Four Types of Parents Teenagers Can’t Stand

Brian is a seventeen-year-old with a passion for traveling and learning languages. He loves writing and dreams of becoming a travel writer when he’s older.


bad parenting styles, parenting teenagers, parenting techniques, types of parenting, trusting teenagers, trusting your teenager, accusatory parents, parents and teenagersThough many have tried, there really is no perfect parent; everyone will make mistakes and have to learn from them. Some face more challenges than others, but in the end, raising a child is difficult for every mother and father. After looking at my parents and the parents of some of my friends, I noticed different “types” of parents, ranging from jokesters to parents who don’t quite act their own age. Now, after years of watching parents, I’ve identified four types of parents that teenagers just really can’t stand:


The Untrusting Parent

This may be you if you go through your teen’s room, read their text messages, add their friends on Facebook, or call to talk with other parents before they go to a friend’s house. It’s understandable that you want to know what your teens are doing, but there comes a point when a good parent becomes an overbearing, untrusting tyrant. Have faith that you have raised your teens to know right from wrong, and understand that the more you try to monitor and restrict what they are doing, the more likely they are to rebel. Unless your teen has proven to be untrustworthy, cut them some slack and respect their adolescence.


The Perfection-is-expected Parent

If this is you, you may expect your teens to have straight A’s, be the star athlete, or be president of numerous clubs. While some of these expectations may be realistic for your teen, pushing them to the limit to try to meet your high standards will probably wear them down. I had a friend that wasn’t allowed to stop studying for tests until he got a perfect score. His dad said that if he fell short even just a few points from a 100 percent, he wasn’t studying hard enough. Eventually, my friend snapped; he was exhausted and over-worked. Whatever it may be—grades, sports or other activities—expecting perfection is the best way to make your teen resent you. Encourage your teens to do the best they can, but don’t set unachievable expectations.


The Accusatory Parent

The accusatory parent blames anything and everything on their teens. You may come to unfair conclusions such as “you scratched the car” or “you stained the carpet”. Sometimes, the accusatory parent will assume these things based on little evidence or reason. Instead of flat out blaming your teens for doing something, get the facts straight. Could someone in the parking lot have scratched the car? Could I have accidentally stained the carpet? Then ask your teen about it. Hopefully you have made them feel like they can be honest with you.

The Nitpicky Parent

Not to be confused with the Perfection-is-expected parent, this type of parent focuses on tiny, insignificant details. You may expect the table to be set flawlessly, that rooms be clean, that the bathroom be spotless, or that everything is in its place throughout the house. When something isn’t correct or how you like it, you become frustrated with your teen and say that they’re being lazy or taking the easy way out. Take a good look at some of your expectations: do they cross the fine line between nitpicky and important little things? It’s up to you to make the distinction, but be sure to take your teen’s opinions into account.


When asking yourself, am I this type of parent? understand that your teen may be too shy or afraid to tell you these things. Take a close look at your expectations and tendencies before answering. Furthermore, as a parent, you may have specific reasons for things, such as calling other parents or insisting the house is clean. To teens, however, it may appear that you’re untrustworthy or nitpicky. If this is the case, let your teen know why you do some of the things you do. It’s always hard to see things from the other’s perspective.


Photo Credit: Pahz from Flickr

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2 Responses to “Four Types of Parents Teenagers Can’t Stand”

  1. Shreeja N
    February 27, 2012 at 11:14 pm #

    Neat! n very true especially in case of teens!

  2. Wes Crenshaw, PhD ABPP
    February 28, 2012 at 8:21 am #

    I’ve worked for 19 years and 20,000 hours of clients, mostly teens and families. They speak freely with me and tell me their most intimate secrets about sex, love, drug use. I work with gay and straight kids, depressed and anxious, ADHD and gifted. Over those years I’ve asked many times and only had one teenager who privately told me she was trustworthy. Two years later back from college I asked her again. She said, “Oh, that! I was just lying.” Kids aren’t built to be trustworthy. They’re built to challenge limits. And parents are there to set them so they can be challenged. I don’t agree with Ronald Reagan on much but I agree with him on this: Trust and Verify. That’s how he approached the Soviet Union and that’s parents should approach kids. Trust teenagers is cute, but its something that parents like to do primarily to make their lives more convenient. Teens like it because it gives them a freedom they are not cognitively prepared to enjoy.

    The rest I agree with, but on the first I don’t. Some kids have better judgment than others, but that just means that when they are out doing what they shouldn’t be doing where they shouldn’t be doing it, they are careful and try hard not to get caught.

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