Poll: What parents wish their teens knew

By Emily Clark
Times-News correspondent 

   Teens & 20s recently asked five parents of teens and twenty-somethings — “What do you wish your teenagers understood?”
“I wish kids knew that parents are really in tune with them. Parents are a generation of experiences ahead and really similar to their kids in more ways than they are aware. We have all the old tests, we’ve almost always been where they are going. We have dealt with the same drama or lack of, and are painfully honest about what kids think they are doing or going through that we don’t already know about.
“I didn’t learn about my parent’s ‘x-ray vision’ and ‘crystal ball’ until well into my 20s, I didn’t know about my parents’ trials and difficulties, their sacrifices and their frustrations, and their vault of endless wisdom, just ripe for the picking. If I had only asked. I wish I had realized how much they knew, how much they had to offer, and the depth of their love for me. I wish I had known to what lengths they would go to make sure I never knew, that they were right behind me, pushing me forward, catching me when I slipped and clapping when I crushed it. I wish this generation of kids knew all that about their folks. Being a teenager would be a little easier, and so much more fun for them.” — Chad Huffine, father of two teenagers, 15 and 19 years old.
      “To not be fearful of taking risks and failing. The mistakes that you make do not define who you are in the future.” — Lisa Kinney, mother of three children, 15, 13 and 7 years old.
   “Although it does not always seem like it, we are your No. 1 fan. We want what’s best for you and we are for you, not against you. Sometimes what’s best for you in the future is not the easiest or most comfortable thing for you now. We look at you and see how much potential you have and just want you to realize all the doors that could be opened for you if you applied maximum effort to your potential.” — William Clark, father of three children, 17, 15 and 10 years old.
   “I wish that my teenagers understood when I am disciplining them or when I am correcting them, that it’s not because I am mad, it’s not because I am upset, or don’t think that they are a good person. It’s because I love them dearly and I want what is best for them. It is my job to teach them, and if they could understand that, I think it would be good.” — Laurie Mundy, mother of three children, 18, 15 and 8 years old.
   “I wish that they knew that their identity is in Christ, not in what they accomplish or in what other people think about them.” — Jason Lewis, father of two children, 15 and 13 years old.

Emily Clark is a senior at Burlington Christian Academy and a Teens & 20s writer.

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