This is a comment by Michael Philp on the post “Raising Teenagers For Dummies (Like Me)“.
I love this list, and would only add that it’s important to be aware of your body language as well as your tone of voice. I speak from the perspective of a son who knows his mother loves him, but struggles sometimes with the ways she expresses her emotions. My mother has stood over me and pointed her finger as if I were a naughty toddler, which has the effect of telling me that I’m not worthy of being treated like an adult.
It doesn’t matter that it was one mistake, the way she disciplined me made me feel like all of my efforts were for nil—if I try my hardest to act like an adult 90% of the time, but get treated like a child anyway, what’s the point? I know this is the plight of many teenagers, and I truly believe that with a little more awareness of how our body language affects the message we send, both sides will benefit immensely.
And for the record, I’m not some 12 year old who’s trying to act a lot older than he is, I’m 19 and my mother has been assisting me into adulthood for some time now, which is why it stung so much when she made me feel like a toddler.
Photo credit: Flickr / CircaSassy