Ten Principles of Spiritual Parenting: Nurturing Your Child's Soul
In an online survey, I asked teens, "What do you wish your parents did differently?" The overwhelming response was not what I expected. I expected them to want more freedom, a later curfew, or another gadget. Instead, what teens said they wished their parents did differently was listen to them more often. I received responses like these: "I wish my parents really listened to me instead of just acting like super mom and super dad" and "I would love it if my mom was around more often to hear what was going on in my life. We rarely catch up." These teens didn't mean they wished their parents gave them solutions, advice, or solved their problems. They simply wanted to be heard and respected.
There is a common misconception that our teens don't need us. They do. The Global Strategy Group polled teens and parents regarding their concerns about communicating with each other. The top worry among parents was drugs. However, 21 percent of the teens reported "not having enough time together with their parents" as their top concern. So if teens got what they wanted—more time with an attentive parent—then maybe parents could worry less about drug use.
There are no shortage of polls and surveys when it comes to parenting teens. The YMCA recently released a study that showed family household conversations have decreased by 100 percent in the last twelve years. It's hard for our teens to be heard when we aren't having conversations. They desperately want our attention and love, and one way we give that is by listening to them. We miss an awful lot when our teens, exasperated at unreceptive parents, choose to go elsewhere with their thoughts and ideas.