As a facilitator and a mentor, I get to speak to the most interesting minds of all: the teens! Conversations with them are always interesting. Strangely though, they are guarded with those they love the most, however, that should not stop anyone from knowing what’s going on in their minds. Here’s a compilation of things that teens wish their parents would know about them.
Dear parents, We want you to know that…
* Times have changed: You keep telling us about what you did when you were our age, but everything is so different now. We just can’t relate to that. So, please don’t expect us to behave the way you did at our age. We have to move with the times.
* We need help to manage the stress and pressures in our lives, even if we show that we are very independent and capable. Do check in on us from time to time.
* Give us space to be ourselves. We do need help sometimes, but that does not mean that we need constant monitoring.
* Trust us and give us few responsibilities. We might fail at times, but we will try real hard to stand up to your expectations.
* Even “good” kids act out every once in awhile. That does not mean that we have turned “bad” now.
* We need to unwind. Please allow us some personal time to do whatever we wish to, or to ‘do nothing’ if that’s how we unwind.
* We want you, our parents, to be proud of us and accept us for who we are. Please don’t compare us to others.
* We hate to see you fight. It shakes our faith and scares us a lot.
* We do care what you think of us. Even if our peers influence us, what you think of us, matter a great deal to us. Sometimes, even more than our friends (though we may not show this to you).
* Please understand that the internet plays an important and positive role in our lives. It’s not always a bad influence.
* We will make mistakes – but you can guide us through this.
* It’s hard to fit in with people and that’s why we act out sometimes.
* We have a lot going on at school, sometimes more than you realise.
* Sometimes we can’t express our feelings when we are hurt or upset, and that’s why we find ways to release our anxiety (sometimes in ways that you do not approve).
* We love you. We may pull away so that we can establish our own identity, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t love you.
(This is a teenspeak section. For mentoring enquires, contact firstname.lastname@example.org)