5 Things Parents Need To Know About Their Teens

I feel it’s always a good idea to see where teenagers are coming from, what they’re thinking, and what their concerns are.  I’m not saying that I feel they should “run the show,” but that their thoughts should be taken into considering.  With that in mind, I recently asked a 17-year-old boy to share the top five things he thought parents should know about their teens.  The following is his list, and the [ ] are my words:

1.  Teens need their space. It’s [absolutely] okay to be a part of their lives but you have to be careful because you don’t want to make it seem like you’re smothering them.   It’s okay to be involved with your teen, [and expected], but sometimes you just need to let them go off and just trust that they will do the right thing, keeping in mind that teens often have mood swings and may not want to talk to their parents; that is a part of puberty and a part of maturing. Parents should know that it does not mean that your children don’t like them, it just means that they need time to themselves.

2.  Teens want to be able to go to their parents for problems they may be facing, so as a parent you have to get ready to be open to anything .  If a teen does not feel that they can talk to their parents then their will be no relationship whatsoever [and neither party ever wants that to be the case].  You should also feel comfortable giving them advice that they need in order to live their lives the right way [that’s part of parenting and part of developing a stronger relationship.  Just be sure not to come across as “lecturing” or “preaching.”  That can cause them to shut down.  Remember that you are their guide to this life].

3.  Parents need to understand that teens are under a lot of pressure out there in the world.  They face a lot temptations and sometimes they are hard to pass up.  Always give your teen boundaries, but do not make them too strict [let the “punishment fit the crime”] because a teen does not like to be locked down.

4.  Teens need to learn responsibility and the discipline of hard work.  Make them get a job if they are not doing anything with their lives.  Having a job gives a teen the satisfactory of making their own money and getting an idea of what it is like to live in the real world.

5.  Finally, always show your teen that you love them and that you care about them.

So for all of the parents that read this, please take these things into consideration, because I am a teen myself and I know how their minds work [good luck].

Student, age 17


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