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Why Teenagers Reject Parents' Solutions to Their Problems

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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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Why Teenagers Reject Parents' Solutions to Their Problems

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

3

Key Ideas

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.

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.

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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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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Parent-teacher groups

Creating parent-teacher groups enables parents to share their opinion in regards to topics that concern directly their children, such as classroom activities, field trips, or homework. 

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Parents and field trips

Allowing parents to participate in their children's field trips can prove an inspired idea, as they often have great suggestions. 

Moreover, getting their feedback both before and after the trip might lead to the improvement of such activities.

Parent mentor programs

This kind of program often results in successful cooperation between parents and teachers, therefore ensuring that no feedback is lost. 

Parent volunteers get in contact with other parents for topics related to their children and forward their opinions to teachers, enabling an efficient communication of everybody's thoughts and suggestions.

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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.

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