An Open Letter From Parents to Teen & Young Adult Children

Dear Teens & Young Adult Children,

Just like you-we don’t always know exactly what to say. Sometimes we say one thing and mean yet another. And, like you sometimes we’d really rather not talk. So, please know that we are not wired to say the right thing in just the right tone at all times. We are flawed individuals who are striving to do the best we can.

We would like you to know what some of our words and commonly used phrases mean so here is a bit of inside information:

When we say:

1. “That’s interesting” We actually mean that that’s good, bad or neutral. Interesting is an intentionally used ambiguous word that we use when we are not sure what to say. Consider:
“Mom, do you like my new boyfriend?” We are not sure about him yet so in an attempt not to judge him prematurely we may say “he seems interesting.”

2.” Let’s talk about that another time.” We are uncomfortable and afraid that we may say the wrong thing so we are attempting to buy time. We are not simply trying to ignore you. We need time to think and to get some opinions.

3. “Too much information.” Yes, we may say that. What we really mean is that we are not comfortable hearing about your sexual lives etc. In many ways you are still our babies.

4. “I always love you.” Yes, we always love you but we may not like the way you are acting in the moment.


5. “When I was your age…” We really don’t want to tell you about our history. We really just want to let you know that we think that you are getting away with way too much.

So, kids, the bottom line is that we like you struggle with communication. We are all in the same boat on this journey.

Mom & Dad