* Please don’t compare us to others. It hurts. It makes us feel bad about ourselves and tells us that you would like us to be more like someone else.
*Research shows that the teen brain is prone to taking risks. Try to encourage us to take healthy risks, such as getting involved in extreme sports or running for student office.
*Understand that we experience social rejection and are subject to hurtful comments pretty often, and it can be very painful. Help us to find great friends and to balance our social time with family, work and alone time.
*Try to find out what worries us the most.
*Please don’t think that how it was in “your day” is how it is today. While we are dealing with many of the same issues as you dealt with when you were this age, we want you to recognize how things are different. For example, colleges are more competitive and social media adds new layers of complication to our relationships.
*We lead two lives: our physical existence and that which we present on our social media pages. We are very busy balancing our two reputations.
*Our identity is tied to that of our peers. This is why we have a need to stay very closely tied to our friends – to what they are doing, wearing and thinking. This is partially what feeds our fear of missing out and what leads us to feel passionately about resisting curfews and the like.
This article is based on The Top 10 Things Teens Wish Their Parents Knew by Vanessa Van Petten. She is the founder of Radical Parenting.com, a website that gives voice to teenagers in hope of building more communication between teens and parents.