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Why Teenagers Reject Parents' Solutions to Their Problems

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/18/well/family/why-teenagers-reject-parents-solutions-to-their-problems.html

nytimes.com

Why Teenagers Reject Parents' Solutions to Their Problems
It's usually because we're not giving them what they're really looking for. Parents of adolescents are often confronted by a puzzling sequence of events. First, teenagers bring us their problems; second, we earnestly offer suggestions and solutions; and third, teenagers dismiss our ideas as irritating, irrelevant or both.

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Moving Towards A Solution

  • Offering our kids an ear, empathy and encouragement helps them tremendously and moves the needle towards the best solution.
  • Asking teens if they need any help is the first step towards providing relevant advice.
  • Divide their problem into two categories: what can be changed, and what cannot.
  • For things that can be changed, focus on the needs identified by your kid, and brainstorm for possible solutions.
  • For things that cannot be changed, help them come in terms with the circumstances that are not in one's control.

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Don't Instruct Adolescents

Don't Instruct Adolescents

Solving any teenager problem is an exercise in futility, with broken hearts, social dramas and academic pressure making them split their heads every day.

Teens share their worries with us because they feel like sharing, and need empathy, not a solution. Reassuring and sincere words that make them feel better can be enough, and any solution offered will most probably backfire.

They may only need a vote of confidence and can easily turn well-intentioned guidance as criticism and lectures.

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Teenagers

Teenagers talk to parents about their problems and after being offered solutions and suggestions, dismiss the ideas provided as irritating, irrelevant or both.

Teens and adolescents may just need a venting outlet and will feel better simply by articulating their worries and problems.

Adults can provide them with mental space by listening to them without interrupting, letting them sort, survey and organize their thoughts.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Vulnerable Time for Kids

A child's pre-teen and teen years are a high-emotion transitory period. This is due to shifting classmates, social pressure, multiple classrooms and a period of many 'firsts'.

Deep Friendships

A study on sixth-graders revealed that friendship is crucial and real for kids, and can be as deep as a parental relationship.

Most parents and teachers do not understand the importance of deep bonding among friends at school and tend to regard friendships as a distraction or a nuisance.

Social Isolation and Bullying

Social isolation is the dark side of the school, in which many kids with no friends are at risk of anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. There is a perceived sense of threat with being friendless, and the young, immature mind can deeply internalize the resulting difficulties, leading to depression.

Bullying at this age is also a major problem, with those who are socially isolated becoming the most vulnerable to being bullied.

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Purpose Is Essential

Purpose Is Essential

Purpose in life leads to greater well-being, hope and provides a sense of meaning in life.

The positive or negative experiences we have as children play an important role in our sense of pur...

Experiencing Adversity

Individuals who experience adversity at an early age have a decreased sense of purpose according to research.

For some, it works in the reverse, with adversity providing them with the 'kick' they need to pursue a particular calling in life.

Experiencing Conflict

Relationship issues with parents lead to a decreased sense of purpose as the young person grows older.

Frequently fighting or arguing with parents drains the child's energy and enthusiasm.

Lack of prioritization

When we’re busy and stressed, we often default to working on whatever has the most imminent deadline, even if it’s not particularly important. Stress causes our focus to narrow to the point where w...

Overlooking easy solutions

When we’re stressed, our narrow focus blocks us from seeing easy solutions that are usually right in front of our eyes. 

To get out of the trap of overlooking easy solutions, take a step back and question your assumptions. Taking breaks and letting your mind wander will also help.

Lack of effective systems

When we're burned out, we tend to keep doing something ourselves that we could delegate or outsource, because we don’t have the necessary energy we need to establish a system for recurring problems.

Remedies for recurring problems are often simple if you can step back enough to get perspective.