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50 Useful Things You Can (And NEED) To Say To Your Teenager

  • I’m sorry.
  • You were right.
  • Thank you, I have learned something from you today.
  • I am your Mother/Father, I love you more than anyone and I care for you more than anyone. Do not treat me with disrespect.
  • Take 5 minutes please. We can pick up this conversation more constructively once we have both calmed down.
  • You matter.
  • Yes. It is unfair. BUT it won’t be the first or last time, life is unfair to you. What can we do to help you get over it?
  • Say please and thank you.
  • Never take the first or last slice of anything in a fridge.
  • Get up when adults enter a room, extend your hand, introduce yourself, make eye contact.
  • It’s ok to be scared.
  • Yes. It’s horrible being lonely. What can we do to help you meet like-minded
  • You are loved.
  • That was not your best work. Do you need help to get back on track?
  • It’s 10 o’clock. Hand over all your devices.
  • We all make mistakes. It’s OK.
  • For boys: Do not treat any girl in any way you would be embarrassed for me to find out about.
  • For girls: Do not treat any boy in any way that you would be embarrassed for me to find out about.
  • Sex is a complicated, grey area. It is probably best enjoyed when you are a older, BUT, if you have sex young, it does not make you anything bad. You are not a “slut” or “loose.”
  • “But I love him / her,” Is not an excuse for you suffering abusive behaviour. Choose partners who are kind to you.
  • Can you trust and respect your friends and partners? Do they trust and respect you? If the answer is no, you will be hurt by them.
  • Bad behaviour does not make you bad.
  • School is not the be all and end all.
  • Human beings are battered and bruised, but still beautiful. If something shameful or violating has happened to you, you are still beautiful.
  • You are not yet better than anyone else. You are just lucky to have been born with certain privileges.
  • I am trying to understand your world as best I can.
  • That must feel absolutely terrible.
  • Go and say sorry to that boy/girl or that boy/ girl’s Mom and Dad immediately,
  • If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, even the littlest bit … Call your Dad or me. Get an UBER no matter how expensive. Get out of there.
  • Not everyone will like you. That’s OK.
  • I miss you.
  • Clean your room.
  • Take the dogs for their walk.
  • Clean the kitchen.
  • It doesn’t matter if your teacher, in your opinion is terrible or awful. You will have to learn how to get the best out of people you don’t get on with, or respect, for your entire life. Start now.
  • No.
  • Maybe. Let me think about it.
  • I’ll always love you.
  • You don’t have to tell me everything. Would you rather we connected you with a professional?
  • That wasn’t your finest hour.
  • On this occasion, you are right and your brother or sister need to apologise.
  • Apologise to your brother or sister. On this occasion, you were in the wrong.
  • I will not lie to the school for you. You messed up. Face the music.
  • We can try it your way.
  • You can tell your gynaecologist or therapist anything you need to or want to in confidence. I do not need to know.
  • I don’t like the way your boyfriend or girlfriend treat you.
  • There is always a plan B. We will figure a way past this disappointment, together.
  • It’s not the end of the world. I know it feels that way, today, but it’ll be ok.
  • It’s your decision. But I wouldn’t have a tattoo right now. In fact. Have a tattoo, but only when you are confident that you will never need financial assistance from me again.
  • I need your help.
  • I don’t know everything.
  • Please tell your friends to leave. I want some peace and quiet.
  • Many incredible people had very hard, lonely or scary teenage years.
  • Most future leaders/ disruptors were not prefects. The school needs prefects who will follow and implement their rules – not those who will challenge and turn them upside down. Your time will come.
  • It’s ok to be an introvert. There isn’t only one way to be happy.
  • People lie, deny and hide their fears on social media. Don’t fall for it.
  • There’s no shame in having been diagnosed with something or needing medication for something. None at all.
  • It’s ok to cry.
  • I will love anyone you choose, who loves you and treats you well, no matter what race, gender or religion.
  • I don’t need to be there. Go off and enjoy yourselves.
  • Don’t ever enter anyone’s bedroom (your parents’ included,) without knocking.
  • It’s ok to give up if it doesn’t make you happy. But give it a fair chance, first.
  • It’s wonderful to follow your passion, but most musicians and artists do not usually make a huge amount of money or have holiday homes. At some point you are going to have to earn a living. Think divergently about how to use your talents.
  • If you can do the tougher academic subjects, do them.
  • Have you read a book today? Here’s a great one I know you’ll love.
  • Give classical music and jazz a chance. You will be surprised.
  • We can’t afford to take you overseas, but that’s ok. You’ll appreciate it more if you save up and pay for it yourselves. When that happens we’ll help you as much as we are able.
  • For boys: Don’t call girls name. Behaviour can be bitchy. Never call a girl a bitch.
  • C’mon. Let’s play a board game.
  • Nothing. Sometimes a parent just needs to listen. And hug. Or just sit at a child’s side when they cry.

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