Why do teens not believe/trust their parents?
During teen years all of us go through a period of finding ourselves; what we like, what we don’t like, what is important etc.
In my professional opinion and experience I believe that most teens experience their parents as:
- over protective,
- assuming that the parent knows them
- deciding what they are like
- feeling limited by them
This is very rarely the parents’ intention and most parents just focus on doing the best they can, but find themselves feeling distant from their teens often.
After working with teens for 2 years, I discovered that most of the teenagers I worked with, cannot express why they felt this way about their parents.
Let’s look at a few small mistakes parents make that can cause kids to ‘act out’ when they are teens;
trying to control their kids in what they should do or how they should be
disabling their kids instead of disciplining them
forgetting that their kids reflect everything in the parents that they haven’t dealt with.
And the most potent mistake;
not practising what they are preaching which teaches the child that the parent’s word cannot be trusted.
We need to stop believing that kids are stupid and they don’t notice or understand things and we need to start living lives of example.
Let’s make it practical;
Martha and Johan praise their son, Lucas, for being who he is, but yet they never celebrate who they are.
Seeing that a child under the age of 7 is only unconscious mind, Lucas’ unconscious mind were taught that his parents are praising him 1, for no apparent reason or 2, half-heartedly leaving him feeling unsupported. Yet, this was never the parents’ intention, but what Lucas’ unconscious mind understood from his parents’ conflict within themselves.
When the unconscious mind made such a potent assumption that turns into a belief, before the age of 7, it takes quite a mind shift to change it.
What can parents do to build a better relationship with their teens;
- stop assuming and ask gracefully
- get to know your teen inside out by spending quality time
- live a life of example
- share more of your own life in order for your teen to open up towards you.
What can teens do to build a better relationship with their parents;
- remember that your parents love you unconditionally even though you might feel different
- focus on all the positive things they do for you
- see things from their point of view
- love yourself first and then you will experience their love for you even more.