Three little words, “I hate you,” are often uttered so easily by teenagers yet have the capacity to fill a parent’s heart with dread like no others. It’s enough to make struggling parents wonder how they got this parenting gig so wrong. Why do teenagers loudly proclaim just how much they hate their parents? And more to the point, what can parents do about it? Is there a way to get teenagers to move past the vitriol they feel for their parents?
Yes, you can create a better relationship with your teenager, but it will take work. Here are a few strategies you can use to filter the murderous intent out of their hate-filled stares or tone it down a little.
If you are in the middle of a conversation and notice your teen has gone eerily silent, you have likely taken over and dominated the conversation yet again. Teenagers Hate it when parents talk too much and never let them get a word in edgeway. If you take more time to listen, your teen will communicate more.
Try to Compliment More and Criticise Less
We all want what’s best for our children, and our desire to set them on the right path can make us overly critical of their mistakes and not as complimentary as we should be. Be mindful of your ratio of criticisms to compliments, and give out more compliments than criticisms. Complimenting while never criticizing will spoil the child, while too much criticizing will make them angry, resentful, and insecure.
Set Realistic Expectations
You don’t hold yourself to such a high standard that you have to be good at everything, so don’t expect the same of your teenager. If your teen is getting As in one subject but Cs in another, talk to them about their goals and what they want to achieve. Sometimes, there is no harm in letting mediocrity slide if they excel in other areas.
They Can Sense Your Disapproval
Like death and taxes, it’s all but guaranteed your teen will explore some options of which you don’t approve. It might be the cut of their shorts (or lack thereof), a strange haircut, or you fail to understand their taste in romantic partners. You won’t even have to say anything because they will sense your disapproval in your tone of voice or your body language. While you might view your disapproval as a worry for their future, teens will sense it as not being good enough for their parents. Give them a little slack, and let them make some mistakes so they can learn from them. Trust your parenting; they will eventually come around.