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Things Parents Don't Understand About Teenagers.

Updated on July 18, 2011

Parents Just Don't Understand

As a teenager, I can pretty much fill you in on why your adolescent isn't behaving. More likely than not, it's because you aren't thinking the way they are. Let me tell you how to understand you child better in 5 ways.

5. Don't try to be their friend

Face it - your child doesn't want to be your friend. While it might be nice to have a friend like parent, most of the time it just makes us feel awkward. We don't want you borrowing our clothes, trying to get the 411 on our lives, or god forbid trying to ask us about our love lives. No, we don't want to tell you if we've had our first kiss. No, we're not going to tell you how much of a skank that one girl is. Teenagers are touchy, when a parent is trying to get in touch with us we see it as them trying to get some information on our personal lives.

4. Try to understand that it's okay to let them enjoy their youth

Some parents smother their children and don't let them have a good time in High School because they're so worried they will become a teenage parent, into drugs or drinking, or just plain out wild. It's not bad to love your child and want them to be safe don't get me wrong, but it's okay to let your child date. It's okay to allow your child to go out with their friends. Most importantly, it's okay to let your child do the things they want too within reason. Maybe instead of banning dating during High School all together, let them go on dates so as long as you've met their suitor. If you're worried about your child getting into the wrong crowd, make sure you have their friends parents number and that your child checks in every so often while they're out. You should issue a curfew too, but please - if they're sixteen years of age and older don't make it 9 o'clock. At least be reasonable!

3. If your child breaks the rules, ground them, but be leniant

It's okay to ground your child if they get bad grades, break curfew, back talk, or do any other unacceptable behavior. While I agree children should have consequences, I also feel the punishment should be set according to what they did. If a child back talks, it's not fair to ground them for five months, two weeks should be sufficient. However, if the child fails several classes, or you catch them drinking/smoking that is grounds for a three to five month punishment.

2. Non-Stop screaming at a child won't get you anywhere

From my personal experience, when my parents start to scream I tune them right out. It's not because i'm an awful child who deserves to go to Juvi, it's actually natural instinct! When someone starts to yell, a human will usually NOT listen to what they say. It basically goes in one ear and straight out the other. I find that when my parents address me in a firm, but understanding tone I am more likely to stay calm AND do what they say as well.

1. Do not invade their privacy!

If you allow your child to have a Facebook page or whatever else, that means you trust them. Do not snoop on their social sites, do not go through their cell phones, and if they have a diary do not read it! That is personal stuff, how would you feel if your child was picking up the other line of the house phone and snooped in on your personal conversations? What if they opened your mail? You wouldn't like that very much would you? By allowing a child to have a social networking site, or a cell phone you need to understand what they do with it is private. Same goes for the diary, that's a normal thing that most adolescents should have and you have absolutely no business reading it.

Well, that's pretty much it. I hope I helped, because I know a lot of parents do most of the above I stated. Side note- i'm not trying to change parenting methods these are just suggestions so you and your teen can have a healthy, close relationship.


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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      please,im not going to say my age or whatever but seriously parents need to chill out sometimes its like im just sitten there and my jerk step mom asks me to explain what happened between my brother and i.we preveously fought and i try to explain and she said shut up stop getting an attitude she calls me a bitch and mistreats me i wont to kill myself! really theres a knife right in front of me im thinking about it.

    • jessnicbell profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      I love the fact that you seem to have such an open, loving and healthy relationship with your kids Virginia! That's awesome, props to you. I do not think parents are the enemy, quite the contrary. I have thought that during the earlier teen years, but I've grown to see that parents only want the best for their child. Unfortunately, most teens thinks parents just always want to be right and that's why it's vital to learn how to communicate with them. To Anaya, I agree. That was the point of this article, to try and avoid those big blow ups from happening. In my mind, a family can only have so many huge arguments. They happen, whether you want them to or not. However, by avoiding the unnecessary ones through better communication you become stronger as a whole. (:

    • Anaya M. Baker profile image

      Anaya M. Baker 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      VirginiaLynne, it sounds like you have a great relationship with your teens. I wish I'd been lucky enough to have the same with my parents when I was younger. However, I think the situations Jessnicbell is describing are unfortunately more common than not. Despite our best intentions, sometimes even the best parents and kids find themselves locked into a power struggle that has simply stalemated. Lets face it, (and no offense Jessnicbell) teens can be really, really frustrating. There's a lot going on during these years that can often push parents to the limit. Sure, no parent wants to go into things screaming, yelling, invading privacy, and throwing down the hammer for minor offenses, but when a confrontational dynamic arises, its easy for power struggles to escalate. Just my two cents :)

    • VirginiaLynne profile image

      Virginia Kearney 

      9 years ago from United States

      I'm a parent of two teens and I can't imagine having the sort of confrontive relationship you describe between teens and parents. My kids talk with my husband and me about everything. When we don't agree about something, we work it out. Just the same way that my husband and I work out disagreements. People have to compromise to get along and they need to talk with one another until they understand the other person's point of view. You make it sound like Parents are the enemy. Parents love you and friends don't always care as much as you may think.


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