Why Some Teenagers Cut Off From Our Parents

A ‘Sorry We’re Closed’ sign on a clear glass door, symbolising the way a child could close off from their parents, despite being in plain sight

We can all acknowledge that not everyone has a ‘best-friend relationship’ with their parents. Well, truth be told, I don’t truly have one either. (PS. But there’s really nothing wrong with that. Because a ‘best-friend’ relationship is not the only good, deep relationship out there, is it? :)

One (Probable) Why

The differences between parents and their own children are far from none. Be it the way of understanding and interpreting social cues, our individual biases or our differing experiences. Now since you are parents and we are children, the difference in age and experience creates a slight, unintentional as it may be, power imbalance.

Hence when attempting to get through to you, we children have to occasionally walk on eggshells to avoid upsetting this power dynamic or ‘crossing the line’, as you would put it.

(For example, no matter how cordial you are with your boss, in most scenarios the way you communicate with them is starkly different from your conversations with your fellow colleagues.)

The effort that it takes to maintain the balance of respect, while simultaneously succeeding in conveying our point, can be so challenging and tiresome that many of us begin to ‘cut off’ and stop communicating altogether instead.

So Now What?

If you want us to have that friend-like relationship you have to be willing to accept criticism, acknowledge the need to change the way of approach, and actually hear us when we call you out too. It's a two-way relationship. We teens cannot constantly be afraid of triggering something and getting berated when we point out something that can be worked on.

Now mind you, this is not a justification for the disrespect that some children direct to their parents. What I am trying to convey here is that, just because our way of thinking isn't aligned with their way of thinking, adults shouldn’t classify it as 'disrespect' every time. When expressing ourselves is called 'talking back' and replying to questions is 'back answering', sometimes it's no wonder why we cut off.

So many parents want to understand how their teenager thinks, and 'What goes on in our minds?' But there is a more important question before we come to that.

Are we truly willing to accept that both of us will think very differently? And are we willing to acknowledge and respect each others’ opinions, as opposing as they may be? And is our answer to these questions known by everyone?

Because in the end, we teenagers are just humans. And like humans, we all have that innate desire to be accepted and embraced by those around us. And so, if we realize that not saying anything that could be considered ‘controversial’ is the better alternative to keep everyone content and amenable, why wouldn’t we?

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Sahana Katakol

Sahana Katakol

An 18-year-old artist, voicing her thoughts on the world & its creators, you. Check out my art n music page https://www.instagram.com/sskat_portfolio_100/?hl=