Five Things Parents Do That Drive Teens Crazy


A 16-year-old offers tips about how parents can better communicate with their teenage kids.

Teens love their parents. They, deep down, want to get along and have a relationship that they can always count on. However, sometimes parents forget that teens can be easily annoyed in different ways. I know that my parents don’t always realize that some of the things they do just drive me crazy.  Here are five of the things parents do that can drive us insane:

1.       Ask too many questions

I, along with many teens, hate coming home to numerous questions. It is okay to ask how the day was, but often, parents just continue to ask questions. Eventually, teens will just start to answer with the normal “Uh huh” or other indifferent response. Instead of just asking question after question, as a parent, make sure you know if your child wants to talk then, or if the questions should just wait.

2.       Unnecessarily nag us

I hate to hear my parents start listing things I have to do. Teens do have an idea of what needs to be done. If asked once, they will get to it. However, I feel that the more my parents ask me to do something, the harder it becomes to find the motivation to do the chore. Instead, my parents started to type up a list and leave it on my desk. By just leaving it for me to read myself and do all the jobs that day, I have the freedom to do each chore at a time that works for me—without the nagging.

3.       Try to change our opinions

Teens are opinionated. We form our own ideas based on our family, school, friends, and even websites we use. Sometimes, these ideas just do not please our parents. Some ideas arrive with the change in generations. Because our parents existed in a time before technology like the Internet and cell phones, they do not always feel the same way about something that may seem normal to a teenager. The dispute could be about anything—from texting and communication to other common topics. However, nothing our parents say is going to change our opinion. In the end, parents just have to realize that they will think one way, and we may think differently.

4.       “Downgrade” our efforts

Often, parents forget that teens have a different view on life, for they have not experienced as much. For example, we think that school is a lot of work that we aren’t getting paid for. We don’t always realize that it WILL help us later in life! So, the worse our parents can do is call school fun or easy. For teens, we feel like we are devoting all our time and effort into something “fun and easy,” and that will likely make us mad.

5.       Forget that one day we will lead our own lives too

Sometimes, parents spend so much time trying to keep us safe and happy, that they forget that we want the opportunity to live our own lives. In events that will not have a disastrous or dangerous outcome, it is okay for parents to step back and let their teens make the decisions. This does not mean full freedom—it merely means giving teens a chance to feel that they are trusted to be in control of their own lives.

Written by Hannah Dunn, 16,

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