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To EspianScrolls: How should adults deal with teenagers to avoid the so-called generation gap

Updated on January 8, 2009

Respect is Key To Getting Along With All People

Respect is the key. Many times adults are overwhelmed by worries; bills, their job, their health, their kids, and so many other things that the worries of a child or teenager don't seem to be important. So, when their teen seems upset because they're having a bad hair day or their best friend isn't talking to them, they don't take them seriously. This in turn makes the teen feel like their feelings aren't being respected or validated. In turn, a teen can't possibly understand what it feels like to be an adult with an overdue mortgage or a dead-end job, and adults usually don't want to worry their kids about such things, so the adult comes across as being irritable or uninterested.

The best way to handle communication between adults and teens is to take each others' feelings seriously and listen to each other. Often teen girls are accused of being 'over emotional' or adults say, "she's just trying to get attention." Well, this may be true, so why not give her more attention when she's acting appropriately? Sometimes teens shut down because they are so overwhelmed by their intensely fluctuation emotions they can't even explain how their feeling themselves. So, adults, take it slow and give your kids a chance to open up. Standing with your hands on your hips and taking a frustrated or "I'm busy" attitude is not going to help at all.

Teens, your parents want to talk with you, but here's some advise. Don't pounce on your Mom or Dad the minute they walk in the door after a hard day's work. Give them a little time to decompress from their worries at work and the commute home - both may have them in a foul mood and demanding that you be allowed to go to a quesionable party or to have the car keys will most likely not get you the answer you hope for.

Take an interest in your parent's interests too. Adults are people with feelings and if you're constantly asking for stuff or complaining about having to do the dishes, they start to feel frustrated and resentful. If your Mom says she has a headache, offer a little support and sympathy instead of rolling your eyes. Chances are she really does have a headache, she's not just trying to avoid you.

Adults, try to realize that getting an unexpected low grade on a test or term paper can really mess up a kids day and they need sympathy and support, not a lecture. Parents are not just supposed to be disciplinarians, although that's important too, you're supposed to be a helper and a guide.

Try a new, kinder approach on both sides and you'll both be happier.


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