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Mind Matters | Problems of a teenager

The Annapurna Express

The Annapurna Express

Mind Matters | Problems of a teenager

I’m a 17-year-old high-schooler, and I have been having a lot of misunderstandings with my parents. I feel like they don’t understand me or my point of view at all. I have so many restrictions. My friends don’t have the same issues with their parents. I feel like my parents don’t trust me at all.  They don’t even take some time to sit down and listen to what I’m saying or figure out how I’m feeling. To be very honest, I fear I’m starting to resent them, and I don’t want to feel that way. What should I do?—A misunderstood teenager

Answered by Dristy Moktan, Psychosocial Counselor, Happy Minds

Teenage years come with a lot of transitions—emotional, social and mental. When you are going through all of this, there is bound to be a certain level of misunderstanding between you and your parents.

One of the key ways to sort this out is by ensuring proper communication with your parents. You mentioned that you feel like they aren’t giving you enough time and that they don’t listen to what you are saying. Maybe you can take out some time from your schedule and initiate the conversation you want to have. 

They were once teenagers too, so it’s likely they will understand what you are going through if you take the time to talk to them about it. If you are uncomfortable talking to both your parents, maybe you can talk to the one with whom you feel the most comfortable sharing your feelings. 

No doubt it will be difficult at first. There will be issues with either of you not understanding the other’s point of view. But if both you and your parents try to put aside your own biases and are more open to the other’s ideas, then things will eventually work out.

If you still think they won’t listen to you, talk to someone you think they will listen to. Is there a family friend or a relative they are likely to listen to? Confide in her/him and maybe s/he can be the mediator you and your parents need. 

Also, please take a moment to consider that this is a difficult phase for them too. They were so used to making decisions for you that your sudden need for independence can be jarring. It will take some getting used to and you will have to give them time for that. 

As far as restrictions go, parents will always  be protective, sometimes needlessly so. Try to come up with an arrangement that you are both comfortable with. For instance, if your parents don’t allow you to go out with your friends on the weekend because they want you to study at home, you can convince them to let you go if you study for a couple of hours extra during the weekdays.  

Rest assured that you can find a way to do what you like as well as maintain a good  relationship with your parents. It’s just about making some effort and a little bit of compromise.