A Note from Teen to Parent

Parenting teens can be a struggle at times. This is a real look at what teens want to express to their parents. Find more parenting encouragement at ConnieAllbers.com

I don’t mean to always argue with you. Honest, I don’t. I know you think I’m rebellious. I’m not; I’m just trying to be me. The problem is, I don’t know who I am right now. That’s why I wrote you this note.

I can’t tell you this face-to-face because I love you too much and don’t want to hurt your feelings. I can’t bear to see your eyes tear up when I try to tell you how I feel. It makes it harder for me to talk. So I shut down.

I love you, Mom. Oh, I know you can’t tell by the way I act, but I really do.

I don’t like me right now. When I try to express how I feel you tell me, “how wonderful I am,” or “how silly I am for feeling a certain way.” I can hear those words every time I think about talking to you. I didn’t always feel like this. There was a time I liked who I was, but not lately. I look in the mirror and see all my flaws. I get my grades back from school and feel stupid for not testing well. I know that I know the information, but you couldn’t tell from my grades.

I need you to love me even when I don’t show you love in return. I need you to be emotionally stronger than me. I need to know it’s you and me against the world, and that my actions won’t change your love for me. I know it is not right for me to dislike you or blame you for everything. I need to you understand what I’m going through.

Please do more than tolerate me and my bad attitude. I realize you think I should be grateful for everything you do, and I do on the inside. But, I can’t seem to control what is happening to my body, my thoughts, and stuff that comes from people online. There is so much pressure that I can barely breathe sometimes. If you want to ask your friends (not your Facebook friends) to pray for me, I’m okay with that. It might even help to ask them to pray for you, too. But promise me you won’t give up on me. Promise me you will still love me. Things will not always be like this; I promise you.

This season of transition will end. It’s a season of enormous change in my life. I am learning how to become the person I am created to be. It’s time I have to learn to stand up for myself. I have to learn how to work through conflict. This is the season that I must learn how to apply what you have been teaching since I was little. I was listening and watching you, even when you didn’t think I was. Sometimes, I wish I didn’t have your words swirling around in my head. But they are there like an anchor keeping me securely fastened.

Just when you think we’ve turned a corner and things start going smoothly, I’ll change, leaving you to start the process all over again. The teen years are like that. My world is very different from when you were a teen. The Internet changed everything.

So many of my friends are fighting with their parents. They tell me what is said to them; the hurtful words that pierce their heart; words that could be avoided if only their parent knew how to love them through this challenging season.

This parenting job is not very rewarding for you right now. I know all you want is a smile in the morning, the dishwasher to be unloaded without telling me, and my room to be picked up. You aren’t asking for too much. Not really. I’m sorry I don’t acknowledge all that you do for our family and me. I should. I need you to hold on as I struggle through this season of life.

No matter how much I complain, or how many times I forget to say good morning or good night, or how many times I give you the silent treatment, don’t quit on me.

I love you, and I need you to love me.