Dear Teens, Your Parents Just Might Have the Best Advice After All

I know sometimes you don’t think your parents really understand you. I know you feel they are too old to really get what your life is like these days.

When they try to give you advice starting with, “When I was your age,” you cringe because you believe anything that starts with that is NOT applicable to your life. And in some ways, you might be right. Back when your parents were your age, things were very different than they are now. It’s a whole new world you are growing up in and how could anything they went through a long time ago, compare to what you are going through now?

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Parents have been through many of the things their teens are facing now. (Twenty20 @masterone)

Well, here’s the thing…

Lots of the issues you might be having, and many of the complicated challenges you may be experiencing, and most of the dilemmas you might be facing, are actually things they once experienced too.

Like all the drama that erupts with your friends and how you’re always trying to keep up and fit into those social circles that mean everything to you.

Like all things boys or all things girls and dating and rumors and wondering who’s “talking to” who.

Like feeling pressure to do things you don’t want to do and always worrying about what people think of you.

Then there is the pressure you face with academics and the feeling of being overwhelmed trying to keep up your grades, along with your sports or other extracurricular activities you might be involved in.

Some days I bet you feel like the load is just too heavy to carry and you wish you had someone to talk to about it all. Someone who could listen and help you sort through all these tough situations and complicated decisions you are trying to muddle through.

 Talking with your parents can help.

Because your parents went through it all too.

You see, growing up has always included difficult growing pains. Your parents have been through more than you know. They’ve done the hard time of surviving their own turbulent teen years.

Your parents endured the anguish of trying to figure out who they were in a world that often pushes you to be someone you’re not. This is not new. Being a teen is full of many hard things. They know this well. They worried about what you worry about and they struggled with many of the things you struggle with, because many of the most challenging parts of growing up don’t change.

Your parents had their own fears, their own doubts, their own insecurities about everything they were thinking or feeling or doing when they were your age. They struggled with their schoolwork and worried about their grades. They wondered if they were good enough, smart enough, good looking enough, athletic enough, popular enough, etc., in every aspect of their lives.

They felt the need to fit in and be included, while they also experienced the hurt of being rejected and betrayed. They had their share of battles with their own parents. They did foolish things, made awful choices, and fumbled down that agonizing road of learning to figure it all out- with a good dose of failure too.

And the best part about that is they might share some of their own experiences that will help you feel heard and validated, supported and not so alone.

Don’t think they are so far removed from their younger years that they won’t remember all those details from waaay back when. They will. They do because those years were H.A.R.D. And naturally, we always remember hard things.

So, give them a chance when they ask how things are going. Reach out to them when you really need to talk to someone about what you are going through. I promise there’s not much that will surprise them. They were around allthethings when they were your age. Sure, there may be some different pressures you face today, there may be some issues that are new to your generation, but they want you to teach them about it.

They want, more than anything, to help you through this season of your life. They would love to listen to you, encourage you, and counsel you as best they can. They love you no matter what and will continue to love you through it all. Let them into your life because there is no one who loves you more.

And here’s the best part about this:

Your parents might have some really good advice for you. I’m guessing what’s going on with you might need some sorting through with unconditional love immersed in wisdom from an experienced traveler who’s been down that road. So why do it all without the presence of someone you can trust who would do just about anything for you?

Believe it or not, your parents know you better than you think and they can help you more than you know.

Give them a chance, okay? 

Talk to them. I promise you’ll feel a whole lot better when you do.

You’ll Also Love Reading:

Sometimes Our Teens Need to Just Be Held and Have a Good Cry

Grown and Flown: How to Support Your Teen, Stay Close as a Family, and Raise Independent Adults – best-selling guide for parents of teens!

Christine Carter writes at TheMomCafe.com, where she hopes to encourage mothers everywhere through her humor, inspiration, and faith. You can also find her work on Your Teen for Parents, Moms of Tweens and Teens, Parenting Teens and Tweens, Scary Mommy, Motherly, For Every Mom, Grown and Flown, and Her View from Home. She is the author of “Help and Hope While You’re Healing: A woman’s guide toward wellness while recovering from injury, surgery, or illness.” And “Follow Jesus: A Christian Teen’s Guide to Navigating the Online World.” Both sold on Amazon.

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