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Hey kid! Let us sit down and talk a bit. I need your advice. How to talk with a teen.

Updated on June 14, 2014

Life is good together

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Hey kid. You are not doing it right. You have issues.

Hey kid. You are not doing it right. You have issues.

“Oops I meant that about me, what I meant was; “come straighten me out, I am doing something wrong and need your advice.”

Kid look at me, I am old, wrinkled and by your standards ugly as a bug. (note that kid here is wrongful –it really means a young Billy goat, but I say like kii’d, and it works for me – got it from a movie, Butch Cassdy and the Sundance kid, it works and more about that later)

You see I am older and the youngster is younger. That is just a natural fact. “Come listen and/or chat for a bit. Talk to me about you. So that I can get over me.”

Just toss yourself into the world that I live in. If a child does wrong that is on me. Sometimes that is hard to take. Sometimes it just does not fit right. But there we are. I am the adult. If the child is doing something wrong then so am I. It might sound crazy but the best advice to straighten it out is from the child. I wish I could give you some sage wisdom on that but in fact it “just is”.

Roses are red .......

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Lighten up a little.

If you have a significant impact in someone’s life and that life is not doing so well, well you ought to ask that life what you are doing wrong. Very logical. Very obvious. And very much not done. You have to come to realize that children are smart. Just not experienced. Well sometimes that is a good thing. Experience is had from others and dealings with others. The child is unique. So applying all your experience to them is good but fails to take into consideration them as unique persons that have their own ideas.

Strange isn’t it. Let me tell you a story about right here and right now. I published a bad forum. Just plain bad. I did it to get attention. I got it. Now I suppose that is childish. I criticized fictional people. I mean obviously fictional people. The heat came down. Within hours I got five new followers and my views tripled. We have to get over it because that is just life. My point is that I wanted attention so I “acted out”. Now the adults around me should have seen this and sat down with me and got me on track. Fair enough that they did not. They make more money from me acting out as is clear from our joint revenues.

But we do not have that call regarding children. Our only job is their welfare. And sometimes it is best for that welfare that they have calm important impact on how they are treated.

Did you ever tell them they are your hero?

Love needs time, your time.

Empowerment? Enabling? Or just plain of good respect?

Sometimes we are wise to let a child criticize us. I mean by that, to really sit down and listen to what they would do if they were you. And then discuss it. I think I was 26 or so when I sat down with my eldest after she had gotten very mad at me. I suppose she would have been around 3.5 years old. And then a great realization struck me. My daughter was smarter than I was. She is nearing 30 and that assessment has proven true. Oh she still tells me I am the smartest “man” she has ever known. Get that point?

In fact I remember that discussion. She did not want to go to church school anymore she wanted to go to Montessori school. Her reason was very clear. She could walk to that school. I agreed and a couple of Cum Laude’s later she proved it was a good choice. And now she is one of those people that are in politics because it is a good public service to give back.

Have you learned a lesson from a child lately?

Do not miss out. Will you talk to a teenager today?

See results

Do not go all crazy here.

Part of those conversations has to be that you explain that you are the boss. End of story. For me, I leave off the all the pressure and worry that has with it. There will be plenty of time for any child to learn that later.

My blocks are now my son's blocks

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Now, "how to talk to a teenager"

With respect! No I am not suggesting that they become your equal. I am not my bosses equal but he and she treat me with respect. I am not any God’s equal yet I feel God treats me with respect.

It is ok to sometimes say “Because I said so” and have it stick. But that requires that the teenager respects you and that must be a two way street. Believe it or not, my wife says that to me. And it is a great relief. It means I do not have to worry over the right and wrong of a decision. It has been made for me by someone I trust. Try to relate that truth to a child. And I find the best way to do that with a teenager is to make them make some hard decisions by themselves. Life is not always easy. But we should be grateful when someone makes it a bit more easy. Guess what, teenagers get that if you put it that way.

Now about the "me" part.

Teenagers are super cool. Even “bad” ones. As a teenager I thought of myself as a bad dude. I even had a girlfriend who said she loved me because I was so bad. She ruined it for me. And along with a big brother and a teacher I learned to find out that I was really a good guy. My internal dialogue did not tell me so. It took older people sitting down and actually talking with me to get me to understand that I was not bad but actually really a good guy.

That experience stuck with me. My gratitude for being talked to as a person who was worthy actually changed my vision of myself into someone who was worthy.

Now I take the time to talk with teens. I like them very much. They seem to like me. I learn a lot from them and am told they learn a lot from me. I must admit they are generally more judgmental than adults. And funny thing about that is that they are not generally as happy as adults. They just have not yet adjusted to the craziness of this world and are still trying to make sense of things that do not make sense. That seems to bother them. Perhaps it should bother us too.

Hey punk do not steal my stuff

This article was written by Eric Dierker. I reserve all rights to this article and desire no duplication without attribution. On the other hand feel free to share the content just let folks know where it came from. Copying it and claiming it as your own would be stupid and subject you to my legal harassment of you. Besides if someone asked you what it meant you would not know so yes it is copyright protected as original work by me. Just leave a comment to ask to use it elsewhere and please share it.

To read more by this fascinating author visit www.thedierkerblog.com, Eric Dierker on Facebook and Pinterest and my sweet blog resipsaloquitor on google blogs

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    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks much Reynold. I am glad to meet you and have you visit. My poor children ;-)

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 2 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      Yep--we are all very much like our parents. Well done and great advice on haw to handle it.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Akriti, you lift me up. Thank you for taking the time to read and leaving me a note. It is kind gestures such as yours that make this world a very special place.

    • Akriti Mattu profile image

      Akriti Mattu 2 years ago from Shimla, India

      Your posts are so good. I've read a few. Will read more later. :)

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you for that. I will post another.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Eric, I inadvertently erased your comment of today on the Testimony/Conversion question. Please re-post it there. It deserved to be there and I was just trying to say so, not erase it.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you for reading and giving me that really swell positive affirmation. Even big old tough guys like me need them.

    • passionate77 profile image

      passionate77 3 years ago

      superb and very interesting post ericdierker, you touched an unusual topic here yet threw light on all the details relevant to the topic. wonderful job, thanks for sharing.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Wonderful comment. "discouragement wasteland" is so meaningful. We are only done doing better if we say we are done. Peace be with you.

      e

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Dear Eric,

      I know why the teenagers love you so much, is because you take time to listen to them and not put them down, and allow them to state their mind.

      That is why they respect you. When we are constantly pointing out all the things our children do wrong, it produces what is referred to today as the discouragement wasteland. All of us need to remember to point out what is good about them instead of always just focusing on what they did wrong.

      Excellent write. Up and more and sharing.

      Hugs and love,

      Faith Reaper

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Jodah I assume your center with them is our earth. That is so cool and real and everlasting. My elder son and now my youngest think of me through our hikes - very good. We share earth's blessings.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Excellent advice Eric, I have 3 sons and 1 daughter, and I am constantly learning from them....some good, some bad.....but that's part of the journey, right?

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you my friend.

    • My Cook Book profile image

      Dil Vil 3 years ago from India

      So good hub, interesting read really. Thank you for the same my friend.

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 3 years ago from Isle of Man

      An excellent and insightful article which every parent and teacher would benefit from reading. This is being shared on my Educare Facebook Page and I look forward to reading more from you now that you have my attention. Thank you.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Brian it is a leap of faith. That idea of respecting someone who has not earned it. But in that fine moment of vulnerability we let lose ourselves and others know it. There is a millisecond of trust from which we can grow from.

      (oops sorry about that -- I started waxing on ;-)

    • Brian Prickril profile image

      Brian Prickril 3 years ago from Savannah, GA

      Interesting angle, Eric. The key word here is probably "respect". I have learned much from people of every color, class, and solvency when I simply treated them with respect and understood that I am no better than anyone. Thanks for sharing.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Excellent point Grace in us. My teenagers now those I teach. I surely do love them.

    • profile image

      graceinus 3 years ago from those of the Ekklesia

      Eric- As parents we have the right to demand respect from our children. However, I have learned over the years that earning respect of my children resulted in their respect for my wife and I. Of course we love our children, but if we earn each others respect it helps when we need to discuss life's issue. All my children are full grown now and have been for sometime now. It is nice knowing that I can still call on them share my thoughts and concerns with my children as they still can with me. You are right, when we treat are kids with respect while their young. They won't mind showing respect for us while we continue to grow old.

      Great Hub Eric. Voted up.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hey Bill, great hub this morning. If anyone even reads this get out of here and go read: https://hubpages.com/literature/How-To-Write-With-...

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, my son is no longer a teenager, but there is no doubt that I learn from him. How could I not? He's just like me. LOL

      Have a great day buddy and thanks for the words of wisdom.