A Parent’s Perspective

My teenager sees me and understands how much I love them. They know me and what I need too. We can talk easily and openly about anything without judgement. We are allowed to be upset by situations and differences without impacting on our love and respect for each other. We both ALWAYS choose to talk about our differences even when it feels uncomfortable. There is mutual respect for each other’s journeys.

A Teen’s Perspective

It is not my intention to disappoint you. It hurts me too. Your approval still matters and I need your affirmation, encouragement and support. I need to know you are proud of me. Show me, lead me, teach me. Say sorry when you have made a mistake, we all do. Listen to me; seek to understand my words and my views. My struggles and stresses are real. All I need to know is that you care about my life and want to understand how I feel. You don’t need to be my friend because only you can be my parent. I am trying to figure out how to be secure, happy and confident. If you are these things too, maybe I can learn from you. At the end of the day, I need you and I love you.

How do we achieve this?

It is all about our day to day interactions and every moment counts. Every interaction we have with our teenager builds our relationship with them, whether we are enhancing it or moving apart. It is about developing a daily consciousness of how we are interacting in each moment. To do this effectively we need to take good care of ourselves and our own needs separately from the way we interact with our teen.

“Adolescents are not monsters. They are just people trying to learn how to make it among the adults in the world, who are probably not so sure themselves.” – Virginia Satir

Co-written by Gail Friend and Lauren Dace (Ed Psych)

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