Research finds that parents don't know they come off as negative to teens

Research finds that parents don't know they come off as negative to teens

Teens usually don't get along with their parents, that much is true. However, new research has found insight into exactly why that is the case.

It's no secret that teenagers usually don't get along with their parents, and it's usually chalked up to just being "a teen". However, new research has found that most parents don't know that they seem negative to their teens.

It's all a big misunderstanding

"I hate you!" "You don't understand me!" "Why don't you care?!"  These are just a few of the things that teens usually tell their parents, especially if they're having an argument.

Parents and teens not seeing each other eye-to-eye is pretty common as it's the time in a young person's life where there are a lot of things and changes happening, and they don't always know what to do. Oftentimes, parents are also clueless about what they can do to help out their teen, and that's when the misunderstanding happens.

When parents misinterpret their teen's anger, it all becomes a big misunderstanding, and causes even more problems, especially as teens might interpret their parents as being too strict or their form of discipline as too harsh.

Most parents don't really know

According to a study published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence found that most parents don't know how negative they seem to appear to their teens.

The researchers found that "when adolescents viewed parenting more negatively than parents did, adolescents showed elevated levels of broadband externalising behaviors and, specifically, aggressive behaviors."

They add that when mothers misinterpreted their teen's anger, they were more likely to argue, storm off, or shut down. If it were fathers doing who misinterpret their teen, the teens are far more likely to be aggressive.

Misaki Natsuaki, one of the study's authors, said that: "During adolescence, hormones surge through teens’ bodies, causing emotions that feel larger than life."

"To top it all off, they often believe that no one except their peers can understand or help them. As a result of this angst, when teens feel misunderstood by their parents, they’re more likely to try to assert their power by becoming aggressive. In reality, though, they’re trying to be heard."

This is why parents who are having a hard time with their teens should try a different approach and be more positive about their misunderstandings with their children.

How can we be more positive parents?

Teens have it pretty hard, struggling with all the changes and different things that are happening in their lives. Though, parents don't necessarily have an easy time as well as it's not easy to handle a teenager.

Here's a list of some essential tips when it comes to positive parenting, hopefully they would be of help with your teen:

1. Be a friend

Somewhere along the line, parents can sometimes forget that they can also be a friend to their child. Being a parent is more than just guiding your child, it involves being someone that your child can talk to whenever they have problems, not a scary authority figure.

2. Spend time together

Spend more time with your teen, even if it seems that they don't want to spend a lot of time with you. Teens usually don't show their emotions to their parents, but really, teens do appreciate it if you take some time to talk to them or just 'hang out'.

3. Know when to give more freedom and when to restrict your teen

Of course, you still have to be a responsible parent, and part of that responsibility is knowing when to give your child freedom and when to restrict them. Don't be too lenient, and likewise, don't be too strict. Have a good balance between the two, because after all, your children should respect you.

4. Be present in your child's life

Even if you're busy with work, do try to always be present in your child's life. Children need their parents' attention even if it doesn't seem that they need your attention.

5. Eat meals together

Eating together is by far one of the best and simplest things that parents can do to ensure that their family gets closer with each other. Eating together strengthens the family bond and encouraging the family to have conversations.

6. Talk 

Just talk to your child. Talking can do a lot to strengthen the bond between a parent and their child. Even short conversations can mean a lot to a teen that's going through something. Ask them how their day went, and always keep the line of communication open. Make them feel that you're someone they can talk to whenever they have a problem.

Sources: Time, Scary Mommy, Aha Parenting

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Written by

Alwyn Batara

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