Is the world different today than when you were a teen? Have the life experiences you’ve faced affected your perspective in life? Has it changed how you approach and respond to things? Has your mindset evolved as you’ve grown older? “Of course,” you may respond. Conceptually, we understand that. So why is it so difficult for us as parents to truly consider this for a moment, and apply that knowledge to our relationship with our teens?
I had a parent group do an activity where each group looked at a picture, pretending to be someone else, trying to see it through another's eyes. When asked to describe the picture, every group described the picture differently. I had them guess who each group was pretending to be. Laughter filled the room at the variation of each perspective. They understood why others saw the picture in varying ways. When asked if anyone thought the others’ views were wrong or if anyone got mad at another for seeing things differently they said, “Of course not.”
Then I said, “Imagine that you told your teen to be home at 9 p.m. and they protested, ‘That's stupid. My friends don't have to be home then, and I want to hang out with them.’” Is your teen's perspective wrong?