Here are the three things you should never say to your teenager - unless you want them to clam right up. We got this from Family Circle magazine.
- The first thing you should never tell your teen: “You’re so talented” or “cute” or “smart.” Why? Because parents aren’t objective! Your teen will think you’re just saying that because they’re your kid. And they’ll start thinking about the last time they blew a pop quiz, or missed a free-throw. Instead, praise something specific. That’s the advice from the book Parenting Teens with Love & Logic. So instead of saying, “You’re such a great kid,” applaud a specific act of generosity. Like “I love how you always make time to listen to your friends’ problems.”
- Also, never tell your teen: “Why can’t you ever remember to take out the trash?” Generalizations like “always,” “never,” and “how many times” puts teens on the defensive. Besides, their failure to empty the trash doesn’t mean they’re lazy, selfish or uncaring. It just means that overflowing garbage is an unimportant detail in their life. Instead, try a one-word reminder, like “Trash.” Even better, just point to it without saying a word. Pointing is a focused reminder, not a judgment about their character.
- A final phrase parents should avoid: “You’re wearing that to school?” Whether it’s low-rise jeans, Goth eyeliner, or a skimpy top, parents forget that clothes are just costumes. Basically, a way for teens to experiment with their identity and try to fit in with their peers. Instead, pick your battles. After all, are blue hair highlights really so terrible? But if it’s a skimpy outfit or a t-shirt with an offensive slogan, lay down the law, while being respectful of their individuality. Tell your kid that while you admire their fashion sense, your family has non-negotiable values. You’d be happy to help them find another outfit, but short and skimpy or offensive isn’t going to happen, period. Clinical psychologist Debbie Glasser says if you can make your values clear without demeaning your kid, they’re more likely to accept your decision.