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The Sentences You Shouldn’t Say To Teenagers

 All parents love their children at every stage, whether they’re babies, teenagers or grown adults. But most of us will agree that dealing with our children during adolescence is perhaps the most difficult. During these years many parents are "caught in the trap" and make common mistakes in raising and educating their children, however, this situation can be avoided.


Making mistakes is human, and the wisdom is to know this and to understand that there are certain statements that create strong resistance in the minds of adolescents which process in a way that’s completely different than what you could fathom. Therefore, we’ve compiled for you the ten most destructive phrases that parents of adolescent children tend to say so you know to avoid them the next time you want to talk to your teenager.

1. "It's not that I don’t trust you, but..."

There is nothing more irritating to adolescents than adults who turn to them and begin their spiel with this sentence - it means to them that they simply do not trust them. It is very important that you don’t say these words because the meaning hidden in this sentence is very confusing. If you don’t trust your teens, just tell them that. Give your adolescent children a little more credit - if you tell them you don’t trust them, they will try to find a way to gain your trust.

2. "Because I said so."

Let's be honest with ourselves, as parents, we also don’t like to hear these words, and between us, this argument is very weak. When you say this sentence your adolescent children are probably thinking that you have no real reason behind your decision, or that you simply don’t want to explain your thought process to them.

If you are going to say that you are not allowing them to do something, you must also explain why you aren’t allowing them to do so. If you explain yourself correctly and clearly, this will leave no room for debate and prevent feelings of frustration in the future for both sides. Moreover, it is very important to make sure the conversation doesn’t become a “discussion” and that you have room to cut it off when it reaches a dead end.

black background with a lot of black question marks and 2 orange question marks

3. "You’ll understand when you get older"

Your teens have one foot in the door and one foot out, and when you use this statement, they realize that they are still young and that you think they’re stupid. It's true that this isn’t your intention, but think about it, if they are old enough to learn how to drive, decide which extracurricular activities they want to join, and start thinking about what colleges they want to attend, they are mature enough to have an opinion on a particular subject.

Just because their opinion is not based on a lot of experience or is different from their parents' opinion, doesn’t mean they are immature or don’t understand, it just proves that they are different from you, and that's okay. Instead of using this phrase, try telling your adolescent children about the life experience that led you to a particular opinion, and ask them challenging questions about dealing with certain situations to develop their thinking and readiness for life.

4. "When I was your age, I was never ..."

We all know that this statement is far from true, and it is perceived by your adolescent children as a fact that you were perfect boys and girls during your teenage years. Moreover, no matter how perfect you think you were when you were young, you had to have made at least one mistake along the way. Perhaps you’ve decided to forget all your mistakes or chose not to share them with your adolescent children because you don’t want them to repeat your mistakes. However, what they need most is a human role model, someone who has made mistakes in his past and can identify with them. Sometimes, being the perfect parent is not necessarily what your children need.

girl crouched down looking sad about the ice cream cone on the floor

5. "What are you not telling me?"

Most of us agree that it is a good thing to know what adolescent children do, where they spend their time and with whom. The problem is that asking questions about these issues is interpreted as an investigation, especially when they don’t want to tell you about something they’ve done. All in all, this is simple logic, but there is a very fine line between worrying about your children and trying to take out skeletons that don’t exist in their messy closet. It is very important to take your teen's word for it and if you can’t, then there is a trust problem that needs to be solved, maybe even just on your part.

6. "Are you on your period?

This is probably the last thing any teen girl wants to hear when she’s overcome with feelings and emotions, although she probably realizes that this is the only thing you can think of as an explanation for her inexplicable behavior. Therefore, it is highly recommended to seat your adolescent girl and give her the opportunity to be open and share her feelings without you jumping to conclusions. During this conversation, you as parents have to remember that we all need a good shoulder to cry and lean on, and maybe some chocolate.

girl in a bunny hoodie with her hands in her head

7. "Look, we’re wearing the same outfit!"

Matching clothes with your adolescent children is probably not the best idea, especially if you as parents try to convince them that you are still as young and cool as they are. The same can be said about trying to match other areas like favorite music, TV series, computer games and the like.

The idea that they and you are similar in one way or another is perceived by adolescent children as something forced, with the ultimate purpose of them having something to relate to you with and loving you. Because such efforts sometimes lead to negative emotions and resistance, it is better to simply listen to them and be able to have a serious conversation with them, which are the key things that will change their perception of you.


8. "Why can’t you be more like your sister/ brother?"

One of the worst things you can do as a parent is compare your children to others, within the family and in general, and at any age. When you turn to them with such a statement what they’re actually hearing is that they aren’t good enough; Such a statement undermines them and makes them worry and convince themselves that they aren’t living up to your expectations. Instead of making comparisons, try touching on the problem without comparing them to someone else. For example: instead of asking "Why can’t you be more responsible like your sister?" Ask "Why can’t you be more responsible?"

The back of a line of girls holding hands and jumping in the air

9. "Money doesn‘t grow on the trees"

When you choose to say that phrase, your adolescent children understand that what they are asking for is too expensive and that you aren’t going to buy it. Because this sentence is so commonly used, it doesn’t have the same impact it once would have. Instead of being snarky, simply tell them that what they're asking for is too expensive, and you can’t buy it. If you want to teach them about the importance of money and wise economic conduct, you need to do so without using condescending phrases and talk to them at eye level.

10. "What are you doing in your room all the time?"

It is perfectly normal for teenagers to have the desire to break away from their families and escape to their rooms. They are with their families every day and it is okay to allow them some independence (and between us there are worse things they could do besides being in their room). What you’re actually trying to convey to them with this sentence is that you miss them and want to spend time with them, so just tell them that! Their brains are busy with a lot of thoughts and they probably just aren’t aware that they’ve become a recluse. This sentence will only drive them deeper into their teenage caves.

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