Problem/Solution Essay College Writing II Parent/Teenager Relationships: How Can We Improve Them? If you were asked to rate your relationship with your teenager from 1 to 10 what would your answer be? Can you give it a 10/10 with confidence and without any doubt? A lot of times we hear parents say that their teenagers are rebellious and refuse to listen to them, while teenagers complain that their parents don’t understand them and are total “control freaks. ” As time goes by and generations change, relationships between teenagers and their parents are getting worse and orse.
It seems like a big gap is forming between them and they can’t communicate with each other properly. Almost every conversation they have ends up with a fght or an argument. So what is the problem with this kind of relationship and what can we do to improve it? I believe that having a good parent/teenager relationship is a two way process in which both the parents and teenagers need to make an effort, but because teenagers are not adults yet and are going through a lot of changes, parents are the ones who need to “do more work” and be more understanding.
Adolescence s a developmental stage of life when the body and brain grow and teenagers experience a lot of physical and emotional changes. A study done by Valerie Reyna, shows that the areas of the brain that control Judgment, planning, the ability to imagine consequences, self-regulation, and emotional maturity are all in the process of developing during adolescence (qtd in Cooke). All this development affects how teenagers make decisions and manage risk, given their new levels of independence. Also their hormone levels change dramatically which has a big impact on their emotions and behavior.
As the research scientist in the family life development center Janis Whitlock says, this is when they start to understand, express, and regulate their emotions which help them navigate relationships and recognize a reason and purpose in life. Social development is a major focus of most teenagers as they begin to define their place in the world and learn to manage changing relationships, responsibilities, and roles. Their parents are no longer seen as the ones that know everything, and peer relationships come to be more important (qtd. in Adolescent Development).
Because of all the changes that are taking place in their eenager’s life, parents need to understand that although they are very important in their child’s life, other influences also are important. Most children when they are 12 to 15 years old, feel the need to draw back from their parents and become their own personality, says Valerie Frankel, a bestselling novelist and an award-winning journalist. They would rather ask their friends for advices then they would their parents. Older teens can be really protecting when it comes to their privacy.
This is why if you as a parent want to find out something from your teenager don’t start sking straight up questions acting like a detective. Teenagers are good at sensing questions that might be unpleasant for them, and what they will do is turn away and not tell you anything. Instead, you can try to start a conversation with your child that might give you the answers you are looking for without having to ask the question. You need to Keep In mina tnat Tln01ng out tnlngs aoout your teenage r’s IITe Is not something that comes all at once.
It takes time and patience and communication is the key to it. Good communication is when you don’t only tell your teenager what to o, but you also listen to what they have to say even when they are angry. Many times parents turn every conversation with their teenager into a lecture. For example if your teenager starts telling you about a friend of them who quit school and is working at a fast food restaurant that they really hate, don’t start talking about why education is important and tell your child why he/she should stay in school.
They started the conversation to have some verbal interchange, and as a result they got a lecture they did not want to hear. Yes, as a parent you need to educate your child nd guide them on the right path, but this is not necessarily done by lecturing (UNH Cooperative). The moment parents start lecturing, teenagers stop listening, so the lecture has no point. Another thing many parents do wrong is trying to act like teenagers. Some parents are so desperate about their relationship with their teenager that they start using the slang language they use, hoping this would bring them closer, but unfortunately that doesn’t happen.
Most of the time it Just points out the difference of age between them two and makes the parent sound dorky and forced. Instead, what Valerie suggests is to concentrate on the meaning of what their teenager is saying, not on how they say it, and there will be a much stronger connection then if the parent tries to be like them (Frankel). Research shows that relationship with teenagers vary depending on whether it’s between mother and daughter, father and daughter, mother and son or father and son (Parent-Teen Relationships). The mother and daughter relationship is probably the most intense.
Teenage girls often times are misunderstood because they want to have both freedom and connection with their mothers, but they don’t know how to balance hem. Author John Gary believes that because girls are too close to their mothers in childhood, when they become adolescents the feel the need to pull back from them. Because mothers are also females and need relationships and connection, they won’t just stay and do nothing about this separation. They would always do Just the opposite of what their daughters want and this always causes conflicts between them.
I remember when I was younger I would go to my mom and tell her everything, ask her questions, sometimes too much. But when I got older and started adolescence things started to change. I felt like my mother no longer needed to know everything I do and how I do. It irritated me if she asked questions about things I didn’t want her to know. Mothers don’t always realize that their daughters are growing up, and when the sudden change happens and daughters don’t talk to them anymore like they used to, they think theyVe done something wrong and would try to fix it.
One thing they have to learn is how to stay close to their daughters while giving them some space and independence. When it comes to the relationship between fathers and their daughters, John Gary says that fathers need learn how to connect ith their teenage daughters emotionally without too much physical contact. Most fathers show their love and affection to their daughters when they are young by playing with them and hugging them. When the girls become adolescent, some fathers fail to adapt to the changes that occur.
Because girls ask for space and independence they don’t always know how to approach their daughters, so they start to slowly DacK up Trom tne relatlonsnlp. I rememoer one time wnen I was aoout 1 years old, I came from school really upset because of a fght I had with my best friend. Dad came and asked me what’s wrong and when I told him he started giving e advices and solutions on how to solve the problem, when that’s not what I needed. All I wanted was for someone to listen to me and tell me everything will be 0k, which my mom did afterwards.
Because of the different thinking males have, when they see a problem they try to solve it, but they don’t always think of the emotional part that comes with it. While for females, this is the first thing they see; the emotions. This is why fathers need to learn how to listen to their daughters without necessary giving advice all the time. All they need to do is to Just be there and support them. The mother and son relationship seems to be very delicate because while mothers are looking for connection, teenage boys are looking to differentiate themselves.
What they say is that their mothers are too nagging and don’t give them space at all. They want to know everything about everything. This starts especially when they are going through puberty and are trying to fgure out what it means to be a man. A good advice for mothers is to give them time and be patient because once they have adapted to puberty and have established themselves a bit as individuals, they will open up more. On the other hand, the relationship etween fathers and sons is probably the most peaceful.
Most fathers understand their son’s need of independence and identity and give them space, but the danger here is that they might give them too much space, especially during early adolescence when they start struggling with what it means to be a male. This is why fathers need encourage their sons to talk to them about their struggles and support them, because chances are they are more likely to open up to them then to their mothers (qtd in Parent-Teen Relationship). In conclusion, parents should remember that adolescence is not an easy stage in their child’s life. That’s why they need to be patient and understanding.
Also, they should not forget that improving their relationship is not an “X and kind of process where you follow the steps and see the results right away. It is an ongoing process that takes time and might never have an ending point, so having patience is the key. It doesn’t matter what the state of your parent/teenager relationship is today, it can become better if you really want to and are willing to put the effort into it. Cooke, Barbara. “The Teenage Brain. ” FamilyEducation. com. Pearson Education, Inc. Web. 07 Oct. 2012. “Communicating ith Your Teen: Give Up on Lectures and Advice. -FamilyEducation. com. Pearson Education, Inc. Web. 7 Oct. 2012. Frankel, Valerie. “What Your Teen Isn’t Telling You. ” Good Housekeeping 252. 7 (201 1): 83-87. Academic Search Premier. Web. 17 Sept. 2012. “Living With Your Teen: Understanding The Changing Parent-Teen Relationship. ” Families and Parenting Resources – UNH Cooperative Extension. UNH Cooperative Extension, n. d. Web. 07 Oct. 2012. “Parent-Teen Relationships. ” FamilyEducation. com. Pearson Education, Inc. n. d. Web. 28 Sept. 2012. Whitlock, Janis. “Adolescent Development. ” Actforyouth. net. Web. 10 Oct. 2012.