3 Great Ways to Wreck Your Teen’s School Year

We all want our kids to have a great year in school this year. We are hoping they will make good grades, have healthy friendships with solid kids, succeed in their extracurricular activities, and be generally liked by their teachers. Seeing them grow emotionally and spiritually throughout the year would be great, too. Right?

Here are three common dynamics that can wreck those hopes for your teen this year:

1. Avoid discussing sex and drugs. Assume your kid is bright enough, moral enough, and strong enough to make good choices about drugs (yes, that includes marijuana) and sex without you having to embarrass either one of you by discussing it directly. Rely on whatever hints of guidance your son or daughter is getting at church on these subjects. Trust that with good friends like your teen has, these issues will never be issues for your family.

2. Focus on your teen’s mistakes and failures. Constantly stay on the alert for your youth to mess up, and be swift and liberal with your criticism of their mistakes. Be sure you make it a personal character attack, rather than a helpful correction of behavior. If you put enough effort and consistency into this department, you may just succeed in convincing your teen that you really don’t believe in her or him. At that point, huge life wrecks are sure to follow soon enough.

3. Give your teen everything he/she wants – as quickly as possible. You want your child to be happy, don’t you? And your mature adolescent is obviously the best expert on what will make him or her happy. So do your best to meet their every demand. Immediately. Tired of the gaming system we bought you last year, simply because there is a new model available? No prob – here’s the new PlayBox 5000! Need a new smartphone for the same reason, even though we haven’t even completed your contract on the one you’ve got? So what?! Have the new RoboPhablet! And a couple hundred to spend on new accessories. They may miss out on learning some life lessons like patience, diligence, gratitude, and respect, but at least they’ll be happy. Right?

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