The Five Top Things Parents Do That Drive Teens Crazy; 7 Habits Author, Sean Covey, Gives Tips to Teens on How to Cope

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The relationship that parents forge with their children during their teen years often determines how close they will be for the rest of their lives. Sadly, it seems that today's parents and teens sometimes experience great difficulty in getting along with each other. Where does the problem start? Does the problem lie with the teen, the parent or both?

Remember, honest, open and respectful communication is always the best way to combat any problem you will have with anyone, especially your parents

    "With each complaint you have about your parents, you have a choice to make," said Sean Covey, author of The 6 Most Important Decisions You'll Ever Make. "You can let it drive you insane and lash out, or you can find ways to cope. If you are struggling with things your parents do, remember to focus on what you can control. You can't make choices for your parents. You can only make choices for yourself. And, just as they do things that make you crazy, you do things that drive them nuts."

Covey received correspondence from and interviewed thousands of teens all over the world about the most important decisions they will make during their teen years. He also received feedback from them about what their parents do that drives them crazy. Covey gives suggestions in his book to teens to help them overcome issues they have with their parents. Also, parents may download a free copy of Covey's The Ultimate Parent Survival Guide by visiting Listed below are the five most common complaints from teens about their parents and advice from Covey to help them cope:

-- My parents are always comparing me! - It's hard not to compare yourself to that girl with the perfect hair or that guy with the 4.0 GPA. Remember, just as you struggle, so do your parents. For some strange reason and with the best of intentions, parents think that comparing you to someone else will motivate you. As every teen knows, it does the opposite. If you find yourself being compared by your parents try doing the following:

     -- Try not to take it personally. Remember how it feels and make a resolution not to do it to your kids when you are a parent.

     -- Make your parents aware of how you feel. The next time your mom or dad compares you to a sibling or a friend, say something like, "Mom, Dad, you know what? It really hurts when you compare me to so and so. I'm different from so and so, and I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't compare me to them anymore."

-- My parents are never satisfied! - If this is how you feel, don't start thinking that your parents don't love you. Maybe this is the way they were raised. They may be very proud of you and not know how to show it. When you become a parent, it's not like you get a user's manual on how to be awesome at it.

One thing you can try is to point out all of the good stuff you are doing. For example, you might say: "Yeah, I can always do better, Dad. But getting three A's last term is pretty good and it's a lot better than last year."

-- My parents are embarrassing! - So, your parents are embarrassing. Or maybe they're out of touch when it comes to fashion and music. So what? They're usually very much in touch when it comes to important things, like how to bounce back after you've just been dumped from a relationship.

In case you haven't noticed, parents have quite a bit more experience than you do. If you were to add up your mom and dad's age you would find together they have double or triple the experience that you have. Remember, every other teen feels the same way you do and one day your kids will be just as embarrassed of you.

-- My parents are overprotective! - In most cases, so-called overprotective parents simply care a lot and show it through lots of rules and wanting to know everything. Try not to get hung up about having too many rules. After all, if you had to choose, don't you think you'd rather have parents who seem to care too much than parents who don't seem to care at all?

Usually the more your parents trust you the more freedom they will eventually grant you. Always do your best to be honest and trustworthy with your parents. Go out of your way to show them that you can make mature decisions and be trusted with responsibility. You will be shocked at how far it will get you.

-- My parents are always fighting! - Conflict between parents and other family members can be difficult for anyone. In these situations, the only thing you can control is yourself. You can't change your parents, but you can choose not to yell, scream and fight back.

If you find yourself in a potentially harmful situation, or you are just having a hard time dealing with the drama, talk to someone! Anyone will do--a counselor, teacher, church leader; anyone who is outside of the situation and whose advice you trust. Talking your way through a hard time is not only therapeutic, it is a sign of maturity.

"Remember, honest, open and respectful communication is always the best way to combat any problem you will have with anyone, especially your parents," said Covey. "No matter how big or small the problem you have with someone, you won't solve it unless you talk about it. Though it might be hard, talking is important and your relationship will be better off in the long run."

About FranklinCovey

FranklinCovey (NYSE:FC) is the global leader in effectiveness training, productivity tools, and assessment services for organizations and individuals. FranklinCovey helps companies succeed by unleashing the power of their workforce to focus and execute on top business priorities. Clients include 90 percent of the Fortune 100, more than 75 percent of the Fortune 500, thousands of small and mid-sized businesses, as well as numerous government entities and educational institutions. Organizations and individuals access FranklinCovey products and services through corporate training, licensed client facilitators, one-on-one coaching, public workshops, catalogs, 87 retail stores and FranklinCovey has nearly 1500 associates providing professional services and products in the United States and for 37 international offices, serving more than 100 countries.

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Debra Lund
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