- Wondering if your friends would still be your friends the next day?
- Wondering why you acted the way you did?
- Feeling like your brain and your body were not co-operating?
- Experiencing unusual ‘feelings’ that seemed to come from nowhere?
- Your moods changing and feeling like you had no control over your emotions?
- The pressure placed on you to have a solid career plan and deciding what to do with yourself for the rest of your life? (Or wondering if there would be a nuclear war before you became an adult, thus why worry about work.)
- Not wanting your parents to find out something you had done?
- Wanting to be noticed, but also wishing you were invisible?
- Wanting to always fit in and not be standing out, but desperately wanting to win or be great at something?
- Feeling that everyone was looking at your pimples or your clothes?
- Think whatever you say is wrong, and how you say it comes out wrong?
- Desperately wanting independence?
- Feeling incapable?
- Feeling lonely and that no-one understands?
- Feeling frightened?
- Desperately wanting to be valued and understand?
- Unsure of group acceptance and desperately seeking it?
- Feeling that no-one was in your corner?
- Feeling your parents were too old and wouldn’t understand?
- Angry that your parents trusted other adults instead of you, and your version of the story?
- Wanting your parents to say no sometimes so that you didn’t have to do something you didn’t want to do but didn’t want to admit to anyone?
- Wanting your parent to spend some time with you, listening to you and asking about your thoughts and feelings when you were ready to share?
- Think your parents didn’t know anything?
Stop for a moment and relive a few memories of your teenage years.
Reflect on your teens.
Your teens desperately seek your love and acceptance. Messages bombard them every minute through social media that they are not enough. That their life is boring and everyone else is living a fantastic, glamorous life.
As parents, we can sometimes think it is hard for us as we parent teens. But it is hard for our teens. They also have fluctuating hormone and chemical levels surging through their body, finding changes in their body that they have no control over. They can feel that what they look like, the clothes they wear, their hairstyle and makeup will determine their acceptance.
What your teenager needs from you as the parent:
- To love me unconditionally, even if sometimes you are finding it hard to like me.
- To help me feel like I am accepted and belong, even when you feel embarrassed by me.
- To realise that your self-esteem is not based on my behaviour, grades, successes etc.
- To believe in me and realise that you mucked up as a teenager, but you are okay now.
- To have someone in ‘my corner’ and encourage me.
- To be the adult and act lovingly and not disrespect me or say something you will regret even when your ‘buttons are pushed’.
- To control your feelings.
- To deal with your issues and not project them on to me.
- To set boundaries and keep them.
- To let me deal with the consequences of my actions.
- To guide me, even when I act like I resent that guidance.
- To trust me, but also to make me earn that trust.
- To be proud of me, even when I’m ashamed of myself.
- To not be critical of me (or my messy bedroom, or my music taste as I take that as a reflection of me).
- To keep your mouth shut and wait.
- To see me and hear me and communicate that I am important and matter.
- To not take to heart what I say to you that hurts you.
- To remember that I care what you think of me more than I care what anyone else thinks of me, even if what I say is contrary to that.
- To remember that you matter to me even when I want to distance from you in public.
- To listen and not judge.
- To keep persevering even when I don’t respond.
- To remember that I need you.
- To remember that I love you.
Wow – parents – let’s step up to the plate.
Let’s love our teenagers and show them we are there for them.
Who will join me?
Let’s enjoy these teenage years together!!