Well, I vividly remember being a teen and it feels like this was yesterday. The teen years are so complicated, confusing and frustrating! Teens are discovering their identity, creativity, political views, moral stands, exploring their character and so much more! And then… they have a full time job, which is school, where they now meet new adults in charge of them.
Teens now have academics to discover, explore interests, embrace what they are good at, challenge the topics they find difficult… OH and to BOOT get high marks… OH and think of a career! Wow at 14 years old that is actually a lot.
Today, they also have social media to upkeep with and self brand themselves appropriately! THINK for a moment… as a TEEN did we act appropriately, at all times, or better YET what would the public say? In many of the earlier generations it was the community judging us, at such a critical, vulnerable age! Today it is the world.
When teens tell me today, “ Ah adults just do not understand!” I always get a AHAH moment… WHY?… well cause I never believed that adults tried to understand!
This did not happen because parents want to be difficult, or make life HARD for their youth but it is definitely a generation CLASH! At this moment I imagine the waves crashing against the rocks, as it is that dramatic, the impact this has on teens.
Today, teens have so many different issues from when I was growing up. I have often caught myself saying, “ We didn’t do this when we were teens, this generation is a mess.” Well, UNTRUE! All generations have had their ups and downs but what is actually happening is we do not understand the issues going on with this current generation.
So I ask us all to be a positive part of our teens community, to help them ease into this complicated stage in their life.
Learn their world, that means the music, their interest, struggles, LINGO, understand social media and so much more. Be aware of what they are into, teach them about their bodies, managing emotions, help build their confidence, teach them self love, and most important be patient. TOUGH job… but it is very rewarding as well.
My greatest advice, is provide structure to your child since birth, expectations with flexibility, understand their characters, be reasonable and be involved. Do not avoid conversations about sex, teach them about their bodies, relationships, drugs, attending parties, and mental health.
THIS is where it gets TOUGH… BRACE yourself!!
Also, YES, this is something we should be discussing, what is PORN…. I will inform you most of our teens are watching PORN from a young age and getting the wrong messages about sexuality. Our young men, their first exposure to their sexuality is through PORN videos. Our young girls feel pressured to perform, as the women in the PORN industry! I have had many young women speak to me about these concerns. I know these are tough topics, but they must be spoken about. YOU the parents need to become aware! DO NOT SWEAT it I will be recommending two books you should read!
Your child needs all the tools to be successful! If YOU do not teach them, the internet will, or friends and not always getting the correct INFO! Well my dear friends, GUESS what… the uncomfortable topic has come to an end!
Two books I recommend: Girls and Sex (21st century struggles) by Peggy Orenstein, Boys & Sex: Young Men on Hookups, Love, Porn, Consent, and Navigating the New Masculinity by Peggy Orenstein. Direct link to purchase this amazing book!
“That’s the nature of being a parent, Sabine has discovered. You’ll love your children far more than you ever loved your parents, and – in the recognition that your own children cannot fathom the depth of your love – you come to understand the tragic, unrequited love of your own parents. “