Today, I’m starting a blog: Teen and Parent (TAP) Perspectives. The writing team will consist of one adult parent and two to four rotating teen writers.
The blog’s mission (which makes this sound legit) is to shed light on, and laugh over, the differences between adolescent and ancient points of views.
The teens’ goal for this blog is to have fun and help parents understand.
The adult’s goal for this blog is personal therapy.
Given modern family history, these are lofty objectives.
No one is surprised there’s a generational gap between teens and parents. And the ways it manifests are extensive and embarrassing, for both sides.
Teens, have your parents ever tried to be “cool” but failed miserably? Shared your embarrassing childhood moments? Refused to remove your awkward middle school photos from the living room wall?
Parents, have your teens ever refused to engage with your colleagues, instead crossing their arms in silent protest? Got a speeding ticket in your neighborhood? Had a post gone viral after sharing your bad hair day with “just one friend, I swear”?
These moments and our immediate reactions to them might be regrettable, but we’ll do ourselves a favor by not allowing it to escalate.
We (the writing team) have made that mistake on multiple occasions. But the upside is that by not giving up (and maybe with the help of mathematical probability), we eventually get a few things right.
Here’s where perspective comes in.
The #1 way we’ve learned not to overreact to other people’s (teens’ or adults’) questionable choices is to view the situation from their perspective.
The #1 way we’ve failed (hence overreacted to other people’s—teens’ or adults’—questionable choices) has been to view the situation only from our own perspective.
Understanding another person checks our instinct to snap at them, yet it still allows us to disagree. It puts us in a position to communicate and work together to find common ground, or at least neutral territory where we can get along. Think of it as a relational Switzerland for teens and parents.
Understanding another person’s perspective isn’t rocket science, and its stabilizing effects are real—yet it’s not a natural choice for many of us. So we have to work on it.
One of the ways our team hopes to do this is to open a window into our lives and share what understanding different perspectives looks like in our personal context.
Full disclosure: we will alter names, details, and events to protect the guilty, especially ourselves. So consider this blog…fiction based on non-fiction…or a non-fiction view of fiction moments based on real life.
(Good luck with sorting that out.)
If we do this well, no one will know where fact and fiction meet and overlap. That’ll hopefully preserve some anonymity, yet allow constructive dialogue and maybe a few laughs, without the risk of social mocking.
(Side note: Those types of comments would reveal more about the mockers than about us. Just saying.)
Until next time…