You have a lifetime of experience and insight, but your teen is less than eager to hear your advice. You know exactly how she can solve the problem she’s having, but in her eyes, you couldn’t possibly know what’s best. If this sounds familiar, you are not alone.
As a parent, it can be frustrating to feel that your teenager isn’t listening when you share your valuable wisdom, but it helps if you understand why it seems she can’t be bothered with your sound advice.
Consider this: Some teens can carry on in a way that seems adult-like, often holding intelligent conversations, and understanding idioms, hyperbole, and sarcasm. For these reasons, it becomes easy for actual adults to forget that teens are still undergoing significant developmental changes, which affect their behaviors.
One substantial developmental change that takes place during teenage development is the establishment of a sense of independence and autonomy from parents.
Therefore, in dealing with challenges and tougher situations, it is normal and healthy for teens to want to handle things without you. They might even recognize that you have do helpful advice, but they still want to figure it out on their own. Understanding this truth of teenage development can help ease some of the frustration that comes when your thoughtful suggestions are met with eye rolls.
Next time your advice isn’t heeded, remember that your teen is behaving normally as he or she is developing into an independent and autonomous adult. To that, I say, what a relief!
Read about more topics affecting families by viewing our Family Fundamentals column.