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Dear Teen Here’s Why Your Mom Wants You To Talk To Her

Dear Teen,

If you’re reading this right now, I’m guessing you are rolling your eyes with a great big sigh and wondering why on earth your mom would send you some stupid article from some random parenting site, amiright? I get it. I really do. But I hope you take the time to read this, not skim through it or push it aside for “later.” I am hoping you might learn a little bit about why your mom wants you to talk to her. Will you take just a few minutes so I can explain this to you? I promise it will help you understand some things that can actually help YOU. And well, your mom is desperate to reach you, to connect with you, and she wants more than anything for you to talk to her and open up to her and trust her…which is why you have this letter. 

First of all, your mom TOTALLY gets that needing your space is becoming more critical these days, so don’t think this is all about invading it or trying to manipulate you into spilling all your secrets. She doesn’t expect you to tell her everything, but she’d love for you to know that you can tell her anything. Moms truly understand that kids your age start separating from their parents more and more as they get older, and you need to do this in order to figure out who you are. Whether you are holed up in your room for hours on end every day or out with your friends doing fun things all the time, she gets your need for privacy.

Being more independent from your parents is a sign of strength and maturity, but it can also mean so many other things. When you don’t talk to your mom or when you avoid her at all costs. When you walk away from her as she’s trying to communicate with you, or when you don’t open up when she’s trying to learn how you really are doing, or when you flat-out ignore her when she asks you questions, or you respond with a shrug and one-word answers… Well, any and all of this makes her worry more than you know.

You might think your mom just wants to nag you about getting things done or give you instructions on doing things around the house. You might think your mom will get on you about your schoolwork, get mad at you for not following certain rules, or punish you for doing something wrong. You may feel like your mom only wants you to be a good kid and do the right thing, and you just can’t handle any of that right now.

You might think your mom won’t understand what you’re going through, or your mom basically has NO clue about how to help you. You might think you’d get in serious trouble if you told your mom how you really feel, what you’re really doing, or why you’re isolating more and more because it’s really bad. You may believe your mom will totally freak out and get too dramatic and call professional people to help, and you definitely can’t deal with that. You may even think that telling your mom what’s really going on with you will only make things worse because you’ll be judged and shamed, and she might even stop loving you.

And you know what? That all makes SO much sense. I’ve worked with teens for over 30 years, and they all felt the same way. But you know what else is true? Deep down, every kid wants their mom to see who they really are and love them unconditionally. Every kid wants to be able to trust their mom with their feelings and problems and mistakes and bad decisions. And every kid DESERVES a mom who would move heaven and earth to be there for their kids and love them through thick and thin. Every kid deserves to have a mom who would do anything to help their child and will never give up on them. And YOU, dear teen, deserve the very same from your mom, too. But here’s the thing- if you don’t try to open up and talk to her, how can she prove to be all those things for you?

You might be really struggling, feeling depressed, or suicidal. You could be under too much pressure to do things you don’t want to do that might get you in trouble. You might feel the heavy weight of your academics or other unrealistic high expectations that are put on you, and you are worrying constantly about failing. You might be getting bullied at school or online, experimenting with drugs or alcohol, or addicted to marijuana or pills, and your mom doesn’t even know! You might be in a relationship that is unhealthy and toxic, and you don’t know how to get out of it. You could be lonely, scared, confused, or angry- all of which are legitimate feelings for so many reasons. These are the years when life is SO HARD, your world can be SO CRUEL, and there are countless stressors going on every day that can seriously affect your mental health. On top of that, you are going through all these physical changes with your body, and your hormones can REALLY mess you up without you even realizing it.

One thing we moms do know is that kids can be incredibly good at hiding things, and as much as we want to respect your boundaries, we are facing the hardest challenge in not knowing what you’re up to or how you’re really feeling, and that leads us to worry about everything.

So, would you give your mom a chance?

If you take those hard steps toward talking to her, you might actually realize that she sincerely cares about you, wants to support you, and is thrilled you are letting her into your world. If you trust her with your problems, you might even see that she would LOVE to learn how she can encourage and guide you and would do anything to help you. If you share your feelings, you might find that she is compassionate, sympathetic, and incredibly validating. You might even realize that the more you open up to her, the better you feel. You might start to see how talking to your mom helps you feel heard and seen and not so alone, and you actually can get some good advice after all. 

Listen, let’s be real. Your mom didn’t grow up in these times that you are growing up in, so she will need to learn from you, listen to you, and have an open heart and mind to all you are going through. And I truly believe your mom wants more than anything to really know her beloved child. Your mom loves you more than you’ll ever understand or know. I promise you, her love goes beyond and above any bad thing you’ve ever done. She was once your age, and I guarantee she made LOTS of bad decisions and struggled during her teen years, too.

Your mom isn’t perfect, and she will never be. She makes tons of mistakes and has her own issues she’s working on, too. So you might want to teach her what you need most and understand that she, too, is a work in progress, so try to be patient with her, okay? But one thing’s for sure- she will never stop loving you, and she would give anything to be the kind of mom you want her to be. And most of all, she desperately wants her precious child to be okay and this is the most important reason why your mom wants you to talk to her. Your mom will never stop loving you, no matter what you do or how you feel. She wants to know… no, she needs to know… if you’re okay. And if you aren’t okay, she especially needs to know so she can do everything in her power to help you be healthy, whole, and well. Show her how she can love you right where you are now. Let her into your world, into your heart, and into your life. I promise you’ll be so much better off if you do.

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