3 Things Your Teen Wants But Won't Tell You
One minute your daughter is taking her first steps and the next minute she is asking for your car keys. As parents, we aren’t sure where the time goes but it sure does go fast! Your teen is experiencing a lot of new emotions and changes as they grow up and sometimes it can be difficult to know what they want and need from you as their parent.
Here are 3 things your teen wants, even though they probably won’t tell you directly.
1. They want you to say, “I love you.”
Your teen may be a professional eye-roller, but this does not mean he has outgrown the need to be loved. While you might say you show your teen you love him by being his personal chauffeur, hearing the words, “I love you” verbally expresses his value. The word love is filled with so much meaning, and in this stage of life, your teen might need the reminder that no matter what, he is yours. So, when you stop by his room before you head to bed—get his attention for a moment and tell him you love him. He might not know how to respond, and that’s ok.
2. They want you to spend time with them.
While your teen’s schedule is packed with after school sports and activities, and the weekend seems to be filled with hanging out with friends, she still wants to spend time with you. Time is a limited resource, and spending moments together lets your teen know she is important, building her self-esteem and self-worth. Ask your daughter for ideas on something she would like to do together with you, one-on-one. She may bring up a fond memory from her childhood, like a favorite ice cream place or movie theatre. Or she may suggest something that is more relevant to what she is currently interested in. Find out more about why she likes it and enjoy the time together.
3. They want to know you’re on their team
There are a lot of things competing for your teen’s attention, and you might not always feel like your opinion is most valued. This is why it is so important that your teen knows that no matter what, you are on their side. This doesn’t mean they can get away with whatever they want, but this does mean that whatever they face, you battle it together. Find out why they are failing that class and ask them what you can do to help. Be intentional about the words you use and look for opportunities to encourage them in areas they are doing well.
While some of these might have been things you always used to do when your teen was a child, it can be challenging to continue to implement them as you are both caught up in the whirlwind of life. Be intentional with the time you have left with them, and don’t let fear of awkwardness keep you from pursuing your teen.
We would love to hear your thoughts, especially if any of these have affected your relationship with your teen in a positive way!
By Julie Hotalen
Reach out if you have any questions, comments or just want to chat about your relationship with your teen!