Many parents are frustrated because they think their sweet children turned into monsters when they entered the teen years. I do not think my parents said the same thing about me, because I was worse when I was younger, but working with so many parents in my workshops, I often hear them say, “How could my gorgeous baby turn so nasty?” and “What do our teenagers really want from us?”
Teens mostly want you to get off their back, actually. Grownups pump them with their own frustrated teenage experiences and turn them into the black sheep of our society.
When parents ask me that, I usually ask back, “What did you want from your parents as a teenager?” For some unknown reason, most people cannot recall what they wanted from their own parents. It is as if they forgot how they behaved as soon as they became parents.
At first, I t thought it was the passing years that faded parents’ memories, but the more I think about it, the more I believe it is a form of denial – a kind of selective memory. Every time I hear parents say, “Teens today are worse than the teens in the past”, I show them research, which found out parents today think about their kids and teens exactly what their parents thought about them 25-30 years earlier. Exactly the same!
This means that today’s parents did not know what they wanted when they were teens, which is why they have no clue what their kids want now.
Still, it is a very good question.
Working with teenagers, I have had many reminders of what teens really want. I have written some of the answers in my book Be Special Be yourself for Teenagers, but today, I want to tell you about another discovery I have made.
I read this story about King Arthur and the witch and thought that although it talks about women, it is actually relevant to teens and humans in general.
Read What Teens Want »