Avoiding Parent Pitfall # 3: Assuming They Get It

Lisa Cherry —  December 5, 2013

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By Lisa Cherry

I am an adult. I see things from an adult perspective. From that vantage point I expect other people who are my size to see things the way I do.

But teens just don't get it. Not on their own anyway.

They must have more of life explained to them than what we care to believe.

It is obvious to us that intentionally sitting next to a boy at youth meeting and then laughing at his jokes with a tilted head could make him think you are after him. It is not obvious to a twelve year old girl.

It is obvious to us that having teenage friends in a car with you could make you drive faster. But not to a sixteen year old who thinks he would never be irresponsible.

It is obvious that a call home would be in order if you were held up 30 minutes by road construction when you went out on a bike ride alone. But not for a fourteen year old who figured you wouldn't want to be bothered by phone.

We cannot expect teens to "get it" if we did not intentionally "give it." The wisdom. The knowledge. The experience. The rules.

That's what makes this stage of parenting so much more demanding than any other stage. And also more rewarding!


This post is part of my series about potholes:  pitfalls that can really jerk your car off the parenting road. These are road hazards that I can personally testify about, because I have fallen into some of them myself!  Here are the other posts in this series:

Avoiding Parent Pitfall #1: Too Much Too Soon
Avoiding Parent Pitfall #2: Flattering Your Child

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Image: Drew Herron “three creeks” Flickr Creative Commons
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