COMMENTARY 889.2: Advice About Teens

by Michael Josephson on July 21, 2014

in Parenting, Family

Here are three suggestions for the parents of young teens, all learned through my own mistakes:

First, remember, with emerging demands for independence, worries about peer acceptance, pressures of school and extra-curricular activities and a continuous search for self-identity, adolescents are on a physical and emotional roller coaster. Like every generation before them (including yours), young teens are often arrogant and over-confident about their knowledge and your ignorance, and deeply insecure about most other things. They will make mistakes, behave badly and be thoroughly self-absorbed. Though they want you to be less involved in their lives, they actually need you more. And despite continuous battles, if you’re open, you will experience glorious moments both of you will cherish all your lives.

Second, be firm but choose your battles carefully. Don’t back down when you are dealing with an important principle but don’t make every issue a hill you’re willing to die on. Be willing to lose occasionally and even give in graciously.

Third, don’t belittle or underestimate the importance of their feelings. It may seem like they are over-reacting, but teens feel emotions like embarrassment, loneliness, insecurity, frustration and love truly and intensely. It’s horribly disrespectful to minimize or discount these feelings with useless advice like, “you’ll get over it,” or “everyone feels that way.” Nor is it helpful to dismiss or invalidate an emotion by saying, “You shouldn’t feel that way.”

Teens can be hard to love, but be patient. Soon they will be the parents of your grandchildren.

This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Brenda July 19, 2013 at 5:43 pm

I love your last line here!

Reply

Jim Hallihan July 25, 2014 at 7:31 pm

It is also important to have your children be responsible for their actions or inactions Parents should not come to their rescue whether it be in sports or academics. Kids need to learn how to deal with their problems and speak for themseves to coaches and teachers. We don’t need any more hovering parents making excuses for misbehavior or poor performances of their chidren or they won’t learn personal accountability and consequences for their actions. This can lead to bigger problems later in life.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: