Dear moms, dads, grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, uncles, siblings or anyone else this may concern,
Teenagers are fragile like spider webs. Any pluck on the web can cause it to break. I am here to tell you how to talk to your teenager. It may sound harsh, but just hear me out. This article could be the difference between household war and peace.
How to Talk to Teens: Things You Should Not Say
1. “Put the phone away.”
Welcome to the digital age and the era of the cell phone. These godly creations have established their leadership and dethroning them can be a Herculean task. So dear, moms, dads, grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, uncles, siblings, or anyone to whom this may concern, you are not Hercules. When you consider telling your teen to put down their cell phone, you may want to rethink that. Teens connect with the world through phones. I understand that sometimes unplugging is reasonable, but please be cautious in proceeding.
2. “You’re wearing that?”
Fashion is a means of self-expression for anyone, including teenagers. So when you say, “Really? You’re wearing that?” you can expect a reaction. Schools already limit clothing styles through the use of uniforms and dress codes, which some believe put a damper on a great outlet for expressionist. So dear moms, dads, grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, uncles, siblings or anyone to whom this may concern, once teens are given a lick of fashion freedom, please leave us alone. Take my advice: If your teen is wearing an outfit you don’t like, smile and say, “You look cute,” even if you think otherwise.
3. “Tell me about your day.”
Teens don’t like it when you ask about their day. If a teen has a day that they want to talk about, they will. It’s complicated to chat about school experiences, and sometimes we don’t want to rehash any hurtful or difficult issues. So dear, moms, dads, grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, uncles, siblings or anyone to whom this may concern, my advice is simple. Try not to go to your teen about the day too much. Let them come to you.
4. “Time to get up.”
An alarm clock during the week is saddening enough, but an alarm clock on the weekend is downright depressing. My school starts at 7:30 a.m. With that early start time, I suck in every last second of sleep I can get. I assume this is the same for other students. We teens need our sleep. So dear, moms, dads, grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, uncles, siblings or anyone to whom this may concern, do not wake up a teen on the weekend unless it is necessary. Let us sleep. Let us be lazy. And let us relax. It’s our only chance to catch up on the sleep we don’t get during the week.
5. “Is that a pimple?”
My final point encompasses … well, points. Many teens have multiple, red points on their skin. These devilish points are known oh too well as pimples. So dear, moms, dads, grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, uncles, siblings or anyone to whom this may concern, we know they are there. We understand that you may be trying to help us by suggesting this face wash, that make-up, and that we might not want to eat a candy bar. But that’s not how to talk to teens. You are drawing attention to an embarrassing mark that we can’t do much about. Please put yourselves in our shoes. We get it. We know they’re there. Enough said.