11 Attitudes to Avoid with Your Teenager

Do you want to know what attitudes you should avoid with your teenager? We'll tell you in this article, you can't miss it!
11 Attitudes to Avoid with Your Teenager
Mara Amor López

Written and verified by the psychologist Mara Amor López.

Last update: 28 November, 2022

Adolescence is a complicated stage in the upbringing of our children. They’re no longer children and are moving on to become adults. During this path, there will be obstacles and difficulties that they’ll have to overcome and their parents will be there to guide them. For this, it’s important to keep in mind that there are a number of attitudes that you should avoid with your teenager.

Teenagers undergo many changes during this stage, both physically and emotionally, which make this period a challenge for them and for their parents. As parents, we always try to do what’s best for our children, but sometimes we make mistakes. That’s why we offer you a series of tips to help you cope with this process in the best possible way. Don’t miss it!

Know what attitudes you should avoid with your teenager

Here are some of the attitudes you should avoid with your teenager if you want this period to be less difficult for your child and for you. Keep reading, you can’t miss it!

1. Criticizing your child’s friends

Many times, parents criticize their children’s friends. This happens simply because they don’t meet the expectations they have of what friendships children should have. They may even judge them without any justification. Therefore, you should try to understand what these friendships bring to your child and respect their choices. That is, as long as there’s no important reason to forbid them.

2. Be friends rather than parents

If you try to be their friend, you’ll end up confusing your child about the role you play in their life. The child needs discipline and rules that provide structure to his life. This will help them know which way to go as they grow into adulthood.

A father high-fiving his preteen son.
Parents should guide their children along the path of life so that they can do the best they can as they grow up. On the other hand, when the relationship resembles that of a friendship, the role of the adult becomes confusing for the child.

3. Not giving importance to their achievements

When we do something, even if it’s out of obligation, such as cooking, we all like to be told how well we’ve done. The same thing happens to our children. That’s why, even if they do something that’s their duty, it’s important to praise them for their personal growth. In addition, this is also positive for them to know what the right thing to do is and what actions they should repeat. That attitude will help them feel loved and valued in a time that’s often complicated.

4. Always expecting the worst to happen

This complicated stage of adolescence may make parents think the worst. However, this attitude will only let your child know that you don’t trust them to make the right decisions. It’s important that you give your child confidence and always maintain a positive attitude.

5. Not accepting your child as they are

It’s important that you accept and love your child as they are, as that’s what they need most. Don’t judge or criticize them for the way they dress, their hairstyle, or the way they talk. Don’t try to change who they are because you simply had different expectations about what they would be like in the future. Show them your unconditional love and acceptance, and validate their emotions and them as a person. All of this will help them grow up with self-confidence, security, and good self-esteem.

6. Exerting excessive control over them

When children grow up and enter adolescence, you won’t be able to control them. For that reason, during their childhood, you must work a lot on the issue of trust with them. In short, a good education, at this time, will allow you to trust them and trust that they’ll make good decisions. House rules should be negotiated with arguments and always from a respectful point of view. Keep in mind that if you try to control your teenager, you could get just the opposite.

7. Invading their privacy

Teenagers need their privacy, they want to be independent, and this is achieved through their personal space. You mustn’t forget that they’re in the midst of searching for their identity. For this reason, it’s essential that you respect their privacy and don’t rummage through their things or look at their cell phone messages. If you’re worried for any reason, it’s important that you trust them and have a conversation to clarify it.

A teenage daughter looking embarassed as her father yells at her and points at a cell phone.
If the adult shows invasive behavior, the only thing that will happen is that the teenager will distance themself even more, both physically and emotionally.

8. Wanting them to fulfill your own dreams

Many parents feel frustrated because, in their own youth, they were unable to fulfill their dream. That’s why they hope that their children will. But you mustn’t forget that they have their own tastes and goals. Your child is a different person from you and, therefore, won’t think or feel like you.

9. Resisting change

Sometimes, it’s hard to assimilate that our little one is no longer a child and is on the road to becoming an adult. This generates a certain nostalgia, which makes us resist this change. However, it’s important that we adapt the rules to their age and also increase their responsibilities. Your child has grown up and is now a youngster who needs a little more freedom than when they were little. Therefore, accept this stage as something normal in their development and enjoy it, because it also includes many good things.

10. Getting into strong arguments

Parents, when they scold a child and they answer them in a bad way, usually raise the tone of their voice and the thing ends up in a monumental argument. What we shouldn’t forget is that, in this situation, children stop listening and become rebellious. So, the best thing to do is to wait to calm down to be able to talk to them calmly, without shouting or threats. In this way, the children will be more receptive to the message and it’ll penetrate them in a more effective way.

11. Don’t investigate the reasons why your child has a problem

Don’t settle when your child tells you that they got a low grade because the subjects are difficult or because the exam was very complicated. Find out if, behind this drop in grades, there’s a reason that makes them not as focused as they should be on their studies. This doesn’t mean that you become a spy or that you invade their privacy, it’s simply a matter of talking to them to try to find out what’s happening to them so you can help them.

About the attitudes you should avoid with your teenager, we can say…

Now you know what attitudes you should avoid with your teenager if you want this stage to go as smoothly as possible. There’s no magic formula to turn this period into a bed of roses, but there are many ways to connect with your teenager and be close to them.

Despite being a complicated phase in their development, if you take into account these tips we’ve given you in this article, you’ll be able to enjoy them in this stage in which they begin their path to becoming adults.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.