Skip To Content

    15 Things Every Teenager Knows, But Parents Don't

    "Don't compare me to other kids. It hurts a lot." H/T Reddit

    A recent Reddit thread asked, "Teenagers of Reddit, what is one thing that all parents should know?" Here are some of the best submissions:

    BBC / Via

    1. Please don't read our journals, even if you feel like we're not telling you stuff.

    Flickr / Dan Iggers / Via

    "I found out my mom had read my diary when I was coming out to her. She said she already knew, because she read it. It was incredibly humiliating." —TheGrumpyPepper

    2. Don't respond with "because I said so," because it's not a valid or rational answer to any question.

    ABC / Via

    "If you can't be bothered to take the time to explain your reasoning, don't expect them to respect it. And yes, that will lead you to times when you explain and they STILL argue, but that's okay. My mom always defaulted to 'because I said so' any time we questioned her and it led us to having a really bad relationship when I was a teenager." —Jorumvar

    3. And when we ask "why?" it's because we truly just want to know why you won't let us do something that we're asking you to let us do.

    FOX / Via

    "In my head, it sounds like a reasonable ask." —thoughts_andshit

    4. Please give us a chance to talk back sometimes.

    Comedy Central / Via

    "I will not shout — I just want to make a compromise. It's really annoying when you're getting told off or told to do something, but if you say one word back, you're 'talking back.'" —pempoczky

    5. And don't talk to us in a way that you'd never talk to an adult.

    CBS / Via

    "If you browbeat a kid or never let her defend herself, then she will never be confident enough to have backbone with her boss, romantic partner, etc." —duchessinky

    6. When you're teaching us to drive, don't assume we already know how everything works on the road — that's why we need teaching.

    @joeconnop / Via Twitter: @joeconnop

    "And don't get mad when I do mess up, because it kills me inside and makes me less enthusiastic to learn." —Butzyyy

    7. If we criticize you, don't try to turn the tables and play the victim — or at least hear us out first.

    MTV / Via

    8. Don't get upset when we don't tell you something, but totally freak out when we do.

    20th Television / Via

    "My parents yell at me and give me lectures for getting a B on tests and then wonder why I don't tell them my test grades." —aaronk2002

    9. No matter how understanding you are, we'll still hide a few things from you and that's completely normal.

    "You should give your kids privacy until they prove they don't deserve it. I didn't have a door until I was 13 and once I got one my mom would always open it unannounced. It always made me mad." —sexybricklaying

    10. Actually listen to and believe us when we tell you something that might sound incredulous.

    ABC / Via

    "Even if you legitimately think your kid is not telling you the truth about something for some reason, you should still act as though you believe them. Because being wrong FOR your child will not scar them the way that being wrong AGAINST them will." —i_sigh_less

    11. Don't compare us to other kids. It hurts a lot.

    @princeea / Via Twitter: @PrinceEa

    "One of the most harmful forces in my life from the time I was a grade-schooler to a teen was being compared to my cousin who is a few years older than me. His family was rich and he was more athletic, had more friends, and was more 'well behaved' than I was, and my mom and grandmother never let me forget it. It does hurt. Please don’t do it." —j4242

    12. Please don't comment on our eating habits or weight all the time. / Via

    "I understand if there's potentially a reason to be concerned, buy my mom used to comment every time I ate something. Apple? 'You're eating again?' Having a sandwich? 'Boy, you must be hungry today' Coffee and a scone? 'Yeah, she eats all the time.' She didn't realize she was doing it, I don't think. But that can be really damaging." —GeneralGuidelines

    13. Take interest in our hobbies, even if you might not personally like them. / Via

    "None of my family ever showed any interest in the things I was passionate about and it really messed up my confidence. Even now, doing what I’ve always wanted to do and having some limited success, I have a hard time believing that anyone cares about it. I'm an artist now, but without my incredibly supportive wife I never would have never picked up another paintbrush. This is why I taught myself how to play Pokémon. I’ve always hated Pokémon but my eight-year-old son loves it, so I play it with him and know just enough that he can talk to me about it. As parents, if we don’t show interest in our kids to talk to us about the things they’re interested in they won’t talk to us about the more Important things later on in life." —GraphicRoach

    14. Don't force us to be more social — it's something that'll happen with time.

    Universal Pictures / Via

    "Plus, some of us just prefer to be alone." —DogsTrippingOnAcid

    15. Accept us for who we are because we're not yours to change and control.

    DreamWorks Pictures / Via

    "When you have a kid, you commit to loving them whether they're transgender, not straight, or whatever other gender preference. You can't change who someone is or who they love and at the same time, but acceptance and approval is so so so much more important than you think." —SexyBricklaying

    Responses have been edited for length or clarity.