The objective of this article is to empower teens with techniques for dealing with parents and other adults in an effort to help both generations in understanding each other. Hopefully this will help to prevent problem teens.
By: Susan Adams, M. Ed.
Summary: If you consider yourself on the way to growing up then you need to keep an open mind. You need to carry your share of the responsibility for getting along at home. In any relationship, the responsibility for getting along falls on both sides of the relationship, like a double edged knife. So, what are the responsibilities of the teenager in bridging the communication gap with parents and other adults? This article defines some of these.
The first barrier to put aside is the attitude of turning off everyone over 30 years old. If you expect your parents to tune you in, you need to be willing to talk to them.
If the teen generation is crying for understanding from elders as I believe they are, teens need to work to understand them —their needs, feelings, and reasons for doing things.
It is important in building understanding, to hang out together. Therefore, teens do need to spend some time at home and hang out with their families.
When parents are trying to get a point across, listen with an open mind to understand their point of view. This is what you as a teen want from them.
Share more information about yourself with parents. Parents were once your age and if you let them, they will help you solve your problems with some of their wisdom from experience. Give them a chance.
Initiate discussions on subjects that are hard for you and your parents to talk about.
Realize that when they were growing up, they may not have had the opportunities to talk about things the way you like to talk about them.
If you want your parents to treat you with trust and respect and to grant you more freedom and responsibility, live up to their confidence. Give them reasons to trust your judgment to gain more freedom.
If you want to criticize your family, school, or government, be sure to suggest practical and constructive improvements. Constructive criticism is much more sensible than destructive criticism. Practice courtesy and consideration of others.
Find nice things to say and do for your parents. They need to know that you care about them and appreciate the daily stresses that they live under.
It is not realistic to expect complete harmony between the generations. A certain distance is necessary in order for teens to work out their problems. However, keep the gap within reason. It is up to teens to demonstrate their adult status–not just to demand it. An honest effort at good communication is the best way to do it.