Mental HealthTop Tips

Your Teen Will Be Sneakier If You’re Hard on Them. 

If you’re too strict or don’t trust your teens, they’ll just get better at hiding things from you.

When I was younger, my parents weren’t too sneaky. But as I got older, they started snooping around more. This didn’t make me open up; instead, I became a master at keeping secrets. Even now, they’re surprised by how little they know about my life.

Parents, when you’re sneaky, it doesn’t feel like you’re trying to help or protect your teen. It feels like you don’t trust them to learn from their own mistakes.

Not all pressure is bad. But too much pressure can backfire. And remember, the sneakiest children often have the strictest parents.

The key is balance. Don’t be too harsh or too soft. As a mental health professional who talks to a lot of teens, I’ve seen that not respecting their feelings, being overprotective, or not allowing them to make mistakes can really hurt their mental strength.

So, parents, it’s worth thinking about.

The Key Takeaway.

From what I’ve learned, being a good parent means really getting your children, letting them be themselves, and finding the right mix of freedom and rules. When you really listen to your children and let them know it’s okay to mess up, you help them grow up strong and sure of themselves. Being kind and understanding is the best way to make sure your teens feel safe and trusted.

Why Your Teenager Has A Sneaky Behavior.

They Want To Be In Charge Of Their Lives.

When parents are too strict, teens might sneak around just to feel like they have some power. I remember sneaking out to see friends when I was a teen. It was my way of taking control, even if it was just for a little while.

Your High Hopes Can Be Too Much On Them Sometimes.

Teens might hide their struggles because they’re scared of letting their parents down. I once changed my grades because I couldn’t face my parents’ disappointment. They punished me without trying to understand why I did it.

They Might Just Want To Fit In.

If their parents are too strict, they might lie about their life at home or sneak out to do things they’re not allowed to. I felt so left out when my friends talked about their fun times, so I lied to feel like I belonged.

How To Give Your Teens Freedom (Autonomy).

Teens need to feel free to make their own choices. If they grow up with too many rules, they might not learn how to handle things on their own.

Let Your Teens Decide For Themselves Sometimes.

I didn’t get to do this much as a teen, and it made me doubt myself. When I have children, I’ll let them choose more so they can learn and feel proud of what they do.

Let Your Teens Show You Who They Are.

My family didn’t let me do this much, so now I help teens find ways to share their ideas and talents. It helps them be strong and sure of themselves.

Let There Be Balance Between Freedom and Rules. 

Parents, give your teens some freedom but also have rules. I learned this from my own life. Clear rules and letting them know what happens if they don’t follow them can help them be independent but still responsible.

You Need To Trust Your Teen and Show It.

Trust is important. I always wanted my parents to trust me, but it was hard with all the rules. Parents, if you trust your teens and treat them with respect, they’ll be more honest and feel like they can talk to you about anything.

Finding A Balance Between Trust and Discipline.

Talk Openly With Your Teens.

If they’re scared to talk to you, they won’t tell you what’s really going on. Make sure they know it’s safe to share their thoughts and feelings with you.

Set Clear Expectations From Them.

If teens don’t know what you expect, they’ll get confused and upset. Tell them what’s important to your family and what you expect from them.

Be Just and Consistent With Discipline.

If you’re not consistent, teens feel like you’re not fair. Show them that there are consequences for their actions, but also that you trust them.

Put Yourself In Their Shoes.

If they think you don’t get them, they’ll stop trying to explain. Put yourself in their shoes and show them you care about how they feel.

Let Them Learn From Mistakes.

If you’re too strict, they won’t learn how to pick themselves up after they fall. Help them see that making mistakes is a part of growing up and getting stronger.

How To Create A Foundation Of Trust Between You and Your Teen.

Allow Them To Be Real With You.

Teens need to feel safe to be who they are. Encourage them to talk about what they think and feel. This helps everyone understand each other better and builds trust. Let them also speak in the way they really like.

Show Them How It Is Done By Leading By Example.

Be open with your teens about your own life. When they see you being honest, they’ll feel okay doing the same.

Listen and Show You Care.

Make sure your teen know you’re really listening. When they feel heard and accepted, they’ll want to keep talking to you.

Help Them Understand Others.

Teach your teen to think about how other people feel. This helps everyone get along better and trust each other more.

How To Show Empathy To Teens As Parents.

Value Their Feelings.

When teens feel like their emotions matter, they trust you more. Make sure they know it’s okay to talk about how they feel.

Build Trust With Empathy.

When you really get where someone’s coming from, you all feel closer. Show your kids that understanding each other is the best way to build trust.

If you need advice about your teenager, want them to chat with me, or have any questions, just send the word “TEEN” to ME and can discuss.

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