All parents lecture their kids. Even as an adult child, my mother still lectures me, usually about how I am raising my kids. Interestingly, I know that parental lecturing is an ineffective method of persuasion, but I feel it is my adult right to “annoy” my children with lengthy and meaningful/less stories to make them better men.
Parents are reasonable people, so why do we do we lecture? It’s like this: your son does something annoying or makes a bad decision, and you feel it is your obligation to share a piece of parental wisdom based on one of your previous experiences. For example, grades are slipping, and you decide, for the 10th time, to explain to your “interested” offspring that good grades pave the way to a good college that in turns paves the way to a successful life. Do you really expect your child to understand, and then go study many more hours because he recognizes your brilliance?
It is as if we parents believe our great ideas will take root in the adolescent brain, flower, and generate new and productive behaviors. And, for some reason, we can’t stop ourselves from delivering the ineffective lecture. So, let’s embrace our flaws, proudly lecture our children, but also know when we need to close our parental mouths. Learn to read your annoyed adolescents non-verbal cues. If he looks tolerant then enjoy your moment; however, if he scowls and rolls his eyes—he’s annoyed. It is time for you as a parent to move on and wait for another day to impart your wisdom.