Bridging the Gap Between Teenagers and Parents

May 13, 2016

Teenagers can be moody, disrespectful, and reckless, but they’re also engaged in the important work of growing up and becoming independent adults.

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe hosts a discussion on the teen years, a time in life that can be hard on both parents and kids. She talks with a mom and two of her daughters, a counselor at an alternative high school, and an expert in human development and family studies.

“[Teenagers] can be very self-focused, because they have so much they’re trying to figure out,” says Tom Schofield, assistant professor of human development at Iowa State University.

“If we’re in a new context - we’re trying to ball room dance for the first time - and somebody says, ‘Let’s go out into the middle of the floor before all the other couples,’ we may politely defer because we already feel that we’re maxed out in terms of what we can handle. Whether we can remember it clearly or not, that’s how adolescence feels; it’s overwhelming.”

They discuss developmental changes that drive stereotypical teen behavior, take a look at the challenges teens face, and find out what tools parents need to get everyone through this time of life.