of mood changes has risen. I have made mistakes in the manner that I respond at the time when the situation is a bit tense between us.

As a teacher, I have had the experience of interacting with teens and I remember 40-45-year-old parents thanking me for giving the right guidance to their children. But I am talking about a time when I was a young 25-year-old teacher, with whom the kids could relate and share anything. And while I was a cool teacher to my students, I am the 40-year-old parent now. So, doubts.

However, I have learnt a few lessons while facing these pitfalls. And I am hoping that by the time my daughter is officially a teen, we have developed a bond which makes the teenage years easier for both of us.

Because yes, teenage is confusing for the teen as well as the parent. They tend to test your patience and though they may behave as if they don’t need you but in reality, they do.

So, here are few pointers based on my learnings

The mistake of not listening

One mistake I made which my daughter pointed out to me just recently was that I am not listening to her. I was looking at her but she could read my expressions and understood that I am not attentive. Listening is a very powerful tool to improve your relationship with anyone. It’s an expression of unconditional love. Don’t just listen because you know that listening is important but listen to understand. Listen beyond the words that are spoken by your child.

When your child is talking, do not interrupt and try to understand her perspective.  If your child is talking about her low grades at school, do not ever question them about why they scored less, rather ask how is the child going to try to improve the performance. Try and find out if she has a plan in mind or wants your suggestions or help. Do not offer help without being asked because the child might feel that you are not trusting her and doubting her capabilities. It is all about how you respond while your child is talking to you.

Not being good role models

If you snap at every frustrating moment, your child is going to embody your behaviour because they feel this is the way to react in a tense situation. Mood swings and anger issues in tweens and teens are common. I will share one very recent experience of mine. I had promised my 11-year-old that I will play badminton with her during the evenings. One day I was running late with home chores and I tried to excuse myself from my commitment to her. She started throwing tantrums and went to the extreme of saying that I never spend time with her. It was frustrating for me to have to listen to this allegation because every day, I had spent my evenings with her. There have been instances earlier that I have snapped back at her but this time I restrained myself. I was cooking at that time but I stopped it for a while and agreed to play with her. After an hour of playing, she was hungry and had to wait for dinner because it wasn’t prepared. She realised her mistake and immediately apologized.

Adults need to stay calm so that they can employ ways for effective parenting to manage their child’s behaviour.

Do not force them to engage in activities of your choice

I have always wished my daughter to be a reader. I have been a decent role model too. She has grown up watching me read on most of the days. Yet she doesn’t read regularly. Initially, I used to force her to read. I would criticize her too, taunt her that her language skills will remain weak if she doesn’t develop a habit of reading every day. This was a huge mistake I did because she becomes averse to reading because of my nagging.

This was like a wake-up call and during this lockdown, I gave her space to explore all the activities of her choice. She took fancy to cooking. We were extremely surprised by her natural cooking skills. She started preparing dishes without any adult supervision. She started exploring various recipes on youtube. She prepared savoury and sweet dishes. One day she prepared Ras malai. We were shocked. I asked her how she learnt it and she said she watched youtube videos and she read various recipes online. She started writing recipes on her own with the variations that she incorporated in the recipes she watched online. This helped build her language skills too.

My learning was that there could be different ways to master a skill. Integration is an ideal way to make teaching-learning an effective process. I have learnt this as a teacher but had forgotten while parenting my daughter. I learnt it at the right time, I guess.

And yes, now she reads every night for 10 minutes, I think it’s a good start.

Do not micro-manage your tween/teen

Do not protect your child with a fear that they might fail. Give them space to learn from their mistakes. Being a sportsperson since the age of four, my daughter is extremely carefree and confident about her decisions. And though I should have been confident about her choices, I fear that she might become overconfident and make bad decisions. Being a parent, it’s natural you want to protect your child but for how long. They will eventually grow up and they will make their decisions. If we give them the freedom to do it now during their teenage, they will develop essential life skills at the right time which will help them during adulthood.


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Do not withhold information pertaining to menstruation, Sex and substance abuse

I was having a chat with my friend, whose 11-year-old daughter is already menstruating, yet she didn’t have a clue about the science behind menstruation. My friend has told her that’s it’s just a part of growing up. Now this child has started discussing with her peers about menstruation, boy crushes and has come to her mom looking for answers but her mom (my friend) is reluctant to answer.

I had to tell her that you need to discuss the science of menstruation. You have to talk to her about ovary, ovulation and sperm as well. This is vital information and you should be glad that she came to you looking for answers and didn’t rely on the information given to her by her peers.

You have to find age-appropriate methods of discussing it with your child. Read books or visit a gynaecologist. Take expert help if you don’t have answers but do not withhold any information.


To be continued.

Part 2 on the blog soon. So do come back.

This post is a part of My Friend Alexa Season 5 with Blogchatter


35 thoughts on “10 Mistakes Parents Of Teen Can Avoid- Part 1”

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  4. started with part2, then came here. You have out the points so simply, yet they make such a lot of difference to children. Unhappy to say that I am guilty of many mistakes, but I think I should now follow your tips to talk to my children

  5. Such a well thought out and beautiful post. I wish it was around when my sons and I went through this phase.
    On hindsight I have made a few mistakes and reading about them here reminded me of them. I could have handled things better or at least differently.

    1. Oh, we all make mistakes. I have made too as I have mentioned in the post. Now pre-teens is similar to teens so she started showing early signs and therefore I wanted to share my experience with other parents. Now I know the way forward and better equipped to build a betteebomd during her teenage.

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  7. Love this article, Aesha. While teenage years have always been hard for parents, I believe they’re are harder still in this age and even more so during this pandemic. Your personal examples help so much to make this so useful.

    1. Thanks, Corinne. I always share my personal experiences because that was my primary reason to start blogging. I learn through my experiences and want to be honestly speaking about it on my blog so more parents can share their’s as well and we learn from each other.

  8. Pingback: 10 Mistakes Parents Of Teens Can Avoid - Part 2 - Aesha's Musings

  9. This is indeed needed, Aesha. I remember our discussion the other day on direct messaging. Kids are getting more than they bargained this time, hence it is obvious. I am still 4 good years away from the transition, but can see flashes right now. As parents, we have to brace up before the change really hits. Keeping all the pointers in mind.

  10. An a parent of a teen I can completely relate to this. Yes we need to be a good listener and should stop the habit of preaching. It is important to set certain guidelines right in the beginning .

  11. Such an honest post, Aesha. Parents shy away from discussing important things with children, which in turn makes kids which seek information outside. Which is not always the right one. Your post should serve as a guide for parents.

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  13. I am a mother to a teen and a preteen. And I’m facing the music…Literally… You’ve put together some wonderful points. That nagging bit about reading was so relatable.

  14. I am 25 unmarried and not a mother yet. But whenever I come across a thought of being a mother I always am skeptical about it. I always wonder how will I be open about topics such as sex and periods with my kids and how will I make sure they know I am always here for them… These have answered some of my questions… Though I need to re-visit for more…?. Keep writing.

  15. I am 25 unmarried and not a mother yet. But whenever I come across a thought of being a mother I always am skeptical about it. I always wonder how will I be open about topics such as sex and periods with my kids and how will I make sure they know I am always here for them… These have answered some of my questions… Though I need to re-visit for more…?. Keep writing.

  16. I completely agree with all the points as a mom of two teens. It is surely a roller coaster ride and my favourite point out of the list is not to micro manage. Its important for them to fall and learn.

  17. Its really important to listen to them, I have seen this simple hack always work. Its such a simple remedy to most parenting problems. I also loved your tip on why we must stay away from getting our kids to do what WE want

  18. Ahh this post comes to my rescue and look forward to read complete series for sure as I’m a mom of pre-teen too and yes we are often questioning ourselves on are we right or wrong, We look back to our parents but times have changed. Thanks for the pointers We need to listen to them for sure so they are expressive and feel free to share too. Have been observing drastic changes in my teenager and certainly need to change my parenting style to grow with him and his age.

  19. Nice post , agree with you on all points specially Micro managing , we need to leave them to explore new things , that will also help them to be more confident.

  20. The ideal relationship between a parent and an adolescent is one of friendship. Friends are what adolescents count on. You’ve given some very useful tips here.

  21. Practical advice, Aesha! Now that my son is 12 I’m seeing changes in him that are sometimes tough for me to make sense of. I’m a strict parent but have realised the need to give him leverage and privacy. They observe us closely and hence the need to be good role models is important for kids, at any age.

  22. One thing I I have always seen is that parents do not listen to what kids ought to say. Even when, they are toodlers, it is always good to hear out their voices and discuss out the concerns. Though my son is too small, but I found these very practical tips.

  23. Dr. Surbhi Prapanna

    Wow loved the post dear. my girl is 11 and I need these reminders . sometimes I feel that now she is a big girl and can manage so many things on her own but as a parent we tend to behave over protective. all the best dear for alexa and looking for next post.

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