As teens, we go through many emotional journeys. Heartbreak, stress from school, and just being a teenager.
However, the older I get, the more I realize that we often forget to keep in touch with our parents. I am sure many of us have been told more than once to get off our devices and be more social. Lots of teens probably feel more comfortable with talking through their devices rather than verbally. It’s awkward to talk to people about things you don’t exactly mention everyday. And when it comes to our emotions, it’s much easier to rant about it to friends on social media than to tell your parents, or even your friends, face to face.
Our Way of Helping
I have recently been sought out by a friend who believes they have depression. She said no one notices when she’s upset, and she once cried silently in the car, but her mother didn’t notice. Yet, if a cry is silent, does the owner want it to be heard? This friend of mine has explained to me that she can’t tell her parents since they already have enough to deal with. She believes she is helping them by not telling them. Hiding our problems might seem easier to do, but in the end the problem only grows, due to the lack of supportive figures to help.
We often try to help people by not bothering them with our problems. They are, of course, your problems. Our reasoning is that this will help others; they won’t have to deal with you. Isn’t it that simple? I have been known to bottle my feelings, meaning I hide them away instead of parade them in the open. I am sure many other teens are the same way. You might be one of them.
We hide our feelings because we don’t want to bother anyone with them. We keep our problems secret because we think we can handle them by ourselves. The thing about shouldering your problem by yourself is this: a problem not resolved just keeps growing. Added stress, sadness, anger, and a lot of other emotions and pain pile on top of the original problem. The weight of all this will only affect you, of course, and it will slowly crush you, causing an outburst of all this negative energy. We hide our problems, and once we can’t take the weight anymore, it’s too late.
Understanding What We Face
“You wouldn’t understand,” a phrase we often hear, and even say. Your friends wouldn’t understand, they aren’t anything like you, they’ve never faced these problems. Your parents wouldn’t understand, they never have. Yet these aren’t true. These are excuses that drain you, they pull you away from help and guide you to wallow in your self misery. You think your friends wouldn’t understand? They might not have the same problem as you, but they are your age, they would be dealing with similar problems.
Your parents, although they might never have said so, had problems when they were your age too. I once admitted to my mother that I believed I was one of those “forgettable” kids, the ones you’ve seen but they tend to be more of a shadow and a grim face. Thinking that my mother would never understand, it took me a long time to say it aloud. Yet when I did, she said that she had thought that of herself when she was my age. I always saw myself as an opposite of my mother, and yet once I had opened up, I realized we had much in common. Parents try to understand, even if you don’t think they do.
There are a lot of kids who like to feel appreciated. They yearn for the approval of their parents and peers, and often hope to make them proud. To do so, they turn toward academics, sports, or any other niche they seem fit for. They want their parents to be proud of them, and while looking for that approval, they shoulder all their problems without anyone’s help. They don’t tell their parents because they think they will be disappointed in them. They think this makes them strong, but each problem they carry takes a bit of their strength away, until one day they break down. We were never meant to handle things alone.
Kids don’t deserve to shoulder their own problems because they think their parents can’t take it. Your parents have been through a lot, and to think they can’t handle your problems would be an insult to them. Never assume that your parents can’t take some of the weight away from you, because that’s wrong. They can take it. If they could change your diapers and show you how to use a spoon, then they can help you deal with this.
There comes a time in every teenager’s life where they have to reach out to their parents. When it happens depends on the person. Often enough they will reach out only when they have broken down, when their problems have crushed them. The stress, the anger, the sadness and loneliness, it all flows away, leaving a raw, vulnerable person. We often hide our problems from our parents, due to disapproval, self confidence, or even fear. Don’t allow these to get in the way of your relationship with your family.
Have your parents ever betrayed you? Not like when they told your friends about you as a baby, that was just embarrassment, not betrayal. Have they ever truly betrayed you, sold you out, or stabbed you in the back (metaphorically of course)? If the answer is no, then I suggest you don’t betray them by hiding all your problems from them. By being your parent they have agreed to take on your problems as their own. They’re already carrying the weight. They just haven’t noticed yet.
This article is exactly what I’ve been trying to tell my friends! So many of them often tend to not talk to their parents about stuff. I used to do that too, but a friend of mine would talk to her parents about everything. I thought she was weird, but now I do the same. Even though I’m only 16, I’ve now been on the other side, and I completely understand why my parents do certain things. I trust them. I know that they have gone through a lot more than me, and they can be so helpful. (Not every single time, but most of the time haha) What you said here is just what I needed. Thank you! 🙂
Parents are a God given gift that I take for granted too much. Thank you so much for writing this!
So true! Thank you for writing this!
This is a wonderful article. Our parents are so important and they are there to help us. Thank you for writing this! It’s a wonderful reminder. 🙂
Really great article! Yes, teens! Open up to your parents! I’ve done it, and it’s great! 🙂 My Mom is my best friend, and my confidante. We share everything with each-other, and often stay up late at night talking. So, yes, share your feelings and thoughts! Even if it’s embarrassing, it’s worth it! Thanks, Lindsay!
Well-written, Lindsay. My question would be, what if the answer is yes to your last question? What if I have been rejected and betrayed by my parents? Repeatedly? What if I have been told that I can’t bring my problems to them, that I am too much to handle? What then?
It would be unfortunate to be in that situation, however I think the next best place to seek out help is your friends. They understand you, and if your parents really don’t want to help you, your friends should be ones you can share your problems with. God never wants us to be alone, and friends can help us. I hope this helps!
Amen! Despite having a difficult parent-relationship, God has brought me many wonderful mentors/friends.
my folks can be of help sometimes when i’m falling apart. Only God understands what i am going through however n i don’t understand it all ether.
Yep. I generally shy away from opening up to my parents(or anyone) because it makes me feel vulnerable or like I’m cheapening my “inner feelings” by verbalizing then. Not that I’m deceitful necessarily, just superficial.
Buuut, this is a good reminder. 😀
Great Article Lindsay. After all, parents used to be teens too.