I am like any other parent…clearly imperfect. I have made a lot of mistakes and am pretty sure there is more to come. But I am also a mom who believes in learning from those mistakes, which is what brings me to this five part series on mistakes we parents make with teenagers.
The first one we are going to look at is the mistake of expecting the worst out of your teen. Sometimes this starts long before they’ve even reached this stage, so it might help parents whose children aren’t quite there yet.
When my children were in elementary school, I had a naysayer attitude about my expectations for the future. I actually had a very negative opinion of teenagers.
So it was no wonder that I began to dread those years. Thankfully I didn’t stay in that mindset because all that does is set the teen up for failure and cause friction in a relationship built on distrust (and likely for no real good reason).
Sometimes when you expect the worse out of your teen, you get it for that reason. They can develop wrong thinking. “If my mom or dad already assumes I am going to do the wrong thing, then I might as well.”
This has been somewhat of a struggle for me with one particular child. Partly based on personality, I assumed that a road of trouble was ahead for me. And despite the fact we have barely started the journey, I’m feeling a lot more positive than I used to.
On the other hand, my head was in the sand when it came to another child. This one I never expected problems from and yet was hit head on with an assortment of issues.
The bottom line is you just never know. So it’s pointless (and wrong) to make the mistake of assuming the very worst.