There was a video I saw of a psychologist talking about parenting teenagers. She was comparing the mind of a toddler to that of a teenager and out of everything she said, this one stood out for me
A child’s brain says “teach me!”
While a teenager’s brain says “trust me!”
Growing up as the youngest of 3 siblings and an only girl, I was never allowed to go to sleepovers unless it was at home or a school engagement. Otherwise, one of my brothers had to accompany me.
I also recall instances where my mom would listen in on my calls from the living room (we had an extension phone, millennials get it) and even go through my diary.
I casually asked her one time while at lunch “do you not trust me, mom?” and without even thinking about it, she said “no.”
And I remember responding “so you don’t trust the way you raised me?”
Thinking about it now, it may have impacted me more than I realized.
I was always afraid to take on big responsibilities because I didn’t think I was reliable or smart enough. I still sometimes think and react this way.
It was only after I graduated college and moved out that I felt like I had a say in how I should run my life.
But at the back of my head, I was always trying to prove myself to people.
Not too long ago, the teenage daughter of someone I know ran away. They looked for her for 2 days only to find her in her boyfriend’s house.
When asked why she did what she did, she said, “You never allow me to go out with my friends even when I ask properly!”
She’s also an only girl. They talked it out and are okay for now. But there seems to be a pattern, don’t you think?
While it is hard to raise teenagers, it is hard to be a teenager, too.
I don’t have teenagers yet so I can’t relate that well, but it seems like the psychologist on the video I saw was spot on about teenagers needing to be trusted and should be allowed to take on big responsibilities.
It’s probably easier said than done and I hope I won’t have to eat my words in the future, but it sure won’t hurt to try.
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