Parents Just Don’t Understand
It’s not just a Will Smith song. Its true. Parents just don’t understand. Parents think that they understand but they really don’t. I was having a conversation with a few girls on this very subject. They all echoed the same thing expressing that parents think they understand but they really don’t get it.
The girls stated that they did not feel important to their parent. What? Children should be at the top of the parent’s priority list. Put down your phone, look your child in the eye, and have a discussion. I know it is super easy to get distracted, but your child is worth it. What if they needed to hear what you have to say, or they just needed to be heard so that they do not fall into negative peer pressure. I found an article that was published by Huffington Post in 2013. It is entitled “5 things parents do that may encourage teen substance abuse”. 2 out of 5 reasons stood out as easy fixes.
First is “ignoring the underlying issues”. The article encourages parent to not ignore their child’s stress and complaints. Of course as adults we have our own stresses, (arguably more stressful but they don’t know that) but the stress that they are feeling is very much real to them. If teens can not find a positive outlet, they will find a negative one.
Secondly, turning a blind eye may lead into negative outlets. No one should ignore their child. Straight up! If you ignore your child, they will go to someone that won’t. Don’t let you child go to a relationship, a drug, a group, a whatever that is negative. Research shows that parents that are close with their child helps to deter drug use. Think that I am overreacting with mentioning drugs? Not at all. Drugs are very prevalent and easy to get to. Middle schoolers are drug dealers. Middle school starts at 11 years old. Let that sink in. 11.
What you say to them becomes their inner voice. I surely still hear my parent’s voices in my head from when I was a teen. Is your child hearing negative or positive? Is your child hearing a parent that is understanding or condescending? If you are a parent reading this, I urge you to spend time with your child to understand where they are coming from. If you are a teen reading this, try your best to explain to your parent your current mindset and situations.
For both, this is not a one time thing. Good relationships were not made in a day. But if you desire it, you will do it and it will come.