As a parent understanding the issues teenagers struggle with can help everyone involved. Because of their physical and emotional changes, adolescents are often misunderstood by their parents and other adults. It can be difficult for parents to communicate with their teens, who seem more interested in hanging out with their friends than talking to adults.
Yes, they can be frustrating. But they are also the most precious things on this earth, so it’s important to know what’s going on in their heads.
It’s important for parents to understand what’s going on in their teenager’s heads, so here are some of the most important things that matter to young people today:
It’s important that kids feel that they are getting the right education for them. A good school will challenge kids to develop both academically and personally.
Not every student is suited to an academic environment, but many students thrive on being pushed to achieve highly. It is important that they understand the relevance of what they are learning, and can see the path from their classroom to a future job or career.
As teens move towards adulthood, they become more aware of how important good grades are in getting into college or finding a job. Failing to meet these expectations can lead teens to suffer from low self-esteem and depression.
Being with friends
This one might sound obvious, but it’s important for parents and other caring adults in a child’s life to understand how much time their teens spend with friends and that this time is really important to them.
Teenagers need to have time away from their family, not just so they can hang out with friends without getting shouted at for being too loud, but because spending time with friends helps them figure out who they are as individuals and where they fit into the world around them.
Teenagers need a parent who sets boundaries but also gives them freedom within those boundaries. Teens want to feel trusted by their parents; they want some responsibility and the knowledge that their parents believe in them. But they also need firm boundaries around behavior, attitudes, and expectations.
Affirmation from parents
Parents need to let their kids know that they love them, they’re proud of them, that they care about what’s going on in their lives, and that they want to help them any way they can.
Teens need more sleep than younger children — usually between nine and 10 hours per night — but they frequently don’t get anywhere close to that much sleep. Sleep deprivation affects mood, memory, and attention span, so it’s important for them (and everyone else) to get enough rest.
Teenager needs privacy
They need their own space and time away from their parents so that they can figure out who they are as a person and how they would like their life to be in the future.
Respect from parents and teachers
Teenagers want respect even more than they want to love. They may say they just want you to understand them, but what they really mean is they want you to understand them without judging them or treating them like children.
Being listened to and understood by their parents
Teenagers want their parents to listen to them respectfully without interrupting or jumping in with solutions before they’ve finished talking. They also want their parents to try to look at things from their point of view when making decisions about what’s best for the family or for the teenager individually.
This can be a problem for teens who are self-conscious about their looks. Trying to fit in with your peers can make you feel insecure at times. But most teens feel better when they learn to accept themselves and others for who they are.
A teen’s social life is more important than most adults realize. Teens often feel excluded and lonely when they don’t fit in with their peers. It can help to find a group of friends with similar interests or hobbies. That way you can have fun doing things together and create memories for the future.
Having their own money
Teens need money for all kinds of things – clothes, entertainment, food, and transportation. If you don’t have your own money, you may feel left out when your friends want to go shopping or eat out together. Some parents give their children an allowance while others want teens to earn the money they spend.