There are a multitude of thoughts that can tangle a parent’s mind when trying to figure out what their teen might be thinking or why they behave a certain way. After all, children don’t come with a full instruction manual. Sometimes parent’s values, opinions, or ways of solving problems do not match up with your teen’s thoughts, feelings, or needs. So how can you make sure to give your child what they need? The best way to know what they need is to listen.
Below I have included some of the top things many teens wish their parents knew. This is a particularly valuable time given the stress that often accompanies the start of a new school year.
-My room is my safe place.
We all have busy lives and need a peaceful and secure place to decompress our thoughts and rest our bodies. Teens are no different. Do you get annoyed when someone barges into your room when you are trying to relax, taking a moment for yourself, or changing your clothes? It may even be your teen that interrupts the much-needed times when you’re behind closed doors, trying to escape for a few minutes from the world around you. Teens need space just as much as parents do, so give that same respect for room privacy that you would appreciate.
-I wish my parent knew that I really value their opinion of me and their love is so important.
Believe it or not, children really do see all you do for them and appreciate it. Your child gets stressed out just as much as you do. With the influx of emotions swirling, managing the confusing messages around them, and experiencing the stress of their daily lives, it is hard for children to organize it all and output it accurately. Try to be mindful and patient with your child, and always remind them how much you love them. Even if they don’t say it back outwardly, it doesn’t mean they don’t feel it inwardly. Your loving actions and words have the greatest impact on your children.
-I wish my parents would not always try to fix the situation or have an answer when I bring up a problem.
Many parents wish their children would talk to them more about what’s happening in their lives. So, when they do talk, make sure to listen! Your teen does not always need to hear your input or what you think they should do. Often, they just need you to be their sounding board so that they can come to their own conclusions. They feel safe with you, so feel honored when they choose to share and be there for support by attentively listening. You can never go wrong with asking whether they would like you just to listen or give some direct advice.
As you set out to communicate with your teen, try to be mindful and accepting of their perspectives as they set out to start this new school year.
For more ways that you can support your teen this school year, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.