Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Teen Turmoil

We’ve been having a bit of teen turmoil over the last few months. My son’s girlfriend is away at college making distance an issue, and my daughter has moved into an apartment with three girls, one of which is oil to her water.

Needless to say, there have been more than one night where the drama has taken over the family.

How do you handle teen turmoil?

One the one hand, as adults, we’ve been through many of the events that are now new to our teens. We know about lost love, about having to be patient for what we want, about dealing with tough personalities. So, when our teens come to us, the answer can seem to be obvious. Unfortunately, it’s only obvious to us. Typcially, they don't buy in.

I’ve been told more than once that I can’t understand because I didn’t grow up in their time period. What? Yes, I’m old, but not ancient. The funny thing is, the tools for drama might change, but the drama itself is as much a rerun as “I Love Lucy.”

Here’s the "modern" advice I’ve accumulated over many late night discussions:

1. Stop texting! Drama only increases when you text.

2. Take the argument or issue off of Facebook. It’s no bodies business and WILL escalate the issue.

3. Talk to the person directly – not through your friend who is friends with their best friend.

4. Give a little.

5. Say everything with kindness. (or Kill them with kindness as it were.) You will win if you are the one to keep a level head.

6. However, it’s not always about winning – admit when you are in the wrong.

7. Stop thinking everything is the end of the world – the world will revolve tomorrow and the next day and the next. Take things in stride – you’re a teenager just getting started in life.

8. What matters now will seem much less significant in ten years. This may not be entirely comforting, but remember that you are still young. Life is a marathon, not a sprint.

9. Plan for the future, live in the present, and learn from the past. Leaving any one of these out can result in those “end of world” feelings.

10. Remember you are loved. It’s OK to have hard times; you are still loved.

These are my top ten. What about you? What advice do you give your teens in turmoil? Do they listen?


  1. Forwarding this to my brother, as he goes through the teen drama. :) Glad to put these tips in my belt. My mom never had to tell me to keep my bees-wax off of facebook, and the only way my text could get around campus is if someone had access to a xerox machine. . . which did happen . . once. Careful what you write down!

  2. I know what you mean. I'm glad we didn't have to deal with rapid fire gossip they way kids do today. Some things have changed even if the root causes remain the same.


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