How To Talk With Your Teen When They Make A Mistake Without Crushing Their Spirit

Being a mom of a teenager can be tough – especially with a teen who always seems to be pushing the limits on just how far they can go. 

And while discipline is an important part of parenting – it isn’t always the first tool to use when your teen messes up.

In fact, being harsh with your teen could cause them to rebel even more and hide things from you.

There’s a better way to help your teen take responsibility for their choices (both good and bad) without crushing their spirit.

So when your teen messes up (and they will), here are a few tips on what to say:

Ask Non-Judgmental Questions

One of the worst things for a teenager is feeling like they are being judged or shamed.

If they make a mistake, instead of saying things like “Why did you do that?” or “You know better”, ask questions to get them to think such as “What happened?”, “How did it make you feel?” “What made you choose to do this?”

Getting teens to think and process their thoughts is therapeutic – and you might discover the real reason behind their action. 

For example, if your teen was busted cheating, you might learn they feel an enormous amount of pressure to get into a good college, and they felt like they weren’t good enough.

Getting to the root of the problem can help you learn better how to help them.

Have Compassion 

We were all teenagers once – and it is a tough time!

Hormones are racing.  The body is changing in uncomfortable ways. Peer pressure is at an all-time high.

And let’s not forget that social media has dominated the minds of teens, making teen bullying a real thing that continues long after the school day ends.

Give your teen grace.

They are going to make mistakes and have the famous “teen angst” that makes no logical sense.

They are feeling the pressure at school to perform and most likely pressure from their peers to partake in questionable activities.

The last thing they need is to feel pressure at home when it isn’t necessary.

This doesn’t mean you let them do what they want, but if they want to sleep in a little bit on a Saturday – let them.

If they forget to do their chores one day – give ‘em a pass.

Grace goes a long way.

Keep Communication Open

Many moms make the mistake of being so rigid while parenting their teens they end up losing their trust.

Helicopter parenting and insisting you know what they are doing every second of every day isn’t healthy – and many teens who are caught in this unhealthy pattern begin to hide things and keep secrets.

And when you are parenting a teen – the last thing you want is your teen keeping secrets.

Let them know they can always come to you, even when they mess up.

When your teen knows they can call you if they find themselves in a questionable situation (such as being peer pressured at a party) you just might save their life.

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