Parenting Teens – No.1 Mistake

What’s the number one mistake parents of teens make in terms of how they deal

how to improve communication skillswith their teenagers?

I recently answered some question for the msn site and while the shorter version made it the long expanded one did not so I thought I would share it here.

The number one mistake that parents make with their teenagers is not changing their parenting style with them.

As parents what is required of us changes as our child grows and learns. In the early stage 0-5, we are the teacher to our child, we are there to teach them everything they will need to know; how to walk, talk, eat, behave, etc. In the middle years 5-11, as our child begins to have a social life outside the family we become their manager, taking them here, there and everywhere, making sure they have done anything from brushing their teeth to packing their school bag. After about 11-12, our children change so dramatically and their brains move from concrete thought to a more reasoned, abstract thought.

They do not need us in the same capacity and we need to move from a manager to more of a supportive coaching role. The child needs us to stand back to allow them to solve their problems first, to guide them and offer support when required. When the child enters the teen years the parents need to also shift. Most of the challenges come when the parents stays in the manager role, not allowing their teen to grow and change. As the parent continues to manage the teen pulls away for some freedom and independence and arguments continue.

NOTE – This blog post was first posted on our old website. We are launching a new site and wanted to make sure that this content was easy to find


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Sarah Newton one part of the Family Communication Duo is a eclectic mix of sensitivity, wonder, common sense, wisdom and humour. Known affectionately as the Family Peacemaker Sarah's work spanning over 14 years has seen her on 13 TV stations, 60 different radio stations and has received extensive newspaper and magazine coverage. Called Bubbles by her friends Sarah's day job is Youth Expert, Family Peacemaker, Thought Leader, Blogger, ( Author, Entrepreneur, geek and crazy chic all rolled into one. The Rest of the time she is a happy mum, loving wife, adventurer and closet 50's Diva. Oh and she also fancies herself as a bit of a Dance floor Diva!

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