We ask the impossible. I am 17 years old and I realize this. You’re in a hard place, but so are we. We want parents and adults to be available at all times to listen to us about whatever we feel like talking about.
We also want you to leave us alone if we come home exhausted and not in the mood to talk and just want to be alone. We want you to give us advice if you have it, but we really want to just be acknowledged, listened to and comforted and told that a solution will come and that we will be capable of carrying it out.
Teenagers realize that part of growing up is doing lots of things along the way that later don’t seem quite so wise or praiseworthy. We need parents and adults to listen, to hear about our actions and our reasoning. We need you to realize that we’re still learn-ing things as we go along, and that, unfortunately, the best way to learn the right way to do things is to do them the wrong way, sometimes even more than once. Don’t judge us or make us feel guilty all the time. Just listen to us.
Don’t scare us off by hearing our worries and running off half-cocked to try to fix them. Sometimes we don’t even want action; we just want to be able to rant. Adults have learned how important it is to have a close friend or more experienced person to vent to, bounce ideas off of and receive advice from. Adults choose a support network of people who listen, accept and don’t judge. That’s who they should be for their kids. We need someone to listen to us and hear our worries without feeling the need to always be imparting wisdom.”