So you and your teen argue all the time huh? You’re never really sure what you’re arguing about. Even when you plan for the conversation to be peaceful – you always end up yelling! I get it and I hear you! You want to understand your teen, but half the time you don’t even know what they’re talking about with all this “hair on fleek” #YOLO and hitting the quan. First of all, who is Quan? Why does everyone want to hit him? And depending on what you believe – you might live more than once!
OK! OK! For my younger parents who understand all the lingo – you get it, but you know your kid doesn’t necessarily see you as “cool” no matter how many friends say you are. You just want to know how to communicate with your teen. Or you just want someone you trust that could convey the right message to your teen. I had the pleasure of interviewing a couple of teens to get an honest opinion on what teens wish their parents knew about them.
Before you read it and decide it’s not your teen’s thought process, I would advise you to be objective! The goal here is to learn straight “from the horse’s mouth” how to improve your relationship. If you get to the end and don’t think it sounds anything like your child, at the very least I would encourage a conversation! Without further ado, the secret life of a teen…
Seida @ FTHC: How old are you?
Teen 1: I am 19 years old
Teen 2: 17 years old
Seida @ FTHC: How many siblings do you have? Are you the oldest, youngest, middle or...?
Teen 1: 5 brothers and two sisters, I am the second oldest
Teen 2: I have 2 sisters and 1 brother. I am the second oldest child.
Seida @ FTHC: Do you have a mental health diagnosis?
Teen 1: I have been diagnosed with manic depression.
Teen 2: No.
Seida @ FTHC: What is the biggest reason you argue with your parents?
Teen 1: The main reason I argue with my parent is chores.
Teen 2: Freedom! I just want to be free to hang out with my friends when I want to. I know I can’t do everything, but it feels like I have more restrictions than normal teens. I also wish my parents would treat me like I’m mature. They try to hide a lot of things from us (my siblings), but we know more than we think they do. They just never give us a chance to show how much we know and we will make the right decisions, because they jump down our throat right away. It’s so frustrating! They just need to trust that they are raising good kids.
Seida @ FTHC: What do you wish your parents knew about you?
Teen 1: Not sure…
Teen 2: I wish my parents knew that respecting me means trusting me. It’s weird and awkward talking to them, because they always go ham (teenage expression for yelling, acting off impulses, flying off the handle, etc.) no matter what you say. Even if you want to tell them a good ending to a situation that had a bad start. They would never be proud, because I can never get to the end of my story. So I just don’t talk at all. It doesn’t matter what I say anyway.
Seida @ FTHC: What do you wish your parents would do when you're upset?
Teen 1: I would absolutely love to not be questioned when I'm upset, just to be left alone.
Teen 2: I wish they would give me time to go in my room and listen to music WITHOUT talking to me or yelling at me. They always feel they have to say something to me, because they’re grown.
Seida @ FTHC: When you make a mistake?
Teen 1: When I've made a mistake, use constructive criticism don’t just complain.
Teen 2: I wish they would talk to me about it without going ham! Nine times out of ten I already know I messed up and it’s stupid when they yell at you for something you already know you did wrong.
Seida @ FTHC: When you're scared?
Teen 1: When I'm scared reassure me that I'm ok.
Teen 2: Understand that I’m scared. I won’t always say I’m scared, because I’m supposed to be mature and strong. But sometimes I need them to be my parents and comfort me.
Seida @ FTHC: What are your top 3 tips you would give to parents who have a child like/similar to you?
Teen 1: 1) No child likes to be questioned continuously especially if they're having a bad day. 2)"It's not what you say it's how you say it"... And who you say it to. 3) Have personal days with your child, doing something they/you both enjoy and talk to them, but mostly just have fun with them
Teen 2: 1. Try not to get frustrated when your child makes a mistake 2. If you have an older teen, show them respect by talking to them – not going ham 3. Don’t just talk to me when I’m in trouble.
Tomorrow’s post: Silence of the Lambs: How to Maximize Communication With Your Teen