The Ideal Relationship with a Parent
As a parent, sometimes it is hard to know how our teens perceive us. We all want to be there for our children and have a great relationship with each of them. Sometimes, however, they don't see us as we intend them to.
We asked a group of teens about what their perfect relationship with their parent would look like.
Here's what they said:
- The Perfect Parent Would . . .
- The Perfect Parent Would Not . . .
- In a Perfect World, My Parent and I Would . . .
The Perfect Parent Would . . .
- Male, age 18: Listen. Everything else hinges upon listening.
- Female, age 17: Be open to talk and understand me.
- Male, age 17: Talk, express what they want, and show affection – not think affection is understood or a given.
- Female, age 15: Respect "space" and use things (errors) as a teaching moment, not punishment.
- Unknown, age 17: Keep their problems to themselves, know they can trust me, and give me encouragement.
- Female, age 16: Support my own interests and goals for the future rather than just what they (parents) want me to do.
- Female, age 22: Try to help me find myself and give me enough freedom while also showing enough care.
- Female, age 21: Understand when I need someone to talk to who is more understanding than judgmental.
- Female, age 14: Be understanding and pay more attention.
- Female, age 18: Be able to discuss awkward subjects that we (teens) can't talk about with others.
- Female, age 14: Respect my space when I'm having a bad day, and be as understanding as possible.
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The Perfect Parent Would Not . . .
- Female, age 17: Be a helicopter parent.
- Unknown, age 17: Mope around.
- Male, age 17: Read my email; expect an equal exchange of favors; treat me like a friend, confidant, or source of support.
- Unknown, age 17: Snoop around in my room or bring their problems into my life.
- Female, age 17: Be evasive.
- Female, age 22: Expect me to become them.
- Female, age 21: Try to make my future something I do not want it to be.
- Female, age 15: Be overprotective.
- Female, age 14: Overreact to the slightest thing.
- Female, age 18: Prevent themselves from understanding the changed culture/time since when they were young.
- Female, age 14: Pressure me too much during the year and try to push me to the point where I cannot comply anymore.
- Female, age 16: Feel as if they have to monitor my activities in order for me to succeed.
- Female, age 18: Ignore me.
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In a Perfect World, My Parent and I Would . . .
- Male, age 17: Have an open relationship, so we could talk when something is wrong, express our feelings, talk about our relationship, and together, fix anything that is wrong.
- Unknown, age 17: Laugh together and bond, do fun activities, go shopping.
- Female, age 22: Find a balance between friend and authority.
- Female, age 21: Let me make mistakes, but be there when I need a parent.
- Female, age 15: Make mistakes, and let me make mistakes; enjoy each others company.
- Male, age 18: Be able to enjoy each others company, but my parent would know when to leave me alone.
- Female, age 17: Talk openly.
- Male, age 18: Simply talk.
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