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5 Most Common Parenting Issues and Wise Solutions to Fix It! 2

5 Most Common Parenting Issues and Wise Solutions to Fix It!

Parenting issues are not uncommon between kids and parents, especially if you have pre-teens or teenagers. One minute it’s all fun and games, and the next minute things have escalated to DefCon One.

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As a teacher and a mom, I understand there is a push and pull constantly going on between the two generations. However, that may not be enough to understand what goes on in your child’s mind daily. Like that is truly even possible. Ha!

So, as a substitute teacher, I asked kids ages 12-years-old to 18-years-old (7th-12th grade) at my private school what they would tell their parents if they could say anything to them without reprisal. Most of the kids couldn’t believe I would ask such a question.

In fact, they were suspicious at first. But, eventually, they warmed up to me. Truthfully, once we started talking, they couldn’t shut up. They had lots to say about parenting today! Sheesh. 

Check out these five parenting issues kids have with their moms and dads. More importantly, here are five wise solutions to help you navigate through some of the most difficult years of your child’s life.

RELATED: The Ultimate Secret on How to Deal With a Difficult Teenager

5 Common Parenting Issues

Check out these five parenting issues that are problems faced by parents today. These tips will help you understand your pre-teen or teen a little better and give you some talking points when you have a conflict.

Perhaps these solutions will help you resolve some ongoing issues you have not understood until now.

1. Technology Issues

One of the most difficult parenting issues is technology. What is so frustrating is that the technology now is totally different compared to the last generation. Parents in the last generation had archaic equipment compared to today’s standards. What we have now is mind-boggling, so much that we can’t even keep up with the latest invention.

The students didn’t think we, the parents, understood the stress it was causing them socially since we didn’t experience it ourselves as a teenager. Most of the kids I talked to were in agreement that they spend way too much time online worrying about what other people are doing and saying about them.

Almost everyone said they had dealt with some sort of depression due to social media either by comparing themselves to others or being bullied.

One person said their parents didn’t understand what it was like to be bullied online. The shame and humiliation were beyond anything we could comprehend.

Needless to say, this is a huge problem and one of the biggest struggles of parenting this decade.

Wise Solutions:

By and large, most parents DO understand how technology is affecting their kids. That’s why I suggest you hold off on social media as long as you can. I highly suggest getting Covenant Eyes as a filter for phones and computers. Additionally, don’t let your kids have technology in their room at night.

Slowly let off on restrictions as your kids get older. By the senior year of high school, your teenager needs to have access to phones and computers full-time. They will be gone in a year, so make the senior year a test year that prepares them for college.

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2. Competition and Stress Issues

Parenting issues typically evolve when it comes to grades and sports. The kid’s I interviewed expressed how hard it was to carry the burden of performance and competition day after day.

Unfortunately, the students felt their parents were putting excessive pressure on them to perform in high school and not letting them be a kid. There was a consensus among them that they have larger workloads and have more stress than we had 25-30 years ago.

One student said she felt like her parents put grades before her mental health. She described the feeling of being trapped in a world she didn’t like nor one she created. All of the students said they wanted to be good students, but the pressure was intense. Sadly, there is a weight on them that is heavy and some days seem unbearable.

Most of the students just wanted their parents to acknowledge the amount of work they do and to encourage them instead of being angry with them when they received a low grade. Every student did agree a zero was unacceptable, and hard work was important.

Wise Solutions:

This is a tricky issue because some kids are naturally more motivated than others. Only you know what your teenager is capable of doing.

Allow your kids to choose their sports, but don’t go overboard on playing every single one of them. Grades are important but not to the detriment of your kid’s mental health. Good character is most important and needs to be reinforced in your family with regular church attendance and faith-based values practiced at home.

Parenting is a delicate balance. Look for overall growth in each area, and don’t freak out when one area isn’t looking so great. Kids develop skills in stages. Eventually, it all comes together in the end.

When you see your teen falling behind, work together on solutions. Empowering your teen is the best way to help him find the motivation to fix his own problems. If he is uninterested in working on a solution, you may need to use some tough love.

Pray for wisdom. It could be depression and anxiety that are causing your teen to give up. Find a good counselor if he won’t talk with you.

RELATED: How to Pray for Your Kids in Your War Room

3. Double standard Issues 

Having a double standard was another complaint among the pre-teens and teens I interviewed. Frankly, it was a hot button when it came to parenting issues.

What they meant by “double standard” was their parents didn’t always practice what they preached. One student said, “ I will not trust an adult who can’t apologize to a kid.”

That really got my attention. This is where the discussion became heated. Suddenly, everyone had an opinion.

The students were angry they had to apologize to their parents when in the wrong, but their parents didn’t apologize back to them.

Kids know when we as parents behave badly (yell, call names, retaliate, threaten, manipulate), but see it as a double standard when we won’t admit our own faults to them and take ownership of our bad behavior.

Sadly, many parents see apologizing to their teenagers as weak or simply have too much pride to admit when wrong.

Wise Solutions:

I agree with the students when it comes to parenting issues about apologizing.

Parents DO need to apologize when wrong. It’s a great opportunity to show humility, character, and strength as a person. Not apologizing for bad behavior is just more bad behavior.

Ephesians 6:4 says, “Fathers, don’t stir up anger in your children, but bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord (HCSB).

RELATED: Should You Apologize to Your Child? 5 Things Happen When You Don’t

4. Listening Issues 

Listening was another one of the biggest parenting issues with this group of teens. They wanted us (parents) to listen to who they are, what they believe, and how they think. Even though they are young, they are still thinking about their world

Also, they said they wanted us not to overreact if they had a different opinion than us. I think they were trying to express the fact they are growing and changing. Their opinions are evolving as they get more information and experience life.

Wise Solutions:

Perhaps we need to realize our kids are transitioning between two worlds–cartoons and Calculus. Often, these two worlds collide in a day, and it can get a little messy. They still don’t know quite who they are.

As parents, we need to listen to our kids about whatever is swirling in their brains. And for us to love them no matter what they believe at the time. Even if it is not what you believe.

On a personal note, my own kids had a few things I didn’t exactly agree with them on as far as cultural issues go. I prayed for God to change their hearts or mine. He did both. I listened to their point of view with an open mind and tried to quietly point them back to the Bible.

Through the years, I have seen the Holy Spirit do more work on them than I ever could have done. Thank heavens!

Check out this article about parenting. Dr. Dobson gives some great tools for listening to your teen if you struggle in this area.

5.  Grateful Issues

The last point of the five most common parenting issues was quite heartwarming. This group of teens struggled on how to let their parents know how grateful they are for all they had done for them. Sadly, they felt their generation had been stigmatized as entitled. Truthfully, they know there are many entitled kids out there, but they wanted to let everyone know they work hard.

The seniors were especially thankful their parents had made them study, volunteer, take part in a sport, and invest time in their spiritual life. I found it rewarding the seniors were starting to see the big picture and understand why they had to do certain things.

How incredible that they thought their moms and dads were actually pretty awesome for loving them enough to make them do the hard things in life.

Wise Solutions:

Sometimes we forget that our kids do appreciate us. They know we love them and have sacrificed for them in so many ways. It is important not to get discouraged when they are not meeting up to your standards. Don’t give up on them.

Our teenagers are counting on us to believe in them when they don’t even believe in themselves. Stay in there and keep encouraging them no matter how hard it has been for you. There will be a day they will come back and thank you for all you have done. If you do have an entitled child, it’s time to do some backtracking and fix it.

RELATED: Accidentally Raising An Entitled Kid? 9 Awesome Parenting Tips to Fix It

What Do Parents Struggle With the Most?

Parents’ biggest concerns naturally go to such things as drugs, premarital sex, and alcohol usage. We also worry about grades, friends, sports performance, and developing a moral compass when there is little reinforcement in this area.

While we want the best for our kids, it is hard to let go of certain expectations and allow God to take the reigns. This takes a lot of love, patience, and self-control to not manipulate what we want instead of what God wants.

If we push too hard and control our kids, they may feel we don’t understand them at all. This is why prayer has to be an integral part of parenting. It is a fine balance of loving, listening, coaching, and stepping back.

What Are the Challenges Parents Face Today?

The challenges of parenting in today’s world are far and wide. No other generation has ever parented kids who have access to unlimited technology, cut-throat competition athletically and academically, lots of disposable income, but little in the way of spiritual instruction.

Frankly, it’s a toxic mix just waiting to implode if we don’t intervene.

Many of us feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. We feel exhausted just carrying our own responsibilities.

When you don’t know what to do, ask God to give you wisdom. He knows and loves your kids more than you. I have found this to be the best advice after raising two kids. God made a way when there seemed to be no way. And that has made all the difference.

What are some of the most challenging parenting issues you have encountered? Comment below. 

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This book talks about my seven-year estrangement from my Christian family and also gives solid tips to help you with your own family problems. Break free from your pain. Allow God to heal you no matter what has happened in your family of origin. There is hope when your family falls apart.

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54 thoughts on “5 Most Common Parenting Issues and Wise Solutions to Fix It!”

  1. Thanks Julie for giving us an insight in to what children think about parenting. I love feedbacks and I occasionally ask my son about what he thinks about my parenting. I use that as an opportunity to explain the rationale behind my behaviours and apologize when needed. I need to learn not to push them too hard and listen more.

    1. Stella, you sound like a really good parent. It is so good to get feedback from your kids. Kids like boundaries and rules. They feel safer. It is hard to know how to balance the rules as your kids mature. As they age, you have to let go. And that is hard. Thanks for your comment.

  2. Our teens now are living in such a different world than when we were teenagers! Thank you for this article Julie! Very well written and so true! My kids are grown now but I do need help in the tech department lol, and also listening better. The one that was sad for me to read was about the lack of apologizing. Not that I have a problem with asking for forgiveness for myself. It reminded me of growing up with parents who had double standards and they still do to this day, many decades later, and it is affecting their relationships all around. Very sad that pride can become more important than the feelings of loved ones.

    1. Donna, I understand what you mean. It is hard to get older people to change their ways. If they haven’t apologized by now, they probably aren’t going to. Sadly, pride gets in the way and causes huge parenting issues. Thanks for your comment.

  3. Grateful for this article. Even though we have experienced what it was like to be a child and teen (as parents) it is useful to hear feedback from our young ones that will benefit the greater good. It was also wonderful to hear the perspective of our teens. Thank you!

    1. Hannah, yes, it is good to get a fresh perspective about teen life from a whole group of teens. They are different in so many ways, but the same in that they just want to be loved like every other human being. I feel sad they don’t know what it is like to live without social media. It was a lot more simple and there wasn’t near the amount of anxiety. Thanks for your comment.

  4. This is so good! I’ve actually been thinking for awhile that I need to ask my teen students (I teach dance and music) about what they want adults to know about being a teen today. I have a strong desire to write for teen girls and this post has given me some areas to speak into!

    1. Emily, I am so glad you are going to start a conversation with your teen students. And how awesome that you want to start writing. Best wishes on both endeavors. Teens definitely have a lot to say if we will listen!

  5. I remember one time as a teen, when my dad apologized to me. It changed the way I saw him, and I had even more respect for him. Parents need to emulate what they want to see in their kids.

    1. Susan, that is so great. I am glad he had the character to do this. I don’t think parents realize that kids respect them more when they apologize and own up to their mistakes. Thanks for the comment.

  6. Excellent article Julie!! I wish parents would read this so their eyes can be open to the real life struggles of teens these days. And I totally agree with you about Sponge Bob and CNN. Sponge Bob has more redeeming qualities. Haha!

  7. Wow, this is really eye opening. It’s so interesting to know that teens actually know how toxic and addictive their phones and social media are. I was in high school when kids were just starting to get their own cell phones, and I didn’t have one myself until I started college. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to go through high school with the social media craziness that exists today.

    1. Hayley, yes, they all admitted it was addictive. Unfortunately, they go back to it time and time again even though they know it is slowly poisoning them. I think they will have to learn some self-control and maturity to realize that there is more to life than social media. The next best party, purse, or latest outfit is not the most important thing.
      Thank you for your comments.

  8. A very interesting read. Our kids are still very little, but it’s never too early to start implementing some of these. Especially apologizing – this has been huge with our daughter. It’s a lot easier for her to say sorry when she unintentionally hurts someone if she has seen mommy and daddy say sorry when we accidentally bump her head putting her in the car, etc. Even though it was an accident, we explain we are sorry that what we did hurt her. Thank you for sharing the insight!

  9. I don’t have teens…yet…so this is a very helpful peek into the future and a good reminder to stay engaged with our kids even though they may seem to have become capable of taking care of themselves. Thanks for the head’s up.

    1. Every teen is a little different. Just when you think you have them figured out, they change the rules. It keeps you guessing all the time, and praying constantly. Thanks for your comment.

  10. This is really great. I can’t imagine having to keep up with it all as a teenager these days but I do have 2 boys coming up so I need to remember this when they are teenagers!

  11. I think “Listen” is the most important one. I think adults discount a lot of things teens go through like they aren’t real problems, but those problems are incredibly important to those teens. Sure, they’ll outlive those problems and move on, but in the moment those problems are as important as any problem any adult may have.

    1. I’d say millions. Kids typically get depressed when they compare themselves to others. It’s just too much for them to know about everything they missed. Ignorance is bliss.

  12. Being a teenager today is certainly worlds different than it was for me back in the early 90s… so much has changed and evolved…

  13. Honestly, this is one of my best reads today. Many parents behave as if they dropped from heaven at thieir present age forgetting that they were once teenagers. I am definitely sharing this with friends. Thank you for the enlightenment.

    1. I am so glad you enjoyed this post. Your comment means a lot to me. I am so sorry I didn’t see this until today.
      Parents do need to remember they were once teens. I think it’s even harder now than when I was young.

  14. This is a brilliant post. Learning to listen to my teen rather than instantly trying to jump in and give advice has been a challenge for me but something I constantly work on. I feel very blessed that I am involved in social media on a daily basis and can understand what teens go through online. I think parents who don’t understand the online world do really struggle.

  15. You give great insight into the teen mind. I would agree that it is very important to admit when mistakes are made and apologize for them for both parents and teens.

  16. mapsandmonograms

    Every generation goes through it’s own challenges. I’m pretty sure you nailed this generations. I guess I never really sat down to think about it (we’re not at that stage yet!). Excellent insight.

  17. I think kids have it both better and worse that we did – just like we had it better (and worse) than our parents. With each new generation comes advances in technology, but also the advances of issues that come with the technology.

  18. Great article! I know, teens today definitely have it rough in a lot of ways my generation didn’t. Great perspective. Thanks for sharing.

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