As a parent, sometimes it is hard to know how our teens perceive us. We all want to be there for our children and have a great relationship with each of them, but sometimes they might not perceive our actions the same way we intend them to, so here is what a group of teens have to say about the perfect relationship with a parent. Just food for thought.
The perfect parent would ...
Male, age 18: Listen. Everything else hinges upon listening.
Female, age 17: Be open to talk and understand me.
Male, age 17: Talk, express what they want and show affection, not think affection is understood, or a given.
Female, age 15: Respect “space,” use things [errors] as a teaching moment not punishment.
Unknown, age 17: Keep their problems to themselves; know they can trust me; give me encouragement.
Female, age 16: Support my own interests and goals for the future rather than just what they [parents] want me to do.
Female, age 22: Try to help me find myself and give me enough freedom while also enough care
Female, age 21: Understand when I need someone to talk to who is more understanding than judgmental.
Female, age 14: Be more understanding and pay more attention.
Female, age 18: Be able to discuss awkward subjects that we [teens] can’t talk about with others.
Female, age 14: Respect my space when I’m having a bad day; and be as understanding as possible.
The perfect parent would not ...
Female, age 17: Be a helicopter parent.
Unknown, age 17: Mope around.
Male, age 17: Read my email; expect an equal exchange of favors; treat me like a friend, confidant, or source of support.
Unknown, age 17: Snoop around in my room; bring their problems into my life.
Female, age 17: Be evasive.
Female, age 22: Expect me to become them.
Female, age 21: Try to make my future something I do not want it to be.
Female, age 15: Be over-protective.
Female, age 14: Overreact at the slightest thing.
Female, age 18: Prevent themselves from trying to understand the changed cultural/time since when they were young.
Female, age 14: Over pressure me during the year and try to push my abilities to the point where I cannot comply anymore.
Female, age 16: Feel as if they have to monitor my activities in order for me to succeed.
Female, age 18: Ignore me
In the perfect world my parent and I would ...
Male, age 17: Have an open relationship so we could talk about it when something is wrong, express our feelings, talk about our relationship, and together, fix anything that is wrong.
Unknown, age 17: Laugh together and bond, do fun activities, go shopping.
Female, age 22: Find a balance between friend and authority.
Female, age 21: Let me make mistakes, but be there when I need a parent.
Female, age 15: Let me make mistakes; enjoy each others company.
Male, age 18: Be able to enjoy each others company, but parent would know when to leave me alone.