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Teen Health

I Can’t Talk to My Parents

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WebMD Feature

Ever feel like no matter what you say, or how you say it, your parents never really listen to you? Maybe they treat you like a child. Or, perhaps they act like they're listening and even look you in the eyes, but really don't "hear" anything you say. And if they do hear you, they always disagree, right? Sometimes you feel like you just can't talk to your parents.

It's OK! You are normal. During the teen years, the connections and interactions with parents often become strained. As you become more independent, it's normal to develop and discuss your own ideas and theories about life -- even if you don't fully believe everything you're saying at the time.

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Still, when teens talk, parents often feel threatened. Sometimes they have a hard time letting their kids go. They may long for the days when you were young and dependent on them, and didn't question their ideas. Sure, it's exasperating, but you can get through it.

Parents Are Human, Too

In an ideal situation, a home is a "testing ground" -- a safe place where teens can voice their ideas and opinions, hear how they sound, and parents can objectively discuss these thoughts with them. This helps you fine-tune what you really believe. You get to lean on the wisdom that moms and dads can give from their years of living on the planet Earth.

But, wait. Who said life is ideal? Your parents are only human -- just like you! They will slip up, say things they don't mean, be critical, and have confusing emotions, just like you. Parents may also be offended when their views are challenged, especially if you catch them at a bad time (like when they are exhausted). Sure, you can feel upset with them. But keep in mind that they are your parents. They are there for you in good times and bad.

Adolescence is a period of great change for teens. But moms and dads also undergo major adjustments as they "cut the apron strings" and allow you to become independent. While you need your parents to listen to your new ideas on life, parents also have needs. They need to feel confident that you can be trusted, and will be safe without their constant guidance.

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