Remember how much it sucked to be a teenager? (A Lecture)

Dear Fellow Adults,

We must start listening to our children. The things is, they tell us more than we give them credit for. They understand more than we realise. They see things with more honesty than adults. We spend our time telling them that “When they grow up, they’ll understand”…If they are asking, they are ready and willing to listen and understand. Or at least begin the long journey to understanding.

As a mum myself, I have always worried that when my children become teenagers, they will hide serious stuff from me. With this worry at the fore front of my mind, I have tried to model and tell them that there is no taboo topic in our house. When they ask me questions about sex, about drugs, sexuality, drinking whatever, I tell them what I know. If I don’t know, I tell them. I either refer them to someone who will know or I consult Ms Google.

My daughter helps me with my French studies, my son fills me in on games and current online security stuff, and the little one reminds me what it is like to be truly curious about the world.

I have friends who are teens. They are extraordinary. They have helped me to understand my daughter and given me insight into what it’s like to be a pre-teen in a modern world. Now, I know that I am hip and groovy, but I am not a teenager. I appreciate what these kids have to say. They are amazing in their insight.

Why can’t we value them? Why can’t we just take a moment and reflect how much it sucked to be a teenager? Maybe our kids wont feel so isolated from us, if we spend sometime, listening. We should spend sometime trying to comprehend what it must be like to be a teenager at school and in a world of social media. How those things defined us as the people we were. Think about it? Who your friends were at school was the centre of everything and we didn’t have Facebook et al; We had school and (for me) Macca’s after school to gossip about boys and practise our courtship routines.

If a teenager is being bullied, even their own home isn’t safe. I can’t imagine what that must be like. I was bullied in year 7 & 8 bad enough I had to take a 45 minute bus ride home with them. But at least once I was home, I was untouchable. Could you imagine not having that?

Anyway, this was meant to be a quick rant and as usual I have just kept banging on. 🙂

All I am trying to say is try and remember what it was like for you to be misunderstood. When you thought all adults were stuck in the past and didn’t understand you. Well guess what, it’s exactly the same for them. Just different sames for the misunderstandings. We have the choice to either make it suck more and isolate our children OR we can ask them about it, listen, and if required give our point of view. Let them have their point of view, no matter how much you disagree. You might just learn something.

Thank you.
Pinky

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