Relationships between parents and teens


Siena Juhlin

Freshman Cameron Thompson has never had an easy time pleasing her dad. For as long as Thompson can recall, her father has had a tough love philosophy.
“I can remember a time where my sister told my dad about her good grade on a test, and he replied with something disproving her grade and telling her to study harder next time,” Thompson said. “My dad and I don’t have a good relationship because he’s mostly focused on my sisters and I getting a good education and concentrating on school. We mostly just try to seek his approval and focus on school like he wants us to.”
It’s not uncommon for teens to have a distant relationship with their parents. Troubled Teens states, “It’s considered to be normal behavior for a teenager to be emotionally distant as they progress throughout their adolescent years.”
Unbalanced hormones and the stress of being a parent can sometimes come between a parent and teen. Not only do hormones affect the relationship but also, the teens search for their true self.
“The real task of adolescence, and the real cause of turbulence, is the teens own uncertainty about who he is alongside his eager need to establish a sense of identity,” Psychology Today claims.
“There’s lots of stress between my dad and I because he’s always trying to enforce his standards and I’m trying to live up to them,” Thompson said.
Parents often forget that the teenage years are an important time to have a healthy relationship with adults. During high school, many new problems such as friend drama and more intense levels of school work. This is when a child needs someone to be there and support them.
“You need to spend time with children, and they want to know that you’re around to support them,” counselor Lisa Jenkins said. “I think when a parent’s involved, it shows up in the student’s school work and communication is a good thing.”
Sophomore Connor Squellati said he understands such disagreements, but he says he would describe his relationship with his parents as very close.
“We have a very loving, and respective relationship,” Squellati said.
According to Planned Parenthood, teens are “more willing to accept supervision and adopt values when they are closer to a parent.”
Dr. Phil agrees with Planned Parenthood’s theory, which suggests to be close to “your teen” and to basically be a “friend with rules.”
Although some parent and teenage relationships may be tough, there’s always some really strong bonds between the two.
“My mom is and always has been a really big part of my life. I love her and I tell her everything, and I’m pretty sure she knows me better than anyone,” Thompson said.
A strong interconnection between an adolescent and a parent benefits both the child and the parent.
“Since birth, as a child, you are psychologically conditioned to want to be close to your parents and win their approval. It is an instinct we are all born with for successful physical, social and emotional development,” Thought Catalog said,.“ A 2013 study published in the Journal of Adolescence has shown that poor quality of parent and child relationships in adolescence is often associated with poor adult psychosocial adjustment.”
Jenkins believes as in any other relationship, both parties must contribute.
“Listening skills are required on both parts because a teenager can learn from their parent.” Jenkins said.
The Child Trends Organization states children develop better life skills when they are close with a parent, while the parent is relieved with some stress because there is more trust in the relationship.
A simple way that the One Place organization recommends improving parent and teens relationships is to “Remember your child’s past and believe in your child’s future.” Many different programs such as Planned Parenthood, HuffPost Parents and Raising believe that a big way to improve teen and parent relationsips is to support them. They state that teens seek parents approval, like Thompson said, and the way to improve relation is to show faith and help them find a passion.
“One of the main reasons my parents and I have a good relationship is because they are very supportive and understanding of me,” Squellati said.
Teen and parent relationships are important because teens take influence from their parents. It’s important to strive to gain close ties between the two because both parent and teen benefit from a healthy relationship according to Child Trends.
“I really love my parents,” Squellati said, “and it’s just easier to have a good relationship with them. They trust me and I feel like I could tell them anything.”