Welcome back for the second of the series on Communicating with Teenagers. This week's tip is to be aware of the idea of "self-fulfilling prophecies." In this sense, "self-fulfilling prophecy" means that if parents continually talk negatively or do not trust their teen, the teen's behavior may begin to more closely resemble what mom or dad are already implying. Parents of teenagers may often take a more controlling or negative tone when speaking to their teen, especially if there is already good reason for mom and dad to be on guard. When parents take a more negative stance in their conversations, the teen may feel like mom and dad does not trust them and nothing they do or say will make a difference. Therefore, they may feel they have nothing to lose with their behaviors.
Be careful with taking a negative tone and focusing only on the negative with your teen. This will only make them shut down even more and leads to further damage to the open lines of communication that parents are hopefully trying to encourage. While it may be hard in some cases, always try to focus on whatever positives your teen is doing and not just the negatives. By also taking the time to mention and talk about the "good things" your teen is doing, parents can promote their chances of keeping more open lines of communication.
Look for more posts on this topic soon!