what not to say… to a teen

Okay, so it’s been almost a decade since I was a teen. But believe me when I say I remember it well. Probably a little too well. And there were a handful of things uninformed adults liked to say that were, well, less than helpful. Whether the teen you’re attempting to converse with is your offspring or not, there are a few things you shouldn’t say.

“One day you’ll ____” It doesn’t matter how you end that sentence. Whether it’s “understand” or “get married” or whatever, it’s not always helpful. Because teens hear all the time that they have a future and they have a lot to look forward to and blah blah. The thing is, while that’s all good and great, it’s like you’re saying “just hang out in limbo for a few years until you get to the age when people actually respect you.”

Not okay. You may look at a teen and see a life unlived, but they’re already living. Now. Here. Don’t tell them their lives are in the future. Don’t pretend they don’t exist now. Sure, it’s fantastic to talk about the future positively, but don’t ignore their present. (more…)