Tips for Parents From Kids

Each month, I distribute a survey to gather insight into the minds of teens ages 12-18 in order to help parents better understand their kids. This month, however, I decided to ask parents if they had any specific questions that they would love to have answered by a diverse and reliable group of kids, and if answered, would help them become an even better parent. This blog post concludes the 3-part series of Parents Questions, and below are the most popular questions submitted by parents across the Charlotte area.

– IF I SUSPECT THAT MY CHILD IS DRINKING ALCOHOL OR SMOKING MARIJUANA, WHAT SHOULD I DO ABOUT IT?

Most kids in the survey responded that they would prefer their parents to confront them and talk about the problems of drinking and then decide together what to do.

It’s also important to note that not one kid said they would prefer it if their parents were to do or say nothing but monitor their phone for suspicious text messages and social media accounts. Kids agreed that this wouldn't’t be an effective strategy because it only encourages deception, being sneaky, and lacks a sturdy relationship of trust between parents and their kids that is necessary when it comes to dealing with this issue.

Q – SOMETIMES WHEN MY KIDS FIGHT I KNOW WHO IS RIGHT, BUT WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO HANDLE THEIR DISAGREEMENT?

The majority said step in and tell the siblings what you see but let them decide what to do about it.

Q – I DON’T LIKE MY CHILD"S BOYFRIEND/GIRLFRIEND, BUT I’M NOT SURE WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT.

Over 60 percent of kids said it would be most effective if their parents were to tell them how you feel, but that you will allow them to make their own decision about continuing to date.  It’s also important to note that none of kids said they would prefer it if their parents explicitly asked them to break up.

Q - CONSIDERING ALL THE CONTROVERSY ABOUT THE SHOW "13 REASONS WHY," HOULD I LET MY KIDS WATCH IT? WHAT SHOULD I DO IF THEY'VE ALREADY SEEN IT?

The show "13 Reasons Why" eatures some very mature content and addresses intense issues like suicide, rape, and bullying. If you are comfortable with your child being exposed to this type of thing, talk with them before hand to make sure they understand the severity of the show. Preteens are especially susceptible to influential TV shows like this one, so make they know that suicide is a very serious matter and that mental disorders like anxiety and depression need to be dealt with, rather than suppressed.

If your child has already watched the show, encourage them to tell you their thoughts on the show to help them better understand the issues talked about in "13 Reasons Why." Personally, I believe the show wanted to highlight the severe repercussions of cyber bullying and physical bullying to show how important it is to speak out about these kinds of things.

Thanks! Emma

Aimee Symington