Living"Do you think you live in a hotel?" and...

"Do you think you live in a hotel?" and other phrases we say to our teenagers when we don't understand their behavior

Adolescence is a stage full of changes and challenges for everyone . In the first place for the adolescent himself, who is going through a transformative stage in which he begins to define his identity. And secondly for his parents, who must learn to accompany him in a new and different way to how they had been doing throughout childhood.

This can lead us to make mistakes that distance us from our children, label them, judge them too many times, and pressure them with inappropriate phrases or expressions.

If you are a parent of a teenager and you have ever missed any of these phrases, we will explain what is behind your child’s behavior and what you can do to redirect the situation.

“Do you think you live in a hotel?”

Messy wardrobe, unmade bed, desk full of papers and books, dirty clothes thrown on the floor, teenager who does not leave the room except at the right time for lunch…

If these scenes sound familiar to you, it is likely that you have once said that “do you think you live in a hotel?”. And it is that living at home with people who do not collaborate, do not integrate and follow a different rhythm than the rest of the family can become really frustrating.

What is the reason for their behavior and what can you do?

Understand why your teenager needs to have their own space, set their own limits and gradually become independent from their parents. This does not mean that they do not need us or do not want us. In fact, enjoying each other’s company is not only possible, but very enriching and rewarding.

But to achieve a peaceful and respectful coexistence it is necessary to adapt to family rules, and we already know that limits are better accepted when the people who have to accept them participate in their elaboration .

In this sense, family discussions or meetings are an excellent tool for reaching consensus and setting limits that take into account both the individual needs of the adolescent and the collective needs of the entire family.

“Pick up your room, which looks like a lion’s den”

Parents often complain about the chaos that reigns in the room of our adolescent children, and we turn the issue of order into a constant battle with them.

Mess and dirt do not like anyone (they can even cause stress and discomfort), and no matter how hard we try to close the door of your room so as not to see what is happening inside , it is impossible not to feel anger and frustration when we enter the room. our son’s room and we couldn’t take two steps without tripping over something.

What is the reason for their behavior and what can you do?

The situation would be very similar to the one described in the previous point: it is necessary to respect the space of our adolescent son , but it is also necessary to negotiate agreements so that the home in which we all live is clean and tidy.

On the other hand, we should ask ourselves if our teenager has the room that he really wants to have . And it is that while they are small, parents decorate and order their room to our liking, but perhaps we forget that when they reach adolescence they should be the ones who decide how to decorate, personalize and design their own space . After all, your room is your little piece of the world, a reflection of your independence and the mirror of your personality and changing tastes.

“It smells like a tiger here”

Increased body odor is usually a characteristic sign of adolescence. It is produced by an increase in sweating due to the action of hormones, which, in contact with bacteria on the skin, give rise to an odor that can sometimes be very strong and unpleasant.

You may notice this smell as soon as your child comes home from playing basketball with friends, when he takes off his shoes while you watch TV together, or just when you walk into his room.

What is the reason and what can you do?

Complaining about your teen’s body odor will not only not help fight it, but it can affect their self-esteem, make them feel insecure and hurt their feelings. Surely you will find other more respectful and positive ways to make him see the importance of taking care of his personal hygiene at this stage of life of great hormonal changes.

“If your friends jump off a bridge, do you go after them?”

If you are the parent of a teenager, surely more than once you have had the feeling that their friends have more weight in their life than you, and everything they do or say is better received by your child than your advice.

Perhaps this feeling has caused you insecurity, fear or even jealousy. After all, any parent wants to be the trusted person for their child, above colleagues and friends.

What is the reason for their behavior and what can you do?

Adolescence is the stage of life in which friendship and relationships with peers take on more importance and meaning than ever, coming to suffer especially when their social plot is compromised.

In this sense, it is normal for the adolescent to want to seek the acceptance of his friends, letting himself be carried away by the fashions that prevail at that time and by the advice of the group. As if this were not enough, science has also shown that the adolescent brain is designed to stop listening to the voices of their parents and start paying more attention to other voices in the environment.

As a parent, it’s normal to fear that your child will get carried away by others and make bad decisions. But do not judge ahead of time, do not criticize their way of acting or criticize their friends, because this attitude will drive you away deeply.

Simply observe your child, trust him and his possibilities, and openly and without judgment ask all your questions. If the basis of your communication is healthy and positive, you will have nothing to fear.

“When you have your own house you will do what you want, while not”

When parents and children have opposing opinions , it is not easy to establish agreements, negotiate and reach a consensus without ending up arguing or “throwing things at each other’s heads”, as they say colloquially.

It is true that discussions with children wear us out, and if they are not managed properly we run the risk of making the mistake of imposing our criteria by force , with punishments, blackmail or lapidary phrases such as “as long as you live under my roof you will do what I tell you” or “when you have your own house you can do what you want, but not until now”.

What is the reason for their behavior and what can you do?

Arguing is something absolutely healthy, necessary and wonderful . In fact, it is a way of learning and even a way of personal development, as long as it is a respectful, positive and constructive discussion.

Our adolescent children need to gain autonomy and confidence to start managing themselves in life , but they also continue to need us as much or more than before. Therefore, it is necessary to agree on the limits and know how to find the balance between control and permissiveness.

“You are turkey age!”

There is no more terrible and pejorative phrase than telling our son that: “What a turkey you have!” or “You are in the age of the turkey” .

And if we think about it, this popular expression is loaded with negative connotations and stereotypes that not only ridicule adolescents , but also deeply hurt their self-esteem and confidence, causing insecurity, fear, helplessness and shame.

What is the reason for their behavior and what can you do?

It’s normal for your teen to behave differently than they did when they were a child. As the psychologist Diana Jiménez explained to us in this interview, “adolescents are trying on a suit that they are not going to stay with” ; that is, they are looking for their own identity , strengthening their own limits and developing their own self-esteem.

It is in our hands to accompany them in a positive and respectful way so that they face adulthood as complete, happy, safe and confident individuals.

“You’re weirder than a green dog”

Are the tastes of your teenage son and yours at the opposite end of the spectrum? Do you sometimes have the feeling that you do not speak the same language? Does he engage in behaviors or make decisions that don’t make any sense to you? Have you made a change of look that horrifies you?

If you have such a hard time understanding their tastes, their way of speaking or their way of thinking, surely you have once said that “you are weirder than a green dog!”.

What is the reason for their behavior and what can you do?

Identity defines who we are , how we feel and what represents us. During adolescence, the search for this identity becomes a very important process that parents must accompany with respect and empathy.

For this it is important not to ridicule our children , accept them as they are and encourage them to discover themselves and discover their own interests. In short: stimulate their autonomy, decision-making capacity and personality, just as we did when they were younger.

It may happen that at a given moment you do not like the way they dress, comb their hair or the music they listen to. And it’s okay to let him know respectfully, if he asks for your opinion. But it is also essential that your child has the certainty that you will always be by his side, guiding him in his process of maturity and independence towards adult life.

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