We hear it all the time… “They just don’t understand.”

So…. what do you wish they knew?

Parents should realize how much pressure we are already have, we just need their support.

We want to be able to make our own decisions, not just what our parents want us to do.

I wish they knew about the real strengths and weaknesses of their kids… and not just what they perceive  or want them to be.

I wish parents understood teenage circumstances so that they could be more understanding of our situations.

I wish they would be more responsible themselves and then realize that their children are NOT Angels… then at times can be little devils.

I wish they knew that things are going on, and instead of trying to protect and shield us from everything, that they would discuss with us the facts, the consequences and give good reasons why NOT to get into those things.

I wish my parents knew that although I’m stressed and busy, I am fine.  I really do like a busy life.

I wish they were more aware of what goes on when they aren’t home and how some kids have parties and do drugs with their friends they aren’t home.

That teenagers (especially for those that are first born) never got a full warning of how complicated our lives would become.  Stress is the worst part about a high school and it makes going to school extremely challenging.

What do you wish they would ask you OR NOT ask you?

I wish they would ask how they could help you and not criticize what we are doing.

I wish they would ask me about my homework and then let me talk about my day if I feel like it.

I wish my parents would not ALWAYS ask me who I am with and where I am going.

I wish they would ask us what we learned…. AND about our friends and the choices they are making.

I wish they would ask me what may have stressed me out that day.

I wish they would NOT CONSTANTLY bug me to do my homework, or ask if I need help.  I think they should wait for their kids to ask them for help, or just try to offer help from time to time – but not constantly.

When is a good time for your parent to talk to you OR NOT talk to you?

It is a good time to talk to me when we are driving somewhere together in a car, over dinner or any other time than when I am obviously occupied.

Anytime, we should answer you… just talk to us.

I think letting your kid start the conversation is the best way to get an open and honest dialogue.

A good time to talk to me is usually on weekends.

A good time to talk is right after practice or school, or longer car rides together.  Bad times are when I am relaxing or doing homework.

Driving in a car, or traveling.  When we are relaxing, or trying to…. there’s a higher chance the kids will be annoyed because their time to relax was interrupted.

It is not a good time to talk on a school night when there is a lot of homework, tests the next day because these conversations get really fleshed out and take a lot of time.  Weekend dinners are normally a good time to talk.

It is not a good time to talk to me immediately after school or before school about my grades.  I am CONSTANTLY thinking about grades and I don’t like to think about them at 7:AM or right after I get home from school.

A good time to talk to me is when I’m relatively unstressed, and when my schedule is less busy, not when I come home from somewhere or when I’m about to leave.

How should your parents or other adults talk to you in a way that they are NOT talking to you now?

I wish they would ask me more specific questions about school and homework… not just how my day went.

I wish parents weren’t so condescending or talk to you as if you don’t know what you think.  I wish they eased more into conversations.

Try to allow your child to start the conversation if you’ve already had the conversation multiple times before.  Also, try to be understanding and not judge their choices… but make sure they know if it goes against your values, that it’s not an OK idea or choice.

Parents should help teens make choices but ultimately teens should feel empowered enough to make their own decisions.

How can Parents better understand Social Media and what you’re doing or NOT doing on it?

They can ask and allow me to explain OR get involved and try to understand the activity on social media isn’t bad.

Give them some privacy.  You can follow them and check in once in a while.  Do NOT stalk their friends, that can make both your child and their friends uncomfortable.

I don’t think a lot of parents know how nasty social media can get and how some kids can get in trouble with colleges just by posting a picture or something they might not think is bad or inappropriate.

I think that they should understand that everyone is connected, so everyone sees everything.

What do you want them to hear from you that they don’t seem to hear?

When I try explain or answer them, who I am hanging out with, my friends OR when I try to tell them how difficult things are for me.

Sometimes we are in uncomfortable situations, but we don’t know how to approach you without making you mad or disappointed.

What do Parents NOT get?

How everything works and appears from MY teenage perspective.

Parents don’t get that we can’t be perfect.   And, sometimes we just need a break.

We ALL make mistakes, and WE should be the one ones fixing them when we make them.

Parents don’t get that kids aren’t always trying to do bad things when they go out.  Going to a football game really can mean to go a football game.

Parents don’t get that it is a trend to abuse drugs at parties and that any teen could make a bad decision to drink or use drugs.

They don’t understand the social pressure and school pressure we face every day.

What is the difference between strict and being concerned?

Strict is overbearing and a form of being concerned but with lots of restrictions.

Strict is being overbearing, controlling their kids’ lives.  Concerned is being there when needed.

Allow for mistakes, but talk to your child, and keep talking to them.

Strict is when parents won’t let you do certain things like leave the house or go out with friends and being concerned is letting you have freedom but making sure that you are safe.

Being concerned is just checking that things are okay.  Being strict is not allowing kids to do something even with unwarranted reason.

Teens should have freedom BUT you as parents, adults, schools and the community should always be aware of their safety.

Being strict is putting a lot more pressure on kids than being concerned.  Being strict is less about the emotional health, being concerned is.

Strict is making assumptions and enforcing rules without asking.  Concerned is asking what we think, feel and talking about how we act.

Strict is enforcing without listening.  Concerned is listening and supporting after listening.

What and who are you most concerned with right now?  How can we (Parents, Schools, the Community) support you?

I’m most concerned with soccer and school… getting into college.  I need more encouragement, not pressure.

School, tests…. Everything is overwhelming.

Standardized test scores and grades… c just be supportive and encouraging.

From what I see, Parents sometimes are the ones allowing these things (teen drinking and partying) to happen.

I’m concerned about the abuse of prescription drugs and how parents don’t know that teens are taking way too much of a dosage in a single day.

I am concerned about suicidal teens and teens that don’t feel supported by their parents and teens that don’t feel comfortable with their home life.  There are more than any of us are aware.

I am most concerned about my future.  School, teachers, etc.… could put less pressure on me to get into the BEST college.  Parent could help me by letting me make my own decisions.





BBCC is dedicated to providing resources to students and parents in the mental health and wellness of our teens.  We look to support you in prevention intervention and overall support where you need it most.  The YAB is a great resource to tap into the teen mind, voice and is an open and inclusive point of view on how to handle life in these exciting and challenging times.