Highlighting Changes in Appearance or Emotion
Adolescence is a period of immense hormonal, physical, and psychological changes. Parents need to understand and respect their child’s emotional changes and refrain from ridiculing or criticizing them in front of their peers, in order to avoid hurting or pushing their child away. Parents should communicate with their child gently and respectfully, which can help them feel supported during this complex phase.
Not Respecting the Child’s Personal Space
Eleanor, 14, expresses dissatisfaction with the lack of personal space due to parental control. Parents should provide their child with personal space, even if it is a shared room, such as a study corner or a personal wardrobe, to demonstrate respect for their child’s privacy. Avoid controlling them all the time, unless the parents suspect that the child is hiding a serious offense.
Although living under the same roof, many parents are often absent during their children’s development, leaving all educational responsibilities to the other parent. Both parents’ involvement in education is important, as it strengthens family bonds and allows children to feel loved.
If the father is less involved in the child’s development, boys may lack masculinity, while girls may have difficulty interacting and adapting to the opposite sex.
Parents need to actively communicate and listen to their children, whether directly or indirectly, to ensure that they always feel cared for.
Parents need to realize that their children have grown up and are no longer young enough to freely express physical affection, such as hugging, kissing, or caressing. It is particularly important to establish appropriate personal boundaries, especially between mothers and sons or fathers and daughters, helping children understand the importance of respecting their bodies and learning how to interact appropriately with the opposite sex, with parents being their first role models.
Not Listening to the Child
Keegan, 13, wants to share everything with his parents but is afraid of being scolded. Sometimes, children need someone to listen to them instead of solving their problems for them. Parents should listen and encourage their child to open up by asking open-ended questions, without immediately giving advice or intervening forcefully. Empathy from the family will help the child find solutions to their problems.
Argument in Front of the Child
When conflicts arise, couples should keep their conflicts out of their children’s sight, avoiding letting them witness heated arguments full of emotional damage and unhealthy behavior. If children witness negative family emotions, they may develop fear, lose trust in marital relationships, and face other complex issues.
Criticizing the Child for Low Grades
Sam, 16, hesitates to share his low grades with his parents because he fears disappointing them and sometimes feels bored with studying. Parents need to understand that grades do not determine a child’s overall success. Parents should approach their children sincerely and avoid imposition, helping them recognize and improve their weaknesses in learning rather than criticizing them.
Commenting on the Child’s Friends
During the teenage years, girls often shift their focus from the family to friends, even if these friends may exhibit behavior disapproved of by their parents. However, parents should not negatively criticize their child’s friends. When the child shares about their friends, parents should maintain a calm attitude, engage in discussions instead of quick judgment, to avoid creating distance between themselves and their children.
Henry, 13, feels unjust because his parents favor his younger brother. He faces punishment for cursing at his younger brother while his brother faces no scolding. Parents need to demonstrate fairness to earn the child’s respect and understand that jealousy is a natural reaction for children when they perceive unfairness.