In my last few blogs I’ve tackled three mistakes that parents make, expecting the worse, looking for parenting answers in others, and making mountains out of molehills. Now I’m going to do a little bit of a reverse in parenting mistake #4, which is making molehills out of mountains.
Just as parents can make a big deal out of something not so significant, the opposite is true. However, this is probably one of the most dangerous mistakes that parents can make.
Whenever parents suspect a serious issue is going on, it’s important to take action. The problem is that we don’t always know. Or we aren’t sure if it’s just normal teenage behavior.
This is true with issues such as drinking and drugs. But it’s also critical when considering other problems such as depression or sexual activity.
I failed to recognize some signs of trouble in one of my teenagers about a year and a half ago. They probably started toward the end of middle school but my blinders were on.
By the time everything came out in the open, I felt as if I had been blindsided. The magnitude of what I first considered to be normal teenage stuff was so much more.
Although I didn’t have clear signs, I did have inclinations. And I’ve since learned that they need to be taken seriously. It’s more important to follow up on something and be wrong, then to have everything spiral out of control.
Granted, there are things that teenagers seem to be notorious for doing. But just because it’s considered “typical,” doesn’t mean it should be ignored. Making molehills out of mountains could set your teenager up for serious trouble later on.
I have learned to trust my mother’s instinct. So now I ask a lot more questions. At times it’s unwelcomed by my teenagers but deep down, I believe they understand.