Parents-- Repeating Yourself to Your Teens May Not Be Doing Any Good

Hi, my name is Anna, and I'm 16. Not for the first time this summer, my mom recently brought up the upcoming school year. It's my junior year, so it's important that colleges I'm interested in see my full potential. I know this, as does she. But she keeps repeating it- over, and over, and over. And to be totally honest, the more she tells me that I need to do well, the less I want to. I don't know why. It's probably just because that's how my mind works. I do know that I'm not the only teen like this though, so I'm hoping I can give parents of other teens some advice as to how to make sure that the message gets across, without it backfiring.

When your kids are little, you tell them what's right and what's wrong, and you tell them as many times as it takes for them to learn. However, the same strategy shouldn't be applied to teenagers. We know right from wrong, and we understand words and we know what you're saying. After the tenth time of you telling us something though, we start to not listen, because it's the tenth time we've heard it, and it's getting a bit old. Now I'm not saying that every teen will listen the first or second time he or she is told something, but there are a lot of teens out there who do have respect for their parents and who do listen. It's these teens who don't need to be told several times. Maybe I'm the only one who feels this way, but it kind of makes me feel like my mom thinks I'm incapable of taking care of myself (to a certain degree, of course). I, and many other teens, can cook for myself, I do my own laundry, I pay for my own clothes, etc. What makes my parents think that I don't know to do my homework, and to pay attention in class, even though I've proven it year after year?

Anyway, back to the topic at hand, don't over-do it, especially if there isn't even a problem. Most kids know what needs to be done to reach their goals. And their goals for themselves may differ from your goals for them, but ultimately, it's up to them. I guess what I'm really trying to say is that if you feel your kid isn't listening to you anymore, he or she probably isn't. So instead of continuing to repeat yourself, maybe it's time to try a different approach. Maybe it's time to let he or she figure things out on his or her own. Use your own judgement of course, but for something such as high school education, have faith in your kids, they should know what needs to be done, and if they don't, they'll learn.