Parents and Teens: Combating a Common Problem

Yisela Silva, CUB Writer

Being a teenager is very difficult at times, and it can be especially hard to get along with your parents. Many teens find to be challenging to get along with their parents. The problems are often communication issues or a lack of understanding between teens and parents.   Parents often feel like their teens don’t listen to them and teens often feel like their parents don’t understand them is hard for parents and teens to connect, teens want to be able to go to their parents without feeling scared that their parents won’t understand them. Parents often tend to think that their teen has an attitude or is being disrespectful.

Many teens say that they just need their space and their parents don’t give them the space that they need. Many parents believe they are trying to communicate with their teen by asking them about their life, but many teens feel their parents are too pushy and they want space from them.

“Often parents do understand their teens, but have to respect the distance that the teens are trying to assert,” Kate Poland Gresham High School’s social worker said.

There are always ways for parents to understand their teens and most of this is based on better communication.Reaching out to one another is difficult if there’s no communication. Without communication it’s almost impossible to get on the same page and keep your relationship afloat. A lack of communication can quickly cause misunderstandings.   

“For teens it can be very difficult to get along with their parents. To summarize I think communication is really important,” Poland said.

Many teenagers struggle with depression and anxiety. Having someone to talk to can help teens deal with this issue. Many teens just want to feel like they can come to their parents if they are going through a difficult time, without feeling like their parents are going to give them a hard time and not listen to what they have to say.

“ I think in my experience, a lot of times, teenagers don’t feel like people really listen to them.  I think parents can really be available to listen and not always try to solve problems,not always try and fix things, and not always put out their opinions. Parents just need to listen and really try and understand where their teenagers are coming from,” Poland said.

Attitude is often the problem when it comes to arguing with your parents. Either the teen gives attitude to the parent or the parent gives it to the teen.                                                                                    

“I think it is difficult for me and my parents to get along but at the same time I’m not the one who’s always giving the attitude,” fresham, Trinyti Brehm said.  

Teens are known for not making the best decisions, but they are not always going to be perfect. Parents need to realize that teens need to make bad decisions for them to learn from them.

“For teenagers to become more independent, they’re not always going to make the best choices or decisions. But that’s how people learn,” Poland said

At this age, teens tend to tell their friends more things then their parents but most teens feel comfortable talking to their friends rather than mom.Parents just need to try to understand where their teen is coming from when they are going through a hard time or making poor decisions.

“My mom always says that I tell my friends more stuff then I tell her and says that I shouldn’t be doing that but I’m a teenager, obviously I am going to,” freshman, Jasmine Minor said.

“Therefore parents should remember that adolescence is a time for exploration and learning and try to give them some freedom to do so while also support to help limit the consequences of any mistakes they might make while they learn. Keep the lines of communication open, and maintain a warm relationship,” Jennifer Pfeifer, Professor of Psychology at the University of Oregon, said.

A relationship between a parent and their child is very important, together they need to figure out a situation for them to all be happy with one another.

“At times I think it’s the parents problem instead of the teens because they start the issue with the teens at times,” Brehm said.

Both girls and boys get treated differently by their parents, and parents may not have the same relationship with both. Many teen girls feel like their parents are more strict with them then with their brothers, and at times boys do get treated differently than girls do.

“Girls and boys do have different relationships with their parents, many have different relationships with mothers and fathers,” Pfeifer said.  

It’s hard for many teens to get along with their parents, most of the time the problem can be either communication or even attitude. Just because teens don’t get along with their parents, doesn’t mean they don’t love their parents.