A therapist reveals the behavior of parents that annoys (seriously) adolescents

A therapist reveals the behavior of parents that annoys (seriously) adolescents

As children grow up and become adolescents, they form their own tastes and refine their interests. A process that many parents struggle to follow, which has the gift of annoying their offspring. Here’s why.

Year after year, our children grow, change and gradually become new people, with their own interests. A very normal phenomenon, but which can confuse many parents. Where did their little sportsman go? Or this young teenager who had her heart set on pursuing a long education? They simply changed course.

Teenagers want to be seen for who they are, not what they were.

In reality, our children, who have become adolescents or even young adults, evolve according to life and their experience. A completely normal and necessary process, but which can trigger parent/child conflicts, when the parents do not recognize this new identity, this new facet. In short, when they are not up to date. This is what Sarah Epstein, family and couple life therapist, explains in the columns of Psychology Today :

“Children who have become adults complain in session about their desire to be seen and understood for who they are today, and not the version of them before. They describe being held to opinions that they did not have. “Moreover, they were told that they must always like a particular style, or be reverted to a level of immaturity that they had known a long time ago.”

Parents who attach themselves to a given image

For the therapist, this phenomenon is very common among parents who have been proud to attribute a certain image to their child, sometimes from early childhood. They thus placed a label that suited them and set aside the multiple facets that made up his personality to see him through a defined character. Other parents simply struggle or don’t make the effort to maintain a model of who their children are. Still other parents, quite simply, get stuck because they remain attached to the earlier, younger version of their child and find it sad to change that.

“But in all these cases, the children who have become adults feel misunderstood, forced to adopt an archetype which no longer suits them, and which was chosen against their will”notes the therapist.

Opening up is necessary to support your child until adulthood

As sad as it may seem to the nostalgic adult, there is a time to stop buying animal figurines or football jerseys for your child, if his passion has evolved. And another to talk openly about his discoveries, his experiences, even his ideologies. Persisting in seeing your child… as a child can generate incomprehension and frustration in him, especially if he constantly has to remind his parents that he has changed.

An effort is thus required to remain attentive. But it is also an opportunity to share your own interests to find balance. “We all want to feel seen and known, and perhaps never more so than with people as important as parents.” recognizes the therapist.