Things Teenagers Wish Their Parents Knew
The teenage years are filled with so many changes and emotions. If you’re the parent of a teen you might wish that they would communicate with you a bit more. Remember when they came home from school and told you everything? Now you can barely get three words out of them. Whatever the reason, teens tend to keep things inside, at least from their parental figures. Modern Teen asked teens to divulge 15 things they wish their parents knew. Here are a few key comments. For the entire list, please click HERE.
Not every conversation needs to be a lesson: Sometimes, teenagers just want a friend. You’ve been there with them for 13+ years and all you want to do is teach, discipline, and mentor. Take a step back from the discipline and ask them how they’re actually doing. What’s new in their life? I bet you have no clue. And if you think you do, you’re still wrong. Teenagers hide a lot of things, but that’s only because they feel they can’t share them with you. Take a second to think why that might be. Are you constantly judging their choices? Are you criticizing every single thing they do? What you should be doing is asking questions like a friend would. And when they answer, shut up and listen to them!
Our room is our safe space: After a long day of school and other daily activities, we come home to our quiet place. It’s our safe haven if you will. We can unwind, do what we want, and have the privacy (most of the time) to be ourselves. If you were in the middle of watching a show or doing something you love, would you want to be interrupted every few minutes to do something you hate? Of course not, so don’t do it to them. We understand that chores need to be done and that you need help with things. That doesn’t mean it’s fair to pull us away right in the middle of “us time”.
Here’s what teenagers want you to do:
- Respect that we need that privacy a lot, even if we’re in our room for too long
- Knock on the door first and wait for confirmation to come in… please!
- When you leave the room, close the door
- Unless absolutely necessary, don’t come into our room for stupid things (text us instead and we’ll do it)
- If you see we’re in the middle of something and you need them to do a chore, ask for us to do it when we “get a chance”
- Let it be our room (we’ll open the windows, organize our desk, etc.)
We’re still learning a lot: We’re going to make mistakes. That’s the whole point of being a teenager. It’s right in between being a kid and being an adult. Let us learn new things by ourselves, and let us do it our way. Some parents like things done a specific way. Instead, encourage your teenager to do it in a way that seems most efficient to them. As long as the job gets done, what do you care? Plus, it helps teenagers feel more independent and not hovered over all the time.Teenagers wish their parents knew how annoying it is to be told how to do things. I still can’t stand it! Eventually we’re going to stop making decisions for ourselves and only do what our boss tells and be quiet. If you don’t want that for your teen, let them make decisions alone!
Stop forcing us into things we’re not into: Yes, we’ve heard that “computer science is the future”, our grades are our life, and jobs are how you make money. However, that doesn’t mean we have a passion for those things. Maybe we’re into art, sports, entrepreneurship, or videography. The world is changing, and I hate to say it but, teenagers are more aware of the change than adults are. Stop thinking you know your teen because you probably don’t. We don’t want to hear about your favorite majors for US and your favorite job ideas for US. We want YOU to hear what OUR favorite majors and job ideas are. If that’s hard for you to respect, that’s okay. Just understand that your teenager is going to grow up and be their own person. Don’t ruin their confidence now, because it will affect the rest of their lives.
Ask if you can share your thoughts: Teenagers wish their parents knew to ask before they share. Meaning, listen to your teenager. If you get to a point where your teen is sharing their feelings, listen to what they have to say. When they’ve finished what they have to say, ask them this question: Would you like me to share my thoughts? If you pull out this question on your teen, they will be in shock! They might even be so shocked, that they’ll have no choice but to say yes. If they say no, you need to understand that and just be there for them. Teens don’t always want your advice or opinion. At times, they just want a friend to listen.
We rebel because we’re curious: To put it into better words, we don’t rebel just because. We rebel because we’re trying to decide things for ourselves. If you tell us how to do something, we’ll try and figure out if there’s a better way… an easier way. If you tell us not to do something, we’ll try and figure out why. The only real way to figure that out is to do it. Experience is how teenagers learn their lessons and it’s often something withheld from teenagers. They’re too young! It makes sense. They’re the most curious species on the planet so let them learn on their own. You can guide and provide assistance, but do not force things to be your way. This is what causes us to “rebel” in your eyes, but it’s not rebellion… it’s just curiosity.