Inside Your Child’s Mind: 3 Things Your Teen Wants You to Understand

bonding with the family

Remember that time when it was simple between you and your daughter? When you could read their facial expressions easily, know that’s something wrong, and they would talk about it openly? Things are a bit easier back then, aren’t they? Now that your child has gone to high school, it’s mostly smirks, silences, or slamming doors. So you wonder whether you’re ever going to understand them again. The truth is, as your child learns more about life, the way they think, feel, and relate to you will be a lot more complex. But by persisting in reaching out to them, you can figure out what they’re going through. In some instances, these are the things they want you to know:

“I don’t want to be judged.”

Instead, they want you to first understand them. When they fail an exam or misbehave in school, do your best in holding back the judgment. Draw out what’s bothering them, instead of dismissing this as a rebellious conduct. More often than not, mischief is a tiny symptom of a bigger issue, like, say, grief over parents’ divorce, peer pressure, or academic challenges. In this case, it’s not the mischief you should be addressing, but these underlying problems.

Remember that time when it was simple between you and your daughter? When you could read their facial expressions easily, know that’s something wrong, and they would talk about it openly? Things are a bit easier back then, aren’t they? Now that your child has gone to high school, it’s mostly smirks, silences, or slamming doors. So you wonder whether you’re ever going to understand them again. The truth is, as your child learns more about life, the way they think, feel, and relate to you will be a lot more complex. But by persisting in reaching out to them, you can figure out what they’re going through. In some instances, these are the things they want you to know:

“I don’t want to be judged.”

Instead, they want you to first understand them. When they fail an exam or misbehave in school, do your best in holding back the judgment. Draw out what’s bothering them, instead of dismissing this as a rebellious conduct. More often than not, mischief is a tiny symptom of a bigger issue, like, say, grief over parents’ divorce, peer pressure, or academic challenges. In this case, it’s not the mischief you should be addressing, but these underlying problems.

Help your child open up to you about their struggles. Reassure them that you’ll try to be as understanding as you can. At the same time, make them realize that for them to move on better in life, they need to make changes in their behaviors. In cases where your teen doesn’t want to talk, respect that decision. Give them space. Hopefully, this can increase their sense of trust in you and eventually, encourage them to open up later on.

“I need you to trust me.”

A lot of parents unconsciously nag their adolescent kids. You probably have done this yourself. You talk to them non-stop about everything, from what time they should go to bed or do their homework down to who they should and shouldn’t date. To be fair, parents do this out of concern. You want to make sure that your child is alright always, that they’re able to do well in their school, that they get to end up with someone who will care for them. But the thing is, you can’t always be there for your teen. Plus, your nagging makes them feel like they’re still toddlers, who always need reminding. They want you to trust them. They want you to allow them to make mistakes, if necessary.

Your only job from here on is to guide them. Not control their decisions. If you can expand the good, noble people who can influence your child, like for instance, connecting them with pastors in your local church or teachers in the school, then better. If you’re still looking for a school in Gilbert, high school education in Christian campuses is worth considering.

“I want to be alone, but I don’t want to feel alone.”

child sitting on the floor
It’s a simple fact that teenagers need space. They need that quiet time where they can read their book, listen to music, and just take a break from the drama of high school life. Don’t take it personally when they go to their room and prefer to be alone rather than do a mani-pedi sesh with you. Learn to give your child that space. At the same time, don’t give up in reminding them that you’re always there in case they need someone to talk to about all the teen drama. Remember, they want to be physically alone, but they don’t want to be emotionally alone.

It’s complicated to deal with teens, especially now that they’re also going through a lot of physical, emotional, social changes in their lives. But reach out all the same. Let them know that they’re loved. Sometimes, that’s all they need to get through all the teen chaos.