Connecting with your teens before they set sail…

They did it again!

Last month, my senior writing class shared how their parents could best help them succeed in school in a post entitled Helicopter Parenting, Since they assembled such an insightful list then, I invited them, this time, to share their thoughts on how their parenting teens, especially the ones on the verge of graduation.

So, once again. Here they are, in no particular order. And, as before, you may not agree with some of what they said, but they did share in the spirit of honesty.

  • Please teach us how to be financially responsible, especially those of us leaving soon for college. We want to be more involved and understand how to budge and what challenges you face..the “real life” stuff.
  • Sometimes we’re told we’re growing older, but then we’re treated like children.
  • When you’re the passenger in the car I’m driving, please act calmly. No matter how hard you push on the floorboard, the brake is still on my side of the car.
  • Last-minute plans surprise us. The plans may not be last-minute to you, but we might not hear about them until the day before when we’ve already made plans.
  • Being told, “You’re going to go, and you’re going to like it,” doesn’t work well.
  • If we’re the oldest, we don’t like feeling we’re supposed to parent our younger siblings. If we’re the younger sibling, we don’t like when the oldest try to parent us.
  • We understand that being “fair” doesn’t mean we’re all treated the same, but we don’t understand playing favorites.
  • Don’t be nervous when you have “THE TALK” with us. If you’re uncomfortable talking to us about sex, we’re going to be uncomfortable asking you questions. Based on the kid, it’s okay to use a book or a letter to explain.
  • We know you’re the parent, but that doesn’t automatically mean you’re ALWAYS  right. It’s frustrating feeling like our opinions don’t matter because we’re young.
  • Trying to shut us down leads to resentment.
  • If we look angry or sad and respond, “I don’t want to talk about it,” when you ask what’s wrong, please don’t keep asking. Wait a few days and bring it up again, and we’ll have cooled down and had time to process what was going on.
  • We might have different opinions, but that doesn’t mean we’re trying to be disrespectful.
  • It wouldn’t hurt to teach the boys how to cook, and the girls how to change a tire.

Christa Allan

A true Southern woman who knows any cook worth her gumbo starts with a roux and who never wears white after Labor Day, Christa writes "not-your-usual Christian Fiction. Her debut novel, Walking on Broken Glass in 2010 was followed by The Edge of Grace, which released in August of 2011. Love Finds You in New Orleans will be available in early 2012. Christa is the mother of five children, grandmother of three, and teacher of high school English. She and her husband Ken live in Louisiana, where they enjoy their time between dodging hurricanes and anticipating retirement.

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  1. Great post! Especially liked the last one! My hubby loves teaching our girls how to use tools and about cars. My dad taught me the same things!

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