How can we make sure our tweens and teens are OK?

Dear Friend,

Kerry here. 🙂 A few years ago, I gathered a team of high school and college students and we went out and interviewed teens about their relationships with their parents.

Here are a few things the teens had to say:

YOUTH WANT THEIR PARENTS TO LISTEN.1 in 4 youth said that quality time spent together and being listened to are what helps them feel close with their parents.
“What?!” You may ask. “But they don’t act like it.”
I know. But it’s what they said. Would it change how you act with your teen if you knew that underneath, they actually long to feel close to you?
Here are a few specifics they said help them feel closer:How much my parents take the time to listen and what we both put into our relationship.How often we talk and how deep the conversations are.How much time I spend with both of them.

YOUTH WANT TO FEEL ACCEPTED AND UNDERSTOODThe teens said that parents who want to be closer to their kids can:Show their unconditional support and love.Don’t set a cookie-cutter standard; rather, let me grow into my own separate person.Be intentional in getting to know me for who I am now. Try to see things from my perspective.

WHAT DO YOU WISH YOUR PARENTS KNEW?We asked the kids my favorite question, which was: “What do you wish your parents knew?”Young people described still feeling little inside and wanting their parents to be comforting home base… even though, to their parents, they seem to have no interest in that. Remember when they were toddlers who wandered away and frequently came back to you as “home base?” Same principle applies now.We put together a video with the most common responses heard when we asked youth, “What do you wish your parents knew?”
Do any of the responses in the video resonate with you? What if you watch this with your kid and get their thoughts?Join the conversation and respond here. We’d love to hear! Palmer and I read your responses and will reply. 😊
With love as you show up, day in and day out, as the best parent you can be,

Kerry and Palmer
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Kerry Stutzman
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