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Teens and parents CAN get on!

 
Not all teens complain that their parents don’t understand them, says Masanda.
Masanda Peter
By Masanda Peter
Article originally in Parent24
You often hear teenagers saying that their parents don’t ‘get’ them. It’s the same for parents complaining that they just do not get their teenage kids. Having been a teenager myself I felt misunderstood at times and I am sure my mom felt the same way. Most teenagers feel that they know best, but the teenagers I spoke to have used a different approach with their parents  - they have opened up communication lines so that they are all on the same page. I hope this can help parents and teenagers out there can improve their relationships (if they need to).

Accepting advice takes humility (and wisdom)

Thapelo Coki, a 14-year-old young man, does not feel misunderstood by his parents because he knows that they are steering him in the right direction. He chooses not to go to wild parties as he wants to focus on his studies for now and party later. The parties he does go to are those of family members. He had a girlfriend in the past but his father advised him against dating while he is still so young. Thapelo also stands by the girls when they say “books before boys because boys bring babies”, so he doesn’t want to date anyone and had to let go of his relationship. The chat he had with his father about dating when one is young really hit home. He accepts the advice that he wait until he is older and considering marriage... Well, we can only hope that it continues like that.

Keeping your word

Sammy Ncula, a 15-year-old young lady, she talks to her parents about almost anything and she feels that they understand her. She understands that teenagers these days can be hectic and when her parents give her boundaries she understands why they are doing it.  She has a six o’clock curfew which she respects. If she is running late she lets them know. She does not believe in going to parties very late. Sammy is dating but is in a long distance relationship and her mom knows about her boyfriend. Her parents are fine if she has sleepovers and she has introduced all her friends to her parents and even the parents know each other. She has developed a trust with her mother. She believes that open and honest communication is what has made her get it right with her folks. Soon she will be having a 16th birthday party and she told her parents well in advance that she wants this party and they are hosting it for her.
 
I guess it is not all doom and gloom for parents and their teens out there. My take is that if you open communication lines, maybe, just maybe, all can be fine at home. Yes, peer pressure is there, even though some parents do all that they can but when I listen to Thapelo and Sammy some teens ‘get’ their parents. As a mom to a future-teenager I hope to learn from their experiences.

Read more by Masanda Peter

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

Do you feel that your teen understands you (and vice versa)?

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