February 14, 2012

Talking with Teens

I had a conversation about teens and type 1 diabetes the other day. It was kind of an interview. I answer a lot of questions. I strayed off topic too.  (I know me digress! Who would think it possible?) 
Some how I think I forgot my favorite teen digression: if you expect your teens to talk with you, you need to have invested time talking with them before they were teens. If you were too busy watching the game, playing golf or skipping the occasional midnight movie premiere when they were tweens, you may have taught them you are not interested in them. 
Learn to be interested in what they like. This may come as a shock but all their music doesn’t suck and a lot of your’s does. Some where there is a balance in there. Netflix can help you both find stuff you didn’t now about and can enjoy a conversation on; Man on Wire, Exit Through The Gift Shop. 
It also helps to be genuinely willing to hear what they have to say if they do talk with you. If they like something you don’t, be open to why. Five will get you ten your behaviors taught them the why and you didn’t even know it. 
I like teens, so far they are the most fun age the kids have been. They start showing flashes of real interesting stuff as teens. Some is a reflection that is an interesting perspective of yourself and some is a fascinating tangent from who know where. Either way teens are as good as the time you have invested in them. 
That guess that isn’t any kind of a surprise.

Also on YDMV about teens at T1D: Dr Freud - Endocrinologist and Teen Motivator