I’m going to start us off on a limb here, and guess that when you think of the relationship between teens and adults today, you don’t view it as optimal.
I know I don’t.
I can imagine that, a lot of the time, people picture it like the above photo.
The field of miscommunication is vast. Honestly, I can’t properly nail every single thing that teens wish adults understood, but I’m going to attempt to thoroughly cover one main thought.
One of the main things we wish adults would realize, is age does NOT equal inexperience.
Now, before anyone gets too upset I do want to say, that I don’t believe teens know more than adults. We all know different things, and think differently, and all have thoughts to offer no matter how old or young we are. Every person ever, despite how long they have lived, has a unique story. In our stories, we all go through different situations with our individual minds.
1. Who are we supposed to listen to?
There doesn’t have to be a one or the other every single time.
Point is, we all have a lot to offer each other. So many times I have seen adults shoot down the opinion and experience of a young person just because they were a teen. Of course, most of us have probably seen the reverse situation. But how many times out of ten will an adult listen to another adult? And how many times out of ten will they listen, and I mean really listen, to a teen?
This is one of the reasons teens normally only truly talk to other teens, and in turn follow the direction of that teen.
2. What do we do about it?
I would love it if we all gave talking and listening a try. I don’t mean saying words and hearing words. I mean giving someone your real thoughts and really thinking on theirs in return.
Believe it or not, you can come up and have a conversation, and we won’t bite your head off. I have smiled at adults and elderly people in stores, and they looked at me like I had 9 arms and 3 eyeballs. I mean, sheesh!
If a teen comes to you about something, take it seriously. They want you to listen, whether they are right or wrong. Despite what you might think, teens do also want guidance. We may not always know who to go to. Not everyone has been blessed with the ideal relationship with their parents. The communication line between teens and adults has been so marred. We need to do something about it.
3. Where is the heart of the issue?
This might sting a little, but the heart of the issue lies with pride, on both sides.
“They’re children; what can they know?”
“They’re old; they don’t understand.”
Yes, those examples ARE extremely stereotypical.
But, teens don’t want to be shot down, and adults don’t want to “come down” to our level.
But, adults, teens are the future of our world. Don’t you remember when you were younger and it drove you crazy when someone wouldn’t listen to you because of your supposed lack of life experience?
And, teens, adults were in our shoes once, too, you know.
As I said before, we all have something to offer each other. Every year holds new experiences, and no two people go through the same exact situation.
Even if a family goes through something together, everyone handles it differently. So, because we are all individuals, our circumstances will be unique, therefore, no two situations will be the same. They will be similar, and we are able to relate to one another, but we can’t truly say, “I know how you feel.” We can have an idea of how someone is feeling, but we can’t know what it is they feel, simply because we are not them.
4. When do our stories relate?
You’d be surprised! Remember that we are all living through what we call life on what we call earth. We are all people with feelings and working minds. Therefore, we automatically relate! But we don’t need to compare. There is a huge difference between relating and comparing.
It is never a good idea to compare two people on any level. If we were meant to be compared to each other, we would all be the same. We’re not. Therefore, I suggest you avoid that.
5. Why are we struggling with this?
As I said, we are all humans, and we all have our own little walls up. But age doesn’t make us aliens to each other. It’s just another difference! Some adults have it rough, just as some teens do. We shouldn’t belittle one another’s problems or thoughts. God gave us our own struggles at different times.
I lost a close friend at a very young age to cancer, and that’s not something that every adult has experienced. Does that make me smarter and wiser than adults? No. Was it easier on me because I was young? Certainly not. But because of it, I do have my own set of thoughts to offer that someone else will not and an experience that not everyone has or will have. This is a part of life! I could use that to comfort anyone, adult or teen, who has suffered from a similar loss.
Life is a lot of give and take.
We ought to give respect to people and their opinions despite their age or experience. We can all learn better than what we know now. And we will all learn differently.
Maybe this creates some riffs between us, but it’s also a very beautiful thing to be unique.
Age is just a way of keeping track on how long your body has been alive on this earth. It doesn’t tell others what you have lived through in that time. It’s a number concerning living, not a definition of your life.
With this in mind, I hope you do understand what I was trying to say here. Thanks for reading! And if you haven’t already, go, go, go subscribe!
‘Til next time …