“The teen years tend to foster fear: fear that our child will fail, over-experiment, embarrass us [and] become depressed,” according to John Duffy, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and author of the book The Available Parent: Radical Optimism for Raising Teens and Tweens.
So naturally it’s tough to figure out the best way to navigate such a seemingly tumultuous time. (By the way, the belief that teens are a nightmare is exaggerated. While the years aren’t easy-peasy, Duffy said that they’re rewarding and filled with growth.)
But parenting from a place of fear rarely works. It leads to poor parenting decisions, Duffy said. Below, he shares his insight on outdated approaches, why they don’t work and what does.
1. Lecturing. “Parents still think they can lecture kids into submission, or at the very least compliance,” Duffy said. But it can backfire, because teens may just “blow their parents off.” Lecturing might’ve worked a generation ago, but it doesn’t today, he explained. How come? Today’s teens are “more worldly and savvy.” And “As [teens] grow up more quickly in this media age, they question authority more readily than we did, and require more two-way, respectful communication.”
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