Here’s what Latter-day Saint youth wish their parents knew about what it’s like being a teenager today.
“You just don’t understand.”
If you’re the parent of a teenager, you’ve probably heard this phrase more than a few times. You’ve probably felt frustrated when your attempts to connect with your children have seemed only to drive them away. But teenagers can also experience frustration when they try to communicate with their parents. They may feel as though they are alone in their struggles or that they have failed to measure up.
What do Latter-day Saint youth really wish their parents knew about what it’s like to be a teenager today? Based on teens’ responses to this question, three major themes capture their most common concerns:
Fearing that they will be misunderstood
Feeling confused about standards (especially when it comes to dating)
Dealing with pressure to meet overwhelmingly high expectations
As President Russell M. Nelson said in a worldwide devotional, the rising generation is the hope of Israel: “Heavenly Father has reserved many of His most noble spirits—perhaps, I might say, His finest team—for this final phase. Those noble spirits—those finest players, those heroes—are you!” Young men and young women truly have the capacity to change the world in incredible ways, both small and great.
So, how can parents help youth attain their full potential as they navigate the frustrations and fears of adolescence?