College Writing II
Parent/Teenager Relationships: How Can We Improve Them?
If you were asked to rate your relationship with your teenager from 1 to 10 what would your answer be? Can you give it a 10/10 with confidence and without any doubt? A lot of times we hear parents say that their teenagers are rebellious and refuse to listen to them, while teenagers complain that their parents don’t understand them and are total “control freaks.” As time goes by and generations change, relationships between teenagers and their parents are getting worse and worse. It seems like a big gap is forming between them and they can’t communicate with each other properly. Almost every conversation they have ends up with a fight or an argument. So what is the problem with this kind of relationship and what can we do to improve it? I believe that having a good parent/teenager relationship is a two way process in which both the parents and teenagers need to make an effort, but because teenagers are not adults yet and are going through a lot of changes, parents are the ones who need to “do more work” and be more understanding.
Adolescence is a developmental stage of life when the body and brain grow and teenagers experience a lot of physical and emotional changes. A study done by Valerie Reyna, shows that the areas of the brain that control judgment, planning, the ability to imagine consequences, self-regulation, and emotional maturity are all in the process of developing during adolescence (qtd in Cooke). All this development affects how teenagers make decisions and manage risk, given their new levels of independence. Also their hormone levels change dramatically which has a big impact on their emotions and behavior. As the research scientist in the family life development center Janis Whitlock says, this is when they start to understand, express, and regulate their emotions which help them navigate relationships and recognize a reason and purpose in life.