Teen-parent relationships are worth the effort


Every day when I come home after school, I talk with my dad. We chat about our days, and exchange stories and jokes.


Later, when my mom comes home from work, my whole family – my mom, my dad, my sister and I – usually eat dinner together. At dinner we chat or sometimes we watch an episode of a television show that we are all watching together.


After dinner, if I do not have too much homework, I talk with my mom for a little bit about school, my friends, scheduling college visits or whatever is on our minds. I talk to my mom and dad about everything.


My parents and I have not had any serious fights in the past year. In fact, the only reason I can remember getting mad at my mom recently is because she was washing dishes while I was trying to watch “Grey’s Anatomy”. Things like that are so trivial that they have literally no effect on our relationship.


I have not always been so close with my parents; a lot of times it takes effort to work through disagreements, to hold my tongue or to share problems that I am struggling with. The time and work that my parents and I put into our relationship has largely benefited us all. We can trust each other and have open, candid conversations about anything.


Many teenagers, like myself, are fortunate to have good relationships with their parents that are very open and trusting.


“[My parents and I] may [fight] sometimes but we always find a way to resolve any conflicts,” Coppell High School junior Layne Allen said, “The best part about having a good relationship with my parents is having that trust.”


I am very lucky to have such a great relationship with both of my parents. Unfortunately, not every kid my age has the same relationship. Many teenagers struggle to maintain strong bond with their parents.


Both parents and their children can be faulted for bad relationships.


Teenagers are notoriously moody and rebellious, and having a bad attitude will only aggravate poor relationships. For some parents, it is difficult to determine boundaries and punishments, which can lead to disrespect and frequent fights. Personalities can clash and arguments are unavoidable in every relationship, especially if you spend a large amount of time together.


There is usually something that children can do to mend or continue their relationships with their parents, but sometimes, situations beyond the child’s control make pursuing a relationship with their parents undesirable or impossible.


Some children whose parents are divorced may find it difficult to have equal and close relationships with both parents. A bad relationship with one parent may strain the child’s relationship with the other parent or the kids could get caught in the middle of disputes between their parents. Others may have parents that are abusive, absent or that struggle with addiction.


I realize for some having a good relationship – or any relationship at all – with one or both of your parents may be impossible. Some relationships are irreparable. However, if you have the opportunity to build your relationship with a parent it is definitely worth the effort it may take.


I value my relationship with my parents very highly. They have given me so much, they have loved and supported me for my entire life. I feel so incredibly lucky to have people in my life that will always be there for me and I am sure they feel the same.