Understanding Your Teen, From A Teen’s Point Of View

Hello! I decided to write this post, sorta as a open letter/encouragement/help, to you, the parents of a teenager(s).
Maybe reaching us seems impossible or nearly but in all honesty, it’s simpler than you think…
We actually didn’t go from sweet little angels to monsters. The angels you brought into this world are still right here and in tact, it’s just we’re getting older and things are changing. (Your angel is in his or her cacoon, that’s all).
Meaning? We’re confused, we’re scared, we’re adventurous, we’re wanting your affection, we’re watching, and ultimately, we’re in between two very long and short stages of life- in an even shorter stage. We have approximately seven years to fully grow up and be ready in the least for the “real world”.
It’s not that we don’t want to hear what you have to say, it’s that we feel the need to explore and often times we’re bad (very bad, really) at gauging the right time to do things. We talk when we should be listening and listen when we should be talking.
We try to match your advice with our own limited knowledge thinking we know what we’re talking about because the world has changed since you all were kids. We’re so certain that you can’t possibly know how to survive in this world while over looking the simple fact that you amazing people are still alive…
On the same note, we treasure our peers’ weird and crazy ideas, thinking they, the people two years younger to five years older than us really do know what’s best. (Plus, their advice usually lines up with our own self talk so we figure it must be right). When we should really be challenging the unkosher notions and clearly bad ideas…
We, your teenagers, push boundaries to see how far you’ll give. Whether we know it or not, the majority of us are just trying to see if you really care like you say you do. We want to see if you’ll be consistent. We want to see if like you say, nothing we can ever do will change your love for us, or if you will stop loving us once we commit this atrocity.
We’re learning that a lot of things we thought we’re true are actually false, so we’re testing those things and people around us to make sure they’re still true.
And just to be honest, whether we’re considered the most innocent or ‘knowlegable’ of them all, we know a lot of stuff we wish we didn’t. Though we pine for knowledge, we’re also running from it just as hard…
All in all, we’re grasping childhood, asking it to stay, while holding the first bit of adulthood asking it to play. We realize we can’t hold on to both because eventually we’ll rip straight down the middle, so we struggle indecisively and there you have it- one word: Teenager.
So, how exactly can you be more effective in reaching us?
These are just ideas. In no way am I saying you must. I’m just trying to help!
1.
When asking us something or talking to us, make us feel like you and us are talking. Like this is definitely two-sided and you want to hear us out.
Talking to us like our peer isn’t a good idea because it’s not stating clear, parent-child boundaries or encouraging that kind of respect. But talking down to us and demanding like all the time makes us feel belittled, and though it’s within your full right to talk to us however you choose, we feel more free to listen, share, and genuinely mess up when you approach us, conveying that you care.
My mom always says, respect given, is respect earned. 
2.
Enforce strong, no give, boundaries in most areas, but in some of the smaller areas, give us the clear consequence, then, let us feel like we’re choosing what we’ll do. Of course, we should choose what’s right, but when we don’t, give us the exact consequence you said you would, every time we don’t obey so we know, one, you’re consist, two, you’re not approving or coddling our blatant rebellion, and, three, we’re not going to have it our way.
3.
Ask us what we like and please try not to state you literally hate it, if it’s a opinion based topic like music, movies, food, etc.
It’s definitely okay to make it known that our taste aren’t exactly the same, but we connect with you a lot better when you validate that it’s okay we like different things, it’s just the beauty of humanity.
My mom and I, for instance, really don’t like the same scents or clothing styles. I like bolder more ostentatious scents and colors while she likes simpler things.
I’m fully aware that she doesn’t like the same things as me but I’m okay with that because she let’s me know it’s okay to like them, it’s just who I am naturally.
4.
Help us see bad influence instead of just going I really can’t stand any of your friends!
We want to connect with our world and we do that through friendship so when you tell us you don’t like our ‘world connection links’ it has an adverse reaction. We cling to those friends you don’t want us to have instead of letting them go.
5.
It’s an extremely bad idea to let us date before 17. We’re both too young and too hormone happy to do that **giggles**. We don’t really understand the meaning of commitment or marriage (that’s why marriage is a journey) and so we just try to act like we do, then we get heart broken too many times before we actually make it to the appropriate age for all that stuff. And there’s more but I’ll leave it there.
We also take the affections we should be giving you- our loyalties, genuine love and adoration- and give them to our inmature, unready, should-still-be-friends, significant others…
Honestly, at the end of the day, it’s all your choice because you’re the parents!
It’s been super fun having a chance to chat and share these things with you. I hope you find this information useful!

0 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Buttercup wow this was so awesome. I feel like sometimes teens are labeled as “uh-oh, you have a TEEN? Good luck for the next hundred years,” when parents are talking amongst each other, but my parents told me we don’t fall for that stereotype. Yes, teen years can be hard. Yes, the hormonal-insider-stuff-that-happens stuff will happen. But we’re gonna make it––together.

  2. This is so helpful. I have a teenage daughter who is almost 14 and I absolutely adore her and want to be able to understand her. Your post has really helped me so thank you so much.
    Love Hayley 😊❤️

  3. I especially agree with the whole have-an-actual-conversation-instead-of-demanding. And seeing if parents will stick by what they say. I don’t actually really push the boundaries, but I notice these things as they happen.

  4. Oh my goodness! You really thought that through… I’ve always wondered about this… you kind of explained everything I’ve always wanted to say… Haha, and I’m not even a parent… 😉

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