The Perfect Parent

A group of teens were asked about what their perfect relationship with their parent would look like.  Here is what they said:

The Perfect Parent Would . . .

Be open to talk and understand me.
(Female, age 17)
Listen. Everything else hinges upon listening.
(Male, age 16)
Talk, express what they want, and show affection – not think affection is understood or a given.
(Male, age 17)
Respect “space” and use things (errors) as a teaching moment, not punishment.
(Female, age 13)
Keep their problems to themselves, know they can trust me, and give me encouragement.
(Male, age 17)
Support my own interests and goals for the future rather than just what they (parents) want me to do. (Female, age 16)
Try to help me fnd myself and give me enough freedom while also showing enough care.
(Female, age 15)
Understand when I need someone to talk to who is more understanding than judgmental.
(Female, age 16)
Be understanding and pay more attention.
(Male, age 14)
Be able to discuss awkward subjects that we (teens) can’t talk about with others.
(Female, age 17)
Respect my space when I’m having a bad day, and be as understanding as possible.
(Female, age 14)

 

The Perfect Parent Would NOT. . .

Be a helicopter parent.
(Female, age 17)
Mope around.
(Male, age 15)
Read my email; expect an equal exchange of favors; treat me like a friend, confidant, or source of support.
(Male, age 17)
Snoop around in my room or bring their problems into my life.
(Male, age 16)
Be evasive.
(Female, age 17)
Expect me to become them.
(Female, age 13)
Try to make my future something I do not want it to be.
(Male, age 15)
Be overprotective.
(Female, age 15)
Overreact to the slightest thing.
(Female, age 13)
Prevent themselves from understanding the changed culture/time since when they were young.
(Male, age 16)
Pressure me too much during the year and try to push me to the point where I cannot comply anymore.
(Male, age 14)
Feel as if they have to monitor my activities in order for me to succeed.
(Female, age 16)
Ignore me.
(Female, age 15)

 

In a Perfect World, My Parents and I Would . . .

Have an open relationship, so we could talk when something is wrong, express our feelings, talk about our relationship, and together, fx anything that is wrong.
(Male, age 17)
Laugh together and bond, do fun activities.
(Male, age 14)
Find a balance between friend and authority.
(Female, age 16)
Let me make mistakes, but be there when I need a parent.
(Female, age 15)
Make mistakes, and let me make mistakes; enjoy each others company.
(Female, age 14)
Be able to enjoy each others company, but my parent would know when to leave me alone.
(Male, age 13)
Talk openly.
(Male, age 14)
Simply talk.
(Male, age 17

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