Five Things Your Teen Really Wants You to Know
By: Jeff, from Financial Pupil
If you’re a busy working parent with a teen, you probably struggle with understanding them at times. Scratch that, you probably struggle to understand them, period. Despite how frustrated you may feel at times, you’re not alone. Tons of parents around the globe find it hard to communicate with their kids and know what they want.
BUT, just imagine how much stronger your connection with your teen would be if you could see inside their hearts. In this post, I’ll go over 5 things your teen really wants you to know but isn’t going to tell you. Of course, every teen will be different, but out of all the teens I’ve met, these 5 things tend to hold true.
Teens Want Your Approval
Even though your teen may not show it, they really do want your approval and support. At the end of the day, you’re still their parent and they care about how you feel. They’ll just be too “cool” to let you in on it.
Some things that could go a long way are giving a compliment every once in a while or showing how proud you are when you’re teen shows something off to you.
Teens Don’t Like Hypocrites
Something that almost all teenagers hate is when parents are hypocritical… You know the scenario: “Jimmy, you can’t eat ice cream after 8pm….. no it’s ok for ME to eat ice cream after 8pm because I’m an ADULT.”
Even if your teen doesn’t show it, this kind of behavior will usually build resentment. The best thing to do is to follow the same guidelines yourself that you set down for your teen.
Free Time Doesn’t Equal Less Care
When a teen asks for more free time and more independence, that doesn’t mean they’ve stopped caring about you. Think about yourself and your relationship with your parents. Chances are you’re an independent person yet still care deeply about your parents. Your teen is the same.
Let them have their independence and don’t berate them for it. Instead, help them navigate through with kind suggestions (only if they ask though.)
A lot of Teens Just Want to Make Their Own Decisions
As an 18-year-old myself, this scenario has played out at least a few times:
I suddenly get the motivation to clean my room and start cleaning. Then my mom calls from upstairs “JEFF, clean your room!!!” All of a sudden, my motivation is gone. Poof! Just like that. As irrational as it may sound, teens like to think that they are making their own decisions.
It’s like the movie inception, you can’t tell a teen what to do but rather need to make them think they came up with the idea themselves.
Do NOT Compare Your Kids
Something that a lot of parents like to do is compare their kids to other kids (or even to other siblings). This is the last thing the teen wants to hear. If you’re trying to motivate your child to do better in school, saying something like “well look at John, he has straight As, why don’t you???” is not going to help… In fact, going back to the previous point, it might even be detrimental.
The only person you should be measuring your child against is your child. Talk about how your teen has made improvements from when they were younger or how they can continue to grow. This will not only help your teen’s ego but will keep resentment between you two at bay.
Regardless of whether you make 5 figures or millions, if you have a kid, you probably want to know them better. Even if you choose to implement just one of these things, it will go a long way to building your relationship with your child.
At the end of the day, they are individuals too. Hopefully, some of these insights will help you build a better bond with them and you can have a lifelong friendship with your teen!
If you’re a parent looking for ways to teach your teen about personal finance, feel free to check out my own blog Financial Pupil, where I help educate and motivate students and young adults to learn about money and take charge of their financial life!