4 Things Every Teen Wants Their Parents to Know
Source: Vanessa Van Petten of Radical Parenting.com
1. Don’t Ask ‘Answer-Questions’
An Answer-Question is a question that already has the answer in it. For example, moms love to ask, “Don’t you think that girl Sheila is mean?” or, “Do you think you should do something about that very important extra-credit assignment?” Sometimes Answer-Questions drive us crazy because it makes us feel like our parents don’t think we know what to do, or belittle our opinions.
2. Comparing Us Hurts More Than You Think
Whenever a parent starts a sentence with, “Why can’t you be more like…” teens automatically cringe. Fill in the blank with perfect best friend, older sibling or a younger, more obedient version of Mom. Many parents don’t realize that comparing us to others makes us feel bad about ourselves and sends us the message that we should be less like ourselves and more like someone else–never a good feeling.
3. The Issues Are the Same, the Circumstances Are Different
We know that every parent was a teenager once–although it is sometimes hard to believe it. Even though all teenagers have some of the same issues, like dating, curfew, pressure at school and bullying, we want parents to know that the circumstances are different. Colleges are more competitive and technologies like Facebook and texting add a new layer of complication to teen relationships. Please don’t assume things are the same as they were when you were a teenager and talk to us about what is different.
4. Risk Is Tempting
Risk is much more appealing to us and this is backed by science. Researchers at University of Texas found that there are parts of the teen brain that are more tempted to take risks. Teenagers want their parents to know this so that parents can encourage positive risk-taking. Extreme sports, running for student government, going to a theme park these are all positive adrenaline producing activities that scratch that risk itch.
For more tips, check out Vanessa Van Petten’s new book: Do I Get My Allowance Before or After I’m Grounded!