What you should know about the thoughts in your teenager’s head

Your child’s teenage years are just as difficult for them as they are for you.

Trying to understand how your teenage son or daughter is feeling can often seem impossible. They give you one word answers, roll their eyes and stay shut up in their bedrooms for hours. Naturally, you find yourself feeling frustrated and upset as you ask yourself: How did we get here? It is important that you realize that they might be struggling more than you know.

According to Sean Grover, your teenager’s negative self-talk may stem from and resemble the following:

They feel angry

I’m angry, frustrated and irritated. Sometimes, I wake up feeling this way and I do not know why. I wish I could stop but I can’t help it.

They feel imprisoned

 I am tired of repeating the same day over and over again. My whole life consists of what I have to do rather than what I want to do.

They feel hurt and ashamed

Sometimes, my feelings get hurt. Sometimes, I get bullied. I cannot tell you this because I am too ashamed to admit that I am hurting.

They need you to know the following:

  • They need space – do not corner them.
  • They might need someone to talk to – someone who is not you.
  • They need you to be patient – do not yell, communicate instead.
  • They need to feel independent – stop giving, let them earn.
  • They need to feel loved  – even if you feel angry sometimes, you must let them know you love them.

Most of the issues between parents and teenagers may stem from the struggle for control.

In other words, the teenager fights for their freedom and independence while the parent simultaneously tries to maintain their control over them. This leads to tension as the teenager feels suffocated while the parent feels rejected.

It is important to remember that with time, the parent/child relationship will adjust, adapt and reach a new, harmonious normal. Give it time and patience.

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