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Top 5 things your teen wants to hear from YOU!

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Being a website that has a high population of teen readers, we have seen many characteristics and teen issues that come up.  From trying to fit in, to  peer pressure, to learning what they want in life, the average teen, has  many struggles. One of their biggest complaints is that they feel that their parents do not understand what they are going through. Although, parents may have a sense of what teen's are experiencing (because they have already experienced being a teen), a lot of parents can get into the routine of not fully empathizing with their teens. If you are a parent, this does not make you a bad person, it simply means that you may be a little tough because you want what is best for your child. However, in the midst of what you want, it is imperative that you recognize some key factors that your teens are looking for from you. And if you are a teenager who is reading this, maybe you can bring this list to your parents and this time they will actually listen…maybe…??


#1.
 TELL THEM WHAT 
YOU LOVE ABOUT THEM!
This sounds like it is common sense, but unfortunately it is not. I am not referring to the common I love you responses that you exchange with your teen just before he or she goes to school. This goes much deeper. The word I love you has no meaning, unless of course you show love. The next time you are with your teen, try not to do the obligatory I love you. Instead, explain to them WHAT you love about them. This is a wonderful time to bring out the strongest personality  traits that  your teen has. By changing this habit, you will not only help instill confidence, but you will also have the chance at building a strong relationship between you and your teen.

#2.
I STILL LOVE YOU!
This may sound like number one, but it is not. The difference is that your teen has done something to disappoint you. As a parent you are the biggest role model in your child’s life. When they believe that they have disappointed you, it makes them feel insignificant and not wanted. Regardless of what type of behavior your teen has engaged in, they still need (and want) to hear that you still love them. In spite of their mistakes and character flaws, they need to know that their parents will still love them unconditionally.  The downside to not being proactive in this  area can be detrimental. Many teens will begin to seek love and attention from the wrong sources trying to fill a void that only a parent can fill.  Stop the cycle; tell your teen  that despite of what they have done, your love does not change for them.

#3
I WAS WRONG!
Just because you are an adult, does not mean you are always right. Mama does not always know best. This has nothing to do with who has lived longer, but this is simply a case of "we all make mistakes". Regardless of who you are on this earth, you have said or done something to someone that should not have happened. No one is perfect and  teens desire to know that their parents are human. This does not mean you have to go and tell them the history of your life. This just indicates that sometimes it  is a great thing to tell your teen you are sorry and that you made a mistake. By allowing yourself to show your vulnerable side and not pretending that you are perfect, you will instill those same values within your teens. Many young adults struggle with the idea of being wrong because they were unintentionally taught that you never admit when you are wrong. This could not be further from the truth.



#4.
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!
A teen desires to hear that someone believes that they are physically beautiful. A parent is generally the first person who has that power. Telling your child that he or she is beautiful is a form of acceptance. Not only are you instilling confidence within them, but you are telling them that there is nothing wrong with the way God created them. Never make fun of their appearance by referring to them as fat or ugly. If they need to lose weight, there are other ways to go about keeping your teen healthy other than making fun of their appearance. This will only create animosity and hate, towards you and most importantly  towards themselves.   One of the biggest things teens stress about is their looks. Is this vanity? Of course! But if you can find a moment to scrap the cobwebs off of your brain, YOU were probably the same way. “Being beautiful” was everything. Kids today are quick to look at the spreads of models on the cover of magazines and degrade themselves because they do not feel as beautiful as the person that is gracing the covers of the page. 

Can you believe that you have the power to change how your teen physically sees themselves?


#5.
YOU CAN BE 
WHATEVER YOU WANT!
Sounds like something any parent would say…right? Wrong. Sometimes parents have a strong tendency to want to create their child in their own image. In other words, whatever you wanted to be at 16, you instill this type of dream within your teen. This practice is something that happens on numerous occasions because many parents do not feel that they lived out their own personal dreams, so they put pressure on their child to do what they never had the opportunity for. Or, they expect their teen to go to college and come back to run the family business. Running a family business is fine, if that is the dream and goal that THEY (your teen) have. It is never a wonderful idea to choose your child’s dreams for them. You guide them on the moral track, but you  should never pressure them into doing what YOU want for them. In the end, this type of behavior will cause animosity and hatred TOWARDS YOU!

Everyone is not called to do the same plan or the same journey. We all have different paths to follow.  Remember to tell your teen these 5 things and you may just see a growth in your relationship and in them!

"Train a child the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it (Proverbs 22:6)."

Written By: Te-Shandra Haskett, MBA


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