Tough Love

Shammara is a pursuing journalist who enjoys fashion and believes everyone has a purpose in life

It seems as if parents are growingly angered with teenagers because their lack of communication with them. Many parents raise their child a certain way hoping for them to grow a certain way. Every parent wants their child to come to them for advice and to seek wisdom and learn from their mistakes, but in this day and age teenagers are looking towards their peers rather than their parents. Is it that one’s peers possesses greater wisdom than a parent, or is it the level of comfort that drives this shift?

One major culprit behind the shift of influence from parent to peer is peer pressure. As a teenager, you are around your peers longer than your parents. A teenager spends on average 6 to 8 hours a day at school, unless homeschooled. Teenagers can sometimes be vicious in their approach to certain things and that includes giving advice to others. In society today, although unfortunate, a lot of teens learn from a “monkey say, monkey do” approach. They listen to what media says is right and what the “wisdom” that their friends issue out. The urge to fit in and be accepted is one main cause why teenagers lean on their friends rather than their parents. If you go to a peer and ask if you should try pot and that peer says, “yes it’s the best!” chances are a teenager would listen to their peer rather than their parent who explains that it has negative effects.

The level of comfort while discussing certain topics with their parents also plays into the shift of influence from parent to peer. In general teenagers tend to feel more comfortable around their friends than their parents. Thus, sensitive topics are excused from the household and spoken on grounds they shouldn’t be spoken. From personal experience if I ever had a situation that involved a boy I would much rather go to my friend than my mother for advice. Why you may ask? It all plays into my comfort zone and the fear of being judged.  Another common reason for the switch is because many teenagers view their parent as the “enemy” rather than someone they can confine in.

As a parent it is your job to always remain open-minded and have a comforting environment that a teenager can grow up in. If you want your teen to come to you in their time of need you have to remember to leave the door open. Sometimes all a teenager needs is a push and the reassurance that it’s okay to talk to your mom or dad about things that are bothering them or things they need advice in. As an old cliché has said before: “Mom and Dad knows best!”

Image by jena ardell on Flickr 

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  1. 9/2/11: Articles for Parents This Week | Radical Parenting - September 2, 2011

    […] Tough Love Why teens shift from seeking advice from their parents to seeking advice from their friends and what parents can do to stay in close during this time. […]

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