Parents and Teens: Working On Communication

One of the Sunday school classes we are offering this semester for youth is called “Raising Your Parents.”  The class is based on a book written by teens to other teens about parents.  At the beginning of the class we asked the students to fill out a quick survey about the topic of parents.  I wanted to share with you their input below.  We asked four questions and their answers are listed under those questions.  If there is a number by the answer it is because that that many youth responded the same way to the question asked.

If you look through the answers one idea keeps coming up for me, communication.  Youth want parents to communicate with them about their decision-making process, fears, trust, and family life.  They are also listening.  Youth would advise others to listen to their parents.  Communication is a two-way street and as a parent I sometimes make the mistake of making it one-way (mine).  Our children need to hear more from us and we need to listen more to them.

On September 18 at 12:15pm, the family ministry program is hosting a luncheon for parents and teens to attend that deals with this issue of communication.  The program is an opportunity for you and your child to talk to one another.  The workshop will be lead by Dr. Richard Ross.  Please plan on signing up for and attending this workshop with your teenager.  You can register online by clicking here.

I would like to also offer to you as parents to meet with Dr. Richard Ross during the Sunday School hour (9:45-10:45am) on September 18 for a talk about “Making a Spiritual Impact on Your Children.”  This talk is open to all parents.  The workshop at 12:15pm is for parents and youth both to attend.

1. What questions would you ask your parents if you could ask them any question?

  • What can I do better? (2)
  • Would you still love me if I was awful?
  • What do you think of me as your child and how do you think I’m progressing?
  • Why don’t you trust me and let me go out as much as I would like? (2)
  • Why do you not give me more of the freedom I feel I deserve?
  • Why do you want to help me in stuff?
  • Why do you ask so many questions?
  • Why parents keep secrets from children?
  • Do I have to go to school? (2)
  • Why do we have to keep our room clean?
  • Can I have one week free from chores?
  • Why do you always threaten to take my phone when I do something wrong?
  • Why do you tell us not to do something when you do it?
  • Why I am always proven wrong?  
  • Why can’t I say what I feel when I am mad at them?
  • Why do you make small things into big things?
  • Why do I have to value your opinion?
  • Why do you make decisions about me while comparing me to my siblings?
  • Why do they never trust what I say and just listen to my older sibling?
  • Why did you have kids and deal with all this?
  • What plan do parents have for our lives?
  • Why does us growing up make you so nervous?
  • Was growing up for you the same as growing up for me, mentally?
  • Why do you do the things you do?
  • Stop harassing me to do stuff when I am busy.
  • Do not disturb me when playing video games.
  • Can I have $300? (2)

2. What questions or topic would you like to cover in this class if possible?

  • Why so overprotective? (4)
  • Jesus. (3)
  • How to build up trust with your parents? (2)
  • Why parents punish us? (2)
  • Situations that you would talk about to your parents.
  • How to prevent arguments at home?
  • How to be polite to parents even when I don’t understand their thinking?
  • Why we always disagree with our parents?
  • Parent’s point of view
  • Why my parents schedule is always more important than mine?
  • Why is hard work a good life lesson?
  • How to keep our parents proud of us?
  • College plans and what parents think about dating?
  • How to get away with stuff?
  • Freedom and how to get more of it?

3. What are your expectations for this class?

  • Understand parents more. (4)
  • I don’t know. (4)
  • To figure out that what my parents do is for a purpose. (2)
  • Class to be fun. (2)
  • Better relationship with my parents.
  • To learn to keep my parents liking me.
  • Learn why parents ask so many questions.
  • I hope to become even closer with my parents and not get as irritated with them.
  • My parent’s decisions and reasoning.
  • Learn about my parents point of view.
  • Learn why parents do some of the things they so and why they say what they say.
  • To pay attention and really understand what they’re saying.
  • Be a better son.

4. What is one thing you wish you could tell someone younger than you about how to deal with parents that you wish someone would have told you?

  • Always listen because they can really help you out in the future. (5)
  • Your not always right. (2)
  • Don’t act stupid. (2)
  • Do everything they say. (2)
  • Parents sound crazy and do things that sound bad, but they do it for your own good.
  • School is boring.
  • Never talk back and happy mom equals happy family.
  • Parents are going to punish you if you do something wrong.
  • All your parents want for you is good. Don’t take it wrong or get angry. Trust them in the fact they just want you to learn.
  • Even if you don’t understand why you are punished in a certain way, just go with it.
  • To always say yes ma'am and yes sir.
  • Be patient with your parents.
  • You have a better chance of getting what you want if your nice.
  • Always do what you say.  Mean what you say.  Say what you mean.
  • If you are going to do something wrong, don’t get caught.
  • Don’t talk about fiends around your family.
  • Don’t complain about what they say to do.
  • If you make a really big mistake, tell them about it and how you feel before they find out some other way.  Talk to them about the big, scary things and your problems.
  • Don’t doubt them 99% of the time.
  • That life is not all fun and games.
  • Your not perfect.
  • Don’t pressure parents too much but just enough.
  • Just go with it.