Do You Really Know Your Teenager?

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by Patrice on February 18, 2011 · 8 comments

in (15-18 years)

Single moms who have diligently worked at keeping the lines of communication open and honest with their child since they learned how to talk often feel that they really know their child by the time they reach the finishing line, or those teenage years between 15 and 18. This provides mom with a relative feeling of security as the teenager grows to pursue activities outside of the home without the parenting tagging along as a chaperon.

The savvy single mom knows that they only know as much about the teenager’s life as the child is willing to share with her.

Teenagers can talk about their friends and even bring them home so that you can meet them. These are the friends and acquaintances that are ‘mom proof’. They are classmates, coworkers or other neighborhood peers that your child feels that you will approve of.

The teenager might also talk at length about their daily activities. But the smart single mom knows that all of this talk is only about the things their young adult is willing to share. As long as their day didn’t involve activities that required teachers, other parents, or law enforcement to contact you, you really have no way to know for sure what activities your child has become involved in.

Take heart. At least your teenager is still communicating with you. Many teenagers avoid having real conversations with mom at all.

So, how do you get a glimpse into your teenager’s real life if they are not willing to share?

A bit of detective work can help the mom know what’s going on in the world of a typical young adult by thumbing through magazines that are targeted to the ages and activities of their child. Take some extra time at the library or at the magazine rack of the grocery or department store on your next visit to see what’s trending. Become familiar with the popular music and pay attention to the lyrics. Watch the movies you child wants to see for themes and identify why that type of movie is so attractive to your teenager.

Know the local pitfalls that could cause a possible danger for your child. Is there a drug problem at the mall or on the school campus? What about gang activity? Know the signs that might give a hint that your child could be exposed to peer pressures that could be dangerous and take the steps necessary to protect your child.

Parents in the area with children in the same age group can also provide information on the realities of teenage life. Seek out these parents in the neighborhood, at work, church and other social functions. Your networking skills will pay off by the information you can glean from parents who are facing the same search.

Never forget that you are the parent. Teenagers want privacy and the single mom wants to respect that. Just make sure the teenager is aware that it’s your job to keep them safe, and you take any measures you deem appropriate to insure that you succeed.

About Patrice

Patrice Campbell is a freelance writer working from the Denver area. Campbell started her writing career in the 1980’s, working for several Wisconsin local papers as a news, human interest and features writer, as well as a photographer.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Angie February 19, 2011 at 7:23 am

I think that daily communication is very important for the parent and the teen. When your teen stops talking to you, then you have to step it up. Do not be afraid to ask questions, and let them know you are there for them no matter what. Give them advice but do not be pushy or you will only make it worse for both of you.


Savannah February 22, 2011 at 9:19 am

Keep those channels open!


Sue February 21, 2011 at 5:37 am

The teen stage is exciting yet the most challenging phase for our kids. Since we have gone from this we know how experimental can a teenager be, their curious minds can lead them to mistakes and problems. We as their parent must be always be at their side to understand what they feel and what they are going through.


Savannah February 22, 2011 at 9:14 am

Listening to your teen and trying to understand their side is a great help in maintaining your relationship with them.


Gabrielle March 2, 2011 at 10:25 am

I think that when it comes to good communication and willingness to express thought and feelings needs to start when your child is young. There has always been good communication with my mother and father because we had communication from a toddler to teenager to adult. Now it is my turn.


Savannah March 3, 2011 at 8:32 am

Communication is so important at any age! I’m sure you’ll do well now that its your turn!


Hera March 5, 2011 at 11:28 pm

It has always been difficult being a teenager, but it seems like today’s teens face much more challenges than ever before. But as a single mom, you need to remember some things. Developing open, trusting communication between you and your child is essential raising your child.


Savannah March 22, 2011 at 8:20 am

I absolutely agree – don’t just take their detours around conversations, have them talk to you!


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