Raising a teen is challenging. If you’re a parent of a teen, you must know where we are coming from. Parenting teens is fun and exciting but, at the same time, it can also be exhausting and challenging. Whether it is about helping your teen enjoy their newly-found freedom or helping them deal with their first breakup, parenting teens has its own unique set of challenges.
When you’re raising a teen, you will be more likely to read books on parenting teens or search for articles on the internet. However, seeking parenting advice online can be risky as several myths about parenting teens are found everywhere.
Each teen is different. Thus, you cannot impose the same parenting rules and methods on all of them. It takes a lot of energy and time to find out why your teen is behaving in a certain way, what they might be struggling with, and how you need to respond to them. It is better if you don’t trust the common myths about parenting teens and do it your own way.
Common Myths About Parenting Teens
Two child psychologists offered their perspectives on some of the most common myths about parenting teens. It is high time that we bust these myths.
Myth # 1: Don’t Talk About Sex with Kids; It Might Make Them Want to Do It More
This is one of the most common myths about parenting teens. Most parents think that if they will talk about sex with their kids, it will make them want to do it more. However, this perception is completely wrong. It’s high time to debunk this myth.
Having a discussion about sex or educating them about contraception won’t motivate them to have sex with someone. A study conducted in 2019 revealed that when teens have a healthy discussion about sex with their parents, they are more likely to steer clear from engaging in risky sexual activities that may lead them to STIs or unplanned teen pregnancy.
Myth # 2: Boys Will Always Be Boys
“Boys will be boys” is another old myth that needs to be debunked at all costs. The concept that boys can’t help themselves and are “born to be bad” is completely wrong and also spreads myths about this gender.
Parents of teen boys should not rely on this particular expression when it comes to raising them because as soon as boys enter teenagehood, their hormones surge, and testosterone levels increase tenfold. Such type of masculine ideology should be ignored because the more limelight it will receive, the more teen boys will engage in bad activities such as physical or verbal assault and bullying, etc.
Myth # 3: Punishment Will Improve Teen’s Behavior
Parents who think that they can use punishment as a penalizing method for teens are completely wrong. Giving punishment to teens repeatedly can ruin your relationship with them. A study published in 2006 revealed that teens who repeatedly received punishment from parents were more likely to engage in bullying and fighting. On the other hand, teens whose parents disapproved of physical violence were less likely to engage in fighting.
Instead of giving physical punishment to your teens when they misbehave, it is recommended to focus on highlighting positive behaviors and vigorously ignoring them if they are not speaking to you in a respectful manner.
However, if you feel that your teen is crossing the limits or doing something that puts themselves or others in danger, then instead of actively ignoring your teen, you need to tell them that their behavior is not right and they will face negative consequences—such as you will take away one of their privileges.
Myth # 4: Good Parents Do Not Get Angry
Another common myth about parenting teens is that if you are a good parent, you won’t lose your temper. However, this perception is completely wrong. You can hold yourself to unrealistic standards. Every human being is imperfect; it is completely okay to lose control when you are angry or when your teen is getting on your nerves.
Instead of feeling ashamed or guilty about your behavior, it is better that you own up to your mistake and apologize to your teen for your bad behavior right away. As a parent, you need to acknowledge how you should have dealt with the situation differently. You can involve your teens with you and solve the problems together so you can avoid negative behavior in the future.
Also, if you find your teen’s behavior inappropriate, then you can simply ignore them for a while rather than yelling at them. Constant verbal abuse can be destructive for your teens. It is also recommended to keep yourself away from the situation and take some time to calm down when you feel your anger is bubbling up.
Myth # 5: Teen’s Mental Health Will Be Affected If You Fight in Front of Them
Let us debunk another common myth about parenting teens. Several experts agree that it is not practically possible for every couple to not fight in front of their kids. Some parents just can’t help it. Therefore, one should stop expecting that they will never fight in front of their kids.
The main thing here is to model healthy conflict resolution. Reports have said that parental conflict is not harmful to kids if it is resolved on time. The problem only begins when parental conflict remains unresolved and unsettled. Teens are likely to experience feelings of anxiety and depression if the parental conflict remains unsettled.
It is recommended for parents to always work together as a couple to resolve their conflicts and fights through open and honest communication so that their kids can feel better and avoid getting depressed.
We would recommend parents never believe everything they hear about parenting. Every kid is different. Hence, every parent would require using different parenting strategies to raise them. Before implementing a particular parenting technique, it is better to research it and only trust valid sources.
The best way to figure out what works best for your kid is to observe how they respond to different situations and tactics. Know everything about your kid; their interests, passions, strengths, weaknesses, temperament, friends, etc.
Another helpful way to keep an eye on your kid’s activities, especially digital activities, is to monitor them with the help of a phone spy app. Mobistealth is the best monitoring app you could use right now. From phone calls to messages to instant texts to internet browsing to location to social media activities, you can monitor every activity taking place on your kid’s smartphone by using the Mobistealth monitoring app.
But, make sure you inform your kids about the monitoring apps before keeping an eye on their smartphone activities. That way you can maintain a bond of trust with them and won’t let them feel that their online privacy is being violated.