One minute you daughter is taking her first steps, and the next minute she is asking for your car keys. As parents, we aren’t sure where the time goes but it sure does go fast! Your teen is experiencing a lot of new emotions and changes as they grow up and sometimes it can be difficult to know what they want and need from you as their parent. Here are 3 things your teen wants, even though they probably will not tell you directly.
3 Things your Teen Wants but Will Not Tell You
1) They want you to say, “I love you.”
Your teen may be a professional eye-roller and has mastered the most epic “sigh” right on cue, but this does not mean they have outgrown the need to be loved. While you might feel like you show your teen you love them in many different ways, hearing the words, “I love you” are still extremely meaningful. Take a second tonight to pop into your son’s room before you head to bed – get his attention for a moment and tell him you love him. He might not know how to respond, and that’s ok. Don’t let the fear of awkwardness keep you from saying one of the most important things your teen can hear.
2) They want you to spend time with them.
While your teen’s schedule is packed with after school sports and activities, and the weekend seems to be filled with hanging out with friends, she still wants to spend time with you. Ask you daughter for ideas on something she would like to do together with you, one-on-one. She may bring up a fond memory from her childhood, like a favorite ice cream place or movie theatre, or she may suggest something that is more relevant to what she is currently interested in – and that’s ok! Find out more about why she likes and enjoy the time together.
3) They want to know you’re on their team.
There are a lot of things competing for your teen’s attention, and you might not always feel like your opinion is most valued. This is why it is so important that your teen knows that no matter what, you are on their side. This doesn’t mean they can get away with whatever they want, but this does mean that whatever they face, you battle it together. Find out why they are failing that class and ask them what you can do to help. Be intentional about the words you use and look for opportunities to encourage them in areas they are doing well.
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Author: Julie Hotalen, Graduate Student Intern in Total Life Counseling Centers Orlando and Clermont locations and works with children, teens, families and is trained to use the Gottman method with couples! Give us a call at 407-248-0030 for more information.
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