9 Things Your Teens Wish You Knew

Parents, here's your annual performance review. We asked teens in Arlington, McLean and Falls Church to give it to us straight.

#4. They want you to show up—with a smile.

Teens may sometimes come across as snarky and aloof, but they say it hurts when their parents are dismissive of their passions and interests.

Take Sydney, who’s been in band since fourth grade. “My mom is always on a busy schedule, so she doesn’t like to ‘waste time,’ ” says the high school senior. Often, she says, her mom will ask exactly what time she’s performing and then come for only that part. “She just wants to check it off her list.”

Fiona, a junior, perceives her parents’ obligatory appearances at her theater performances as half-hearted. “They obviously don’t really want to be there and they make jokes about it. It’s a little too close to home to take as a joke,” she says. “I wish they came to more final productions. It’s frustrating because I’ve worked hard on this, so don’t just toss it aside.”

“What kids want most of all,” says Josh Weiner, a McLean psychiatrist, “is to know that their parents are proud of them. I don’t think anyone ever stops wanting that.”

Categories: Parents & Kids