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What Your Teen Really Wants But Won’t Tell You…

Phil Velez, Restore Church

Dear Journal,

I wish I could ask my parents this question but really get an honest answer:

Do you remember what it was like when you were in my shoes?

I know my parents have my well-being in mind. They tell me it’s for my own good at least three times a week. How could I not get it by now? I just feel like my parents forgot what it was like to be me. What it was like to be me without knowing what they know now. What it was like to be a teen, reason like a teen, and feel like a teen. Could they really model what the Bible says for me in their parenting and not just with their words?

This is what I really want, but I feel like I can’t ever tell them…

I Want Them To Care When I Do Something Good Too.

“Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.”

Colossians‬ ‭3:21‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I only hear from my parents when I do something bad or don’t behave the way they think I should. I know they care, but I want them to care the same way whenever I do something they approve of. I mean, why can’t they invest the same amount of energy in what makes them proud?

That just makes me feel like they don’t notice what good things are in me and if they don’t notice it then no one else will, so why even do it at all? I guess the bad attention is the only attention I’ll ever get. They may not mean to be that way, but it would help to know that they care about the good things I do too. They just easily overlook it. Don’t just tell me I did a good job, but let me into your heart.

Why does it mean so much to you that I continue to do this?

I Want Them To Remind Me Of What Is Good.

“They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children,”

Titus‬ ‭2:3–4‬ ‭ESV‬‬

My parents love me. I know they do, but right now I’m only concerned with myself. I don’t have the life experience that is going to teach me to make better decisions, but my parents tend to focus on teaching me what is bad instead of what is good.

What I see on TV, what I listen to in music, and what I talk about with some of my friends will teach me a lot of wrong things. It’s not very hard to find the wrong influences in my life. I don’t need someone to remind me that they are wrong, I need someone who’s going to remind about what is good. That means don’t tell me not to smoke weed because it’s bad for me. Remind me that I’m valuable, that I’m a child of God, that I’m made in the image of God, and that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.

I can easily lose sight of that when I’m so impressionable.

I Want Them To Be A Friend.

“No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”

John‬ ‭15:15‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I get that my parents are always going to be my parents and that will never change. I feel like I’ve gotten past the age of being threatened or physically disciplined for my actions or behaviors.

What I really need is a friend.

I’m starting to figure out a ton of things about myself. I don’t really know who I am and the struggle between what I’m always around and what I’m being taught at home can get really overwhelming. I wouldn’t mind letting my parents into my world if I didn’t always feel so judged by them. I don’t always need a lecture. A friend to just hear me out can go a long way. Besides, I’m going to confess to someone, why not let it be them?

What I’m asking for is probably hard and I’m afraid that they won’t ever understand where I’m coming from. I’m not asking them to stop being my parents, I’m just asking them to start being my friend.

I Want Them To Know That They Are Loved.

I probably don’t say this as often as I should, but I know my parents are the people I can rely on the most. They may not feel like I’m listening when they talk, but I’m listening. When I’m backed up against the wall and life is getting the best of me, it’s mom and dad’s words that always have the loudest voice.

We may not get along as often as we would both like, but that has nothing to do with me not loving them. I just haven’t gotten to that place where I can see the value of having them around. When I see the kids at school who don’t have both of their parents in their life, I think about my parents and I’m so grateful for them.

I want them to remember what it was like being in my shoes, but I also want them to know that I wouldn’t want to walk a mile without them by my side…


Phil Velez is a husband, father, believer, and blogger for I believe it is possible to change the world! Check out more by him there. Let us know if you want to read more by him on Subscribe to the culture and receive tons of great freebies like iPhone backgrounds, exclusive blog posts and so much more!

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One thought on “What Your Teen Really Wants But Won’t Tell You…”

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