22 Nov Dear parents, How Do You Help Me? From a Teen
Hi parents! My name is Felicity Therese Krueger. I am 18 years old [which means I have been a teenager for a hot minute now]. A Little about me; I’m an LGBT, anxious, dyslexic who grew up struggling with all the dramatics of middle and high school; all while dealing with home life and current events in the world. It may not look like it but being a teenager is stressful, scary, and completely new. The scariest thing being none of us will have the same experience. We all have commonalities but the way I process, cope and feel things will not be the same as one who has been through the same thing I have.
When talking with adults sometimes it feels like they think they can solve things the same way it was solved when they were teens. Now, it’s a valid thought process, it worked for you why won’t it work for me. Let me share an example with you. My mom is 75 generationally, she is what you call a “baby boomer”. She lived through so many major historical events and before things like wifi, cellphones, and social media were around. I am an 18-year-old who is generationally called “gen z”. I have never lived a life without electronics and was born straight into a technological revolution, I also lived through major historical events. Now, we see similarities, right? But we are vastly different. I share that information with you so you understand why it’s so important to hear from youth. So you understand what best helps us.
So here’s what I can tell you about raising a teenager.
#1 Be a listener, not an advice-giver. What we want to do is tell you all about our problems without judgment or criticism. We want you to just listen, and don’t get me wrong, advice is great and much needed especially at our age but we will ask you when we need it.
#2 Move with the times. The world is ever-changing. Thoughts, ideas, and new terminology continue to come into our lives. Teenagers are up to date with most of it, don’t be afraid to educate by researching or asking us. We don’t mind questions said in understanding ways.
#3 Let us have choices and chances of freedom. The older we get the more responsibility and trust you should try to have in us. And I will tell you, it depends on the youth, but feel free to trust us that we know what’s best for us (even if we are wrong sometimes). Let us make decisions about outfits, friends, and anything that affects us.
#4 Be human with us. Don’t be afraid to tell us the mistakes you made growing up. It makes you human in our minds. We want to hear about how you messed up and how you fixed them. When I’m faced with the same mistake I might think about what happened to you and may not make the same mistake. I know you don’t want to arm your kids with things against you but if you keep your stories to events that happened in youth and keep the aforementioned trust and understanding when we tell you our mistakes it will be something genuine you shared with me.
#5 Lastly, love us through our mistakes. No matter what, we are teenagers. We are gonna make mistakes, fight with you, and have attitudes. What we want from you is to love and understand that we are trying to figure out ourselves. Be willing to forgive and forget but also be willing to forgive and talk about it using the same methods in # 1 and 4.
Those are the five best things I can tell you about raising a teen. I hope this helps. It will be a long difficult 7 years but we can get through it together.
Felicity Therese Krueger 🙂