Don't Coddle Your Teen - So What About that Attitude!

They will eye roll, deep sigh, answer you with "...that tone," and do other things that will annoy you, but stay cool Mom and Dad!  This too shall pass.  Just think parents, they will have to deal with your menopause and andropause one day, if not already (sigh).  Anyway, what is it that we might be doing to coddle these moody teens and how can we avoid hurting them in the process.

1.  We promise to buy them whatever they ask for.

Whether you have the money now or later, is it really necessary to say one thing and then later do another?  The teen is watching and no wonder they don't believe you will do anything that you say.  

2.  We don't talk to them about getting a job and making money now rather than later.

As long as you are cheering on the sidelines when they run, bounce, or throw a ball for free, then why should they work?  There is only so much time after school and on weekends.  What are they doing this summer?

3.  We assume that we will be paying for college.

As if there are no other alternatives? Why encourage debt that you know you have no intention of helping them pay off balances.  Notice I said, pay off, not carry balances.  If you can't afford college, say so.  Now redirect them toward more practical choices.  They will thank you later when they see their friends are swimming in debt, can't own a house, have children, and don't know if they will have enough money next month to pay for groceries.

4.  We believe that they will be alright even when the signs are saying otherwise.

Every parent wants to believe that their children will be a success in life.  But the truth is, how much time, money and energy are you investing in that mind, body and soul of your teen?  You see something isn't right, you get professional help.

5.  We enlist the help of others to aid in spoiling them.

Just because you have child-free relatives doesn't mean they are willing to help.  Not all grandparents enjoy having children around often.  So is it worth getting the good, bad, and ugly on board to spoil your child?  It all might come back to haunt you later.

6.  We let them stay in rooms for hours without speaking to them and then complain about them not speaking much or acting interested in the family.

Make up your mind on what you want to do.  There is a season for everything.  Remember those times when you couldn't wait until they grew up and stopped following you around the house?  Well those times are here, enjoy them. 

7.  We are not willing to compromise on the things that are important to them.

They have their lives, we have ours.  If the teen likes something that isn't harmful and may not be something you like, why discourage him or her?  Who knows, that just might be the calling on their life you asked God about. 

Guide your teen, don't control him or her.  A lesson we are all learning.  God bless you for reading.

Nicholl McGuire is the author of Tell Me Mother You're Sorry.

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