Dismiss their feelings. The rationale here is covered by the "The Biggest Complaint From Kids..." post linked above.
Correct their feelings. It's one thing for a parent to ignore and brush off a kid's feelings, it's an entirely different to tell them what they are feeling is wrong. A feeling may be misdirected, based on inaccurate information, or expressed in an unhealthy manner, but it's not wrong. It's a feeling.
Hypocrisy. Kids, especially teenagers, have a sharp radar for hypocrisy. Be fair and straightforward. Whatever you do, limit statements like, "Do as I say, not as I do." You can sometimes pull that type of cliche on younger kids, teens will eat you up alive.
Always playing the parent card. Key word here is "always". Sometimes it is completely appropriate and healthy to play the parent card. Do it too much, and a couple of things happen: 1) kids lose respect for you because your decisions are based on what other parents do and 2) kids won't talk to you about serious things because they feel the parent card will be used at any time.
Choose their hobbies and activities for them. Yes, sports may have taught you about life. That doesn't mean it will do the same for your child. Let them discover what they are passionate about. You can introduce them to things you liked, but recognize the difference in your aspirations and theirs.
Inconsistent parenting. I repeat this tip again and again because of its importance. Different parenting styles aren't complementary, they are confusing and annoying. The analogy I use for adults is imagine having two bosses where one says you have to be in the office on Fridays and the other says work from home on Fridays. That feeling you feel right now is how kids feel when they get different messages from parents.
Talking in front of your kids like they are invisible. Nothing is more belittling than someone talking about you to others in your presence. Nothing is more irritating than someone talk about you to others in your presence. No different for kids.
Focusing on the negative. It's important to help kids understand where they made a mistake and reflect on how to do something differently next time. However, no one wants to be around someone who is always focusing on the negative. If you are focusing on the negative, don't be surprised when your kids head straight to their bedroom once they enter the house. Don't be surprised when they focus on the negative, too.
Judging their friends. As kids get older, their peer group becomes a bigger part of their identity and self-esteem. Criticizing your kid's friends is like criticizing your child. This doesn't mean their friends are off-limits, just be careful in how you present your feedback.
Stop caring (and loving). At first I was surprised when I heard kids complain about their parents letting them do whatever they want. However, what they said next was always the same. Kids felt that when parents stopped caring, they stopped loving. Even for kids who fight with their parents constantly, the loss of feeling loved can have devastating consequences.
I wrote this post for parents but I hope everyone reading can see how these items can lead to problems in any type of relationship, not just the parent-child relationship. At least as an adult you usually have the option of ending the relationship or at least limiting time spent with that person.
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