Teenagers may as well be speaking a different language. And if you count their trendy lingo, acronyms, and internet slang they actually might be! Parents across the world are often stumped by their teenager’s communication (or lack thereof). They don’t want to talk, or at least not to you. They want to talk about everything YOU are doing wrong, but nothing about their own lives. You might get them to open up for a second, but soon the walls are up and they’re done. As a parent you are probably concerned about your teenager, wondering what is going on inside their head. Even if you ask them, they may not give you a direct, honest answer. But there are still some basic facts teens wish they could tell you.
5 Things Your Teen Wants to Tell You
- “I’m not a child!” Actually, your teen might have said this to you on a number of occasions. But did you really HEAR it? What your teen is trying to say is that they feel you don’t see them as an individual capable of making their own choices. Your teen wants you to know that they don’t want to be controlled. They don’t want to feel like their parents are running their entire life. Now, they aren’t adults yet, which makes it hard for some parents. But if they’re ever going to become fully functioning adults they need some freedom and respect now.
- “Being a teenager is hard.” Sometimes, it’s just tough, Mom. What was high school like for you? Chances are it wasn’t so smooth. Do you recall the stressful balancing act that was being a teenager? They have school, friends, romantic interests, family obligations, extracurriculars, impending college and career decisions, all on top of their puberty-stricken body! Sometimes your teenager just wants you to acknowledge their struggle. Sometimes your teenager just needs to be cut a little slack. If you feel your teenager is struggling with more than just the regular teen problems, perhaps depression or anxiety, you can find resources to help them.
- “Stop lecturing me!” It sounds crazy, but it’s actually a good thing for your teen to make some mistakes. You need to trust that they’ll learn from them. Talk to them about their mistakes, create natural consequences, and then step away. Continuing to lecture and remind them of their mistakes will only make matters worse.
- “I can do it.” It doesn’t make you a bad parent to want to protect your teenager. You love them; you’d do anything for them. But sometimes it can feel to your teen that you don’t think they can handle anything. When you swoop in to fix their problems or control their life, instead of feeling loved and protected they will feel like you don’t think they have what it takes. Do your best to stand back and let your teen face their challenges head on. Instill in them a sense of confidence that you know they can do it.
- “Let me be me.” Teens often express frustration when their parents compliment others or try to influence them to try certain activities or join particular groups. It can be confusing for parents, but essentially it means your teen feels his or her identity is being threatened. They want to feel like they can be who they want to be, not just who YOU want them to be.
Raising a teenager will never be easy, but you can raise a healthy, happy teenager with some work. If you feel you or your teen need some extra help in navigating the waters of adolescence you can find help. Listen to your teenager, cut them some slack, and stand close by with love and support.