Article contributed by The People Of Nora
Ah, the teenage mind. Mysterious and scary—for those that live with one and those that live around people who’ve got one. From the title, you know what this blog post is about and if you’re choosing to read this, you’re probably a guardian to a teenager or you’re a teenager looking to read something relatable. Either way, we’ve got you covered. Let’s take a look at what today’s teenagers want to tell the adults in their lives and debunk some of that mystery.
Truth 1: “Ew don’t do that” = “I appreciate the love you show me”. Love us.
Dear moms/dads/aunts/uncles/grandparents/siblings etc- this may or may not be a shock to you, but behind our tough emo exteriors, we’re real softies. Please hug us, tell us you love us and smother us with kisses unless you KNOW that is not the dynamic we share. More importantly, ask us before you show physical affection. 9/10 times if we’re comfortable with you, we will say yes.
We know we come off as distant but we’re really just figuring out the balance between being the five year olds you used to cuddle and the soon to be twenty year olds doing their own taxes that we will eventually have to become; and we need to be treated like both occasionally.
Truth 2: ‘Khul Ja Sim Sim’.Tell us.
With the risk of sounding cliche, communicating with us goes a long way. We almost always sense the pain or worry that you think you’re able to mask around us and it hurts us to know that you wouldn’t want us to know how you’re actually feeling. When you silently tell us that we wouldn’t be able to understand what you’re going through, what we hear loud and clear is that we shouldn’t bother you with what we’re feeling either because that just adds to your burden. You want to know what’s going on with us? Tell us what’s going on with you first. We are capable of understanding you and would if you gave us a chance. Pry open your chamber of secrets and we shall too.
Truth 3: We don’t want to shush anymore. Listen to us.
Okay. Remember the dichotomy of being past five year olds and future twenty year olds? Let’s concentrate on the latter. You know we’re growing up and you know we have opinions. You know that soon our entire lives will unfold based on these same opinions and their consecutive actions. You know these opinions or actions and the responsibility that comes with them can’t be turned off and on. We can’t be naive kids who don't know anything about the world around them one day and adults the next. There isn’t an ‘adulting’ switch that we can flick the day we turn 18.
The point is, there shouldn’t be a point in saying any of this because you already know; you just forget sometimes. So here is your reminder to-
ask what we think, what we need, what we want, what we aspire for and how we want to achieve these aspirations,
really consider what we’re saying. Are we being unreasonable or do you just not want to give up control?
and then discuss what you think with us.
India wants to know, but so should you.
Truth 4: Both of us are in the same boat. Let us be.
This will sting a bit. Ready?
We’re shit scared and so are you.
This elephant is staring you in the eye. Please address it already.
We know you worry about our futures, we do too. We know when you yell at us to get our lives together on a sunday night and stop procrastinating studying for that geography exam taking place the next day, it’s mostly because you’re scared. You're scared that we’re wasting our potential, you're scared that we won't do as well as we could have. News flash: so are we. We’re terrified. More than you. Yelling at us doesn't help. Bigger news flash: we will always be more anxious about our lives and futures than you. It looks like we don’t care(the emo angst is a facade, don't fall for it), but we really really do.
And like an elephant would panic and wreak havoc if you blast a horn at it, so do we when you lose it at us. Make us a cup of chai, and give us some space. We’ll get to it. Even if it’s at 5am the day of the exam, we’ll get to it. And nothing you say will really make us do it any sooner. Loosen the reins a bit, it’ll actually make us more productive.
Truth 5: We love you.
We love you when you wake us up every morning. We love you when we see you make our favorite meals to take to school in our tiffins. We love you when you drive us places silently. We love you when you listen to our music and watch the shows we’re binging. We love you when we scream at you. We love you after every argument. We love you constantly, despite not wanting to sometimes. And we know we will probably never say it enough for you to ever believe any of this.
If your teenager said “I hate living with you” today, take our word for it when we say that every time their friend complains about how shitty their home is, yours secretly says to themselves that they’re lucky to have you.
And there we go folks! Now that we’re done, let’s keep these truths between us okay? We don’t want you to know any of this intel because just in case we haven’t said it enough already, we’re emo like that. *finger guns*.