3 Things You Should Know About Teenagers

Catelyn is a 16 year old from San Diego, CA. She likes to dance and her favorite subject is English because she likes to write.

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

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One Response to “3 Things You Should Know About Teenagers”

  1. Debbie
    July 13, 2011 at 8:34 pm #

    Hi Catelyn,
    I enjoyed reading your article. I have to say, that you write so well! I think you have a very bright career ahead of you. I am the single working Mom of 2 teenage boys, 16 & 14, so I really appreciate your feedback. I think it’s even more challenging with boys because they really DON’T want to be with me. I try my best not to take it personally and I know that they need their space and I respect that.
    When they were younger, we spent a lot of time together reading, playing games, doing homework, etc. They are both straight A students and I am very proud of both of them. I often get frutrated because they don’t ever seem to want to do anything??? I asked them if they want to go to a movie? No. Do you want to go to the park? No. How was school today? Boring. What did you do today? Nothing? Why do you keep asking so many questions??? I don’t care don’t keep asking me. Blah, blah, blah….it’s difficult. I am also very affectionate and give them hugs 1-2 times a day only at home (Never in public), and they tolerate it, but do not seem thrilled. They of course love video games, TV, etc. but prefer to hang out with each other and not me. At dinner, they will often have conversations between the 2 of them and completely leave me out. When I try to talk to them or make a comment they both look at me like, “Who asked you??” I tell myself it’s not personal but it is very difficult. Sometimes, they will watch a Netflix movie with me or a baseball game on TV, but that’s about it. I have them help with some chores around the house, and although they aren’t thrilled, they will do them. They are both good boys. I encourage them to go outside, they really do want to, I encourage them to have their friends over, and they will, but not often. Their Dad and I have shared custody of them, and I think they would rather be with their Dad. This is hard, but I continue to be supportive, loving and am always here if they need me.

    Do you have any good ideas of things that my sons may want to do together as a family that wouldn’t offend them?

    Thank you for your article and insight Catelyn.

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