By Melissa Futrell,
Susquehannock High School
“She sits alone and wonders, ‘When is the end of broken dreams?’ This isn’t what I pictured/She says as tears run down her cheeks … Another broken family/Tears are her only friends. This isn’t the life they wanted …”
– lyrics from Abandon’s “Hold On”
So many teens are hurting, longing to be loved, longing to be noticed. Of these hurting and distraught teenagers, many are looking for love in all the wrong places. We have seen the girl wearing degrading clothing or the guy who always has to prove himself to win a girl’s affection. Society complains about teens and how they “express” themselves and asks the question, “Why do teenagers act that way?”
The answer is very clear: Many parents in today’s world are distracted by their own lives to the point that they neglect their teenagers, sometimes without even realizing it. They don’t spend enough time and effort into getting to know their son or daughter. Most parents think their teen does not want them to be involved in their lives because of their plea for independence, but the opposite often is true. Not all teens will admit it, but they are often longing for love and attention from their parents; they want to be acknowledged and praised.
Some ways for parents to express love to their teens include:
1. Offer to take your son/daughter on an outing of his/her choice.
2. Write a note saying how much you love him/her.
3. Try to always listen and hear your teen’s point of view. Although you might not agree, teens will respect you more if you let them voice their opinions.
4. Be willing to compromise, but in doing so, do not compromise moral boundaries. Let less pressing issues go instead of instigating an unnecessary fight.
These are just a few tips that all teens might react to differently, but if parents are willing to try, it could lay the foundation for a better relationship. These tips help teens to feel loved by the people they need the most and could lead them to be less likely to look for love in the wrong places.