Dear Parents & Teenagers

Dear Parents & Teenagers,

Want to know why your teenagers are rebelling? Or, why your parents don’t understand literally (in your best teenage girl voice) anything? Right around the age of 12 or 13 teens reach a point where things start to go downhill. Hormones start to kick in and that can mean many different things. For boys, there is a natural inclination to want to blow things up, and for girls it’s sass, major sass. Often when the roller coaster of hormones starts parents and teens start to miscommunicate. There are a couple of scenarios every teenager and parent will go through, here’s what you do when they come:


This is one of the most dreaded scenarios in a parent’s life. It’s one of the clearest signs that your baby is growing up. Teens don’t understand this, which leads to a lot of head budding.


Try to remember what it was like when you were young. All of those embarrassing things your parents did to you; don’t repeat the cycle. You don’t have to be the “cool” parent, but don’t hover. No one likes a helicopter parent. Also remember, you raised your kid well, if your teen is dating this person, they probably make them happy.

Teens (girls):

Good luck. If you happen to be daddy’s princess this is going to be a tough process for you. It’s going to take months, yes months for your dad to get used to the idea of you dating, let alone let you go out any time past 10:30pm. But, remember that your parents are doing it only because they see you as the five year old who used to think boys had Koodies. If you keep that in mind, you will have better luck.

            Teens (boys):

Be ready. Those interrogations are coming. So, be ready to answer every question that comes your way. If you find yourself at your girlfriend’s house and her dad happens to be “cleaning the gun” while meeting you for the first time, this is no coincidence. Don’t be frightened, just leave a good impression—picking her up for the first date is always a good start. If you want to go over the top, pay for dinner. I guarantee she will go come and give you mad points for being so courteous—giving you that nice impression you needed to get off on the right foot.

Breaking curfew:

This is the most common debate between a parent and teenager. It’s hard to determine what’s fair for both sides, but definitely a situation neither person will leave happy with.


Hear your teen out. If they come home and say, “I completely lost track of time”. Okay it’s completely fair to punish them. If they come home and say, “I left 45 minutes ago and 94 was down to one lane” maybe consider you do have a responsible teen who got caught in a sticky situation. Always be fair. If you ask me, a warning is fair the first time. After that, well I’m a teenager so I’d like a warning every time, but maybe try an earlier curfew for one night instead of jumping to a week of being grounded. It’s important to find a balance between remembering teens are still kids, but they are almost adults. If you treat them like children, they are only going to rebel as adults.


Don’t do it. On the rare occasion your parents are asleep you might get away with it, or they could be wide-awake and prepared to give you a lesson on responsibility. That’s a good outcome. Most of the time, you’re going to get an even earlier curfew and your 9-year-old sister is going to be staying out later than you are. Trust me, you might get away with it once, but the one time you don’t it’s not going to be worth it.

A really bad day:

No explanation needed.


Stay away. If you ask your teen “how was your day?” and you get a response of “I don’t want to talk about it.” Or “Fine.” That really does mean, “I don’t want to talk about it ” or it was in fact “Fine.” Stop fishing. Pushing even harder is like aggravating a bear—not a good situation. If you let your bear get some sleep or give them some food they should be back to their normal hormonal teenage selves.


Go straight to your room. Don’t stop; just keep walking. Take a nap or put some headphones in and listen to music. Whatever you do, avoid people. Anything you say cannot, I repeat cannot be taken back. No amount of compliments or sucking up can fix what you just said. Just because you’re in a bad mood, don’t let it affect everybody else.


Tedious tasks parents call “teaching their kids responsibility.”


Don’t make up meaningless chores. You’re just asking for your teenager to complain. Make expected chores like taking out the trash every week, or the dishes after dinner. If you all of the sudden say, “I need you to pick up the dog poop” but they were planning on watching 45 minutes of Netflix—your situation may not go over so well.


The more you complain, the more time you are wasting. It’s better just to get the chores done as fast as you can. (I probably shouldn’t be talking though because I complain the entire time.) If you really don’t want to do them, say you have to study or do homework. That should do the trick too.

In all, try to look at the other’s perspective. If you’re only looking at your own situation you will get frustrated easily. Be as empathetic as possible. So, parents and teens I hope you took something away from these scenarios. Teens, know your parents love you and them prying into your life is just them wanting to spend time with you. Parents, remember your kids are growing up and them rebelling doesn’t mean they hate you.