Here are 3 things you should never say to your teenager. Well, unless you want them to shut their mouth and shut you out. This intelligence comes from Family Circle magazine.

  • The first thing you should never tell your teen: “How could you do this to me?” Well, to them, it’s not really about you. The truth is: they didn’t fail Spanish or get a belly ring to upset you. Most teens are caught up in their own little world. Wondering whether anyone can see their latest zit – or pondering the meaning of life. And the last thing on their mind is you. The fix: get into their world. Jane Nelson, coauthor of Positive Discipline for Teenagers, suggests asking: “What are your goals? Tell me: what are you trying to accomplish by doing this?” Turning an argument into a real conversation will give you the chance to find out more about the adult your teen is very slowly becoming.
  • The next thing you should never say to your teen girl: “That boy is too old for you.” That’ll just make him more intriguing. But don’t ignore it! Studies show that a girl who has a relationship with a boy who is 2 or 3 years older is more likely to be intimate - and more likely to regret it. But psychologists say that if you ban the boy, they’ll find ways to meet up anyway. The smart solution: Tell her that she can see him only in your home, under your supervision. She won’t like it, but you’ve got clout. Teens say parents are the #1 influence on their decision to wait until they’re married.
  • And the third thing you should never tell your teen: “You need to lose weight.” First, they probably already know and feel self-conscious about it. And second, there’s really no nice way to tell someone they’re fat. The smarter solution: Be sure your child really is overweight. Doctors say that teens pack on a lot of healthy weight during adolescent growth spurts. Usually about 15 pounds for girls, and 31 pounds for boys. So, check out the Body Mass Index calculator for kids at KidsHealth.org. And if they are overweight, set a good example. Exercise more yourself, and create family opportunities to burn calories together, like an after-dinner walk or basketball game. Also, you’re in charge of the grocery bill, so don’t bring junk food into the house. And dish up more healthy meals for the whole family.