Things to never say to teenagers

Things to never say to teenagers
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Never say these things to your teenager [iStock]

Certain comments can be particularly damaging to a teenager’s self-esteem, and mental health, and can cause permanent damage.

Training children during their teenage years can be challenging for both the teens and their parents or guardians.

However, certain comments can be particularly damaging to their self-esteem, and mental health, and can cause permanent damage.

7 things you should never say to teenagers

To avoid this, here are some things you should avoid saying to teenagers and why:

1. “You’ll understand when you’re older.”

While this statement may be true, it can come off as condescending and dismissive. It implies that their current feelings and experiences are not important. A better approach is to explain your perspective in a way they can understand now.

2. “Why can’t you be more like [sibling/peer]?”

Comparisons can be highly damaging to a teenager’s self-esteem. Each teen is unique and has their strengths and weaknesses. Encourage them to develop their own identity rather than measuring them against others.

3. “I wish you were more like me when I was your age.”

This statement can create unnecessary pressure and make teens feel like they are constantly falling short of your expectations. Celebrate their individuality and encourage them to pursue their own path.

4. “You should lose/gain weight.”

Comments about a teenager’s body can have long-lasting negative effects on their self-image and relationship with food. Focus on promoting healthy habits rather than criticising their appearance.

5. “You’re so lazy.”

Labelling a teenager as lazy can discourage them and make them feel unmotivated. Instead, help them set goals and develop a routine that encourages productivity.

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Never say these things to your teenager [iStock]
Never say these things to your teenager [iStock]

6. “You’ll never amount to anything.”

This is one of the most damaging things you can say to anyone, especially a teenager. It can lead to feelings of worthlessness and despair. Always express belief in their potential and offer encouragement.

7. “You’re too young to have an opinion.”

Teenagers are developing their own perspectives and opinions. Dismissing their viewpoints can stifle their critical thinking and discourage them from sharing in the future. Engage in discussions and respect their right to have a different viewpoint.

In conclusion, when you communicate the right way with teenagers, you can help foster a healthy, trusting relationship with them. Especially since the goal is to guide them through this transformative period with understanding and encouragement.


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