Chances Are, Your Teenager Is Far More Mature
Than You Think
Yep. I said it. I just did. Your teenager may be far more mature, capable, responsible, intellectual, and smart than you give them credit for. This may, for some of you, solidify your belief that this blog series is simply a random teen trying to convince anyone she can that they should lighten up their expectations of teenagers.
Actually, this is exactly the opposite! This post specifically is me saying you should push more and expect more of your teenagers, so keep reading to find out why!
Not Just The Stereotype
So often, in books, movies, surveys, and really any kind of media, teenagers are presented as grumpy, lazy, rebellious, immature, or irresponsible. As I pointed out in my first post of this series, this is a rather unhelpful misconception. Yes, teens can be all of the things I listed above, but we can also be helpful, eager, teachable, mature, and intellectually deep.
The problem with the common misconception of teens as purely the lazy and immature kids with a common sense factor the size of a lentil is that people grow to expect that of us. And what is expected is almost always given.
This, of course, is no excuse for the teenagers who do just lay around doing nothing and acting like a toddler. But if you’re going to be the best influence you can in your teenager’s life, you’re going to need to understand that as moody and irresponsible they seem, teenagers truly can have intelligent conversations.
So, in order to best communicate with and guide your child on the path to maturity, you need to understand that teenagers are all unique and different. No two are exactly alike, and no survey or blog series can tell you exactly how your teenager is going to think and act.
Now You’re Wondering…
“If my teen is so ‘mature and deep,’ how am I supposed to have intelligent conversations with them without our chat ending in disaster?”
This is so often the problem, isn’t it? With all that peer pressure and typical cultural view that it’s not ‘cool’ to be close to your parents, relationships between parents and teens deteriorate quickly.
To be honest, I don’t know what will work for your kids. It’ll be different for each child, and the best way to figure out what’ll spark their inner conversationalist is experimentation. However, I can give you some tips.
- Try to sense how they’re feeling. If your teen is busy, grumpy, sleepy, or just out of sorts, they aren’t going to want to have a long and deep conversation.
- Be honest about what you’re thinking, and don’t talk down to your teen. One of my favorite things about being a teen is that my parents confide in me and talk to me. They recognize that I’m mature enough to understand difficult subjects, and we quite often have exciting and interesting talks about all different subjects. So if you start a conversation with your teen, don’t fake emotions or try to talk down to them. That’s one of the quickest ways to get a negative reaction.
Well, there you go. I sincerely hope that this helps you to instruct and guide your teenager along the path of maturity that is teenager-hood.