by Lynn Dorman, Ph.D. // March 21 // 0 Comments

Teens think they know it all and you can’t tell them differently. All you can do is remind them you have lived a lot longer – at which point they will roll their eyes and give you “the look.”

They are different people at different times as they try on personalities and behaviors. When i was a teen my friends and I sat in front of mirrors and practiced smoking – deciding which way made us look older and sexier. We practiced the dangling cigarette, holding it differently, blowing smoke in many ways, etc. The fact that our parents had told us to not smoke was irrelevant. Am I sorry I did not listen? Sure – I became a smoker and smoked for many years before quitting.

Did I tell my son to not smoke? No. He knew my feelings about health and cigarettes but he tried smoking as a teen – but since it was not something we could fight about – he stopped smoking except when he was in the Army. Unfortunately the availability of cheap cigarettes at the base and smokers all around got him smoking again – but he stopped and is now a non- smoker.

What we have to learn with our teens is that they spend much of the day away from our control and sight. They will try out the differing personas with friends and schoolmates and all we can do is hope they don’t get hurt in the process.

Teen years are tough for all of us – just remind yourself that as much as your teen says they know it all and know what they are doing – they don’t – they are scared and that’s why they are more sure they know it all- they are bluffing… As parents we need tough skin when parenting teens. It helps no one to let them get to you and make you start to lose your control.

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