Have you ever stared blankly at your teenager wondering what the heck they just said? Do you wonder why they do and say the things they do? Then odds are you need to look into the mind of a teenager and try to understand them better. You think you understand them because yes, you were one once upon a time, but once you have moved on from that stage it’s hard going back. Even though times are changing, new trends are setting and styles come and go, teenagers still have the same mindset that they did 20 years ago. There are three things that will guide you on your path to understanding your teen a little better.
First, no matter what you think, we don’t hate adults. We actually like their company and there are many that we look up to. Just because your not the first person your teenager chooses to hang out with doesn’t mean that they don’t like you. Sure, we have different interests and opinions than adults but it doesn’t mean that we resent you or don’t enjoy your company. I know it may seem intimidating but try spending quality time with your teen; it could make your relationship grow stronger in ways you didn’t know was possible.
Second, in most cases, the stricter and more overbearing you are on your teen, the more likely they are to resist your authority. Teens who grow up in strict households have to lie and sneak more than households that allow a little more breathing room. The more we have to lie and sneak the better we get at it. If you allow them to have more privileges and opportunities with friends they won’t rebel and resist your authority as much.
Third, we are not kids, but not adults either. You shouldn’t treat your teen like a child by helping them with things they could take care of on their own or by doing everything for them. At this age we start learning how to do things on our own so babying your teen won’t help them. You shouldn’t treat us like adults either though. We may want all of the freedom in the world but truth is, were not ready for it. We still need help with some things and that is where you come in. You should be there to guide your teen in the right direction but don’t tell them the exact destination. Teens want to feel that you are there for them to help them so don’t let them go so fast.
Overall, these three things should help you comprehend the foreign mind of your teenager a little better. Though we often can be in bad moods and say things we don’t mean, we love you no matter what happens. Every teen wants to be close to their parents they just don’t know how to start. It is as intimidating to them as it is to you. So next time, think about that and they will meet you half way.
Photo: Sharon Pruitt from Flickr