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why do we generally not 'allow' teen angst emotions to be viewed as real or genuine...?

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joko | 13:22 Wed 15th Jun 2011 | Relationships & Dating
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in general, we dismiss, belittle, be condescending and even sneer and huff in some cases whenever a teen comes on here in a state about some boy or girl...

because we know as grown ups, those relationships tend to come to nothing and in the grand scheme of things dont really matter - but we learnt that over time...its not just a 'given'

i remember as a teen having some of the most powerful, confusing and heartbreaking emotions over boys, which were no less valid than if i were 30 ang getting divorced - the latter maybe more destructive and have more upheaval, but the feelings inside can often be as powerful...its only now i look back and wonder what in the hell i was thinking and thanking my lucky stars that i am not still with those boys!

we tell them to grow up and move on - when inside we all know its not that easy to do...

the level of their drama comes from naivety and no basis for comparison...but the sense of loss and betrayal or whatver is still there - its not their fault they havent lived as long as us...

whether we think they are being silly and dramatic or not, to them its the end of the world and there is nothing guranteed to make you feel worse than everyone patronising you and dismissing your emotions as nonsense...

so why are we so dismissive of that - surely we all know what it felt like, so why cant we empathise more?


(no need to respond just to say that you yourself dont dismiss - its a given that some of you will be more sympathetic than others)


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But it is real love to a teen Rowan, and nothing would convince them otherwise. You only learn about real love as you get older (some don't). I was 'really' in love at 16 and was devastated when I saw him with somebody else. I know now it wasn't real. If anybody had told me it wasn't real I would just not have believed them.

(I went home on the bus crying inside and burst out crying when I get home. My mum gave me tea, toast and sympathy and that was just lovely. She probably told me I would get over it, but would have been very gentle and understanding).
We are dismissive of it because we know from our own experience that it's BS and next year it will be a new person they can't live without.
Seems fair enough to me.
I was at the Capital Radio concert this weekend, and I recently took some girls to see Justin Beeber.

It's tricky to give terribly serious attention to a group who will stand in a group of 50,000 other girls, screaming at the top of their voices ... "I LOOOOOVE YOOOOOOUUU !!!"

And then bursting into tears when the guy starts to sing.

And saying ... "Oh, god, I think I'm going to faint."

And then ...

Asking for a bit of serious advice about their current emotional situation.

Surely the best advice is always ...

Make the most of living off your parents with no responsibilities. If you waste these years of your life, with melodramatic emotional angst ... you will never get them back.
right.. cynical answer!

I find it hard to believe that teenagers would find their way on to sites like this, and generally they would discuss such issues with their friends or possibly family. what would you get if you googled "help with relationship/teenage problems"? I doubt it's AB.

anyway, on the whole I don't post on such threads. I do, however, deal with the angst of my own 2 teenagers on a regular basis.. unfortunately!
Sassy's answer ...

Possibly ... cynical.

Possibly ... hit the nail on the head.
As a teenager - and it was a while ago! - i would never dream of confiding in my parents because I sensed they would not really understand - bearing in mind that they were from the 'war' generation, and had more important things to worry about at the corresponding time in their lives!

I was proved right on the one occasion they caught me crying (no notion of knocking on bedroom doors in our house!) over a girl, and I got the "This nothing compared with real life ..."b and plenty of mutual catching eyes, raising eyes, tutting, etc.

I have never forgotten it, and when my middle daughter was fifteen and cried in my arms over an unrquired crush, i remembered that for her, this is as bad as life gets because this is the first real emotional pain she has known, so I listened, and advised when asked, with no reference to my greater experience in these issues - who needs that?

I would not countenance total strops, flounces, or hysteria generally from my girls, but genuine tears, I was - and am - there for them with no message to give except love and support - that's what parents are for.

Teens don't need "When I was your age ... plenty more fish ... not worth it ..." twaddle, they need support and someone to understand while they figure it all out for themselves and learn from the experience.
andy, I think the question is more about people on AB rather than real people crying on your shoulder. You can't really express sympathy the same way online as in person. I don't get snotty about people on AB, but since I can't hug them I try to offer constructive advice instead. It's not lack of sympathy though.
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as ever chris, nicely put...
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oops sorry, meant andy...!
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jno, i use hear as a major example, but it applies to the real world too really...i have seen it on many occasions with my mates who have teens an my own experiences...

i think reactions on here are just indicative to how they react in reality
jno - not sure where you have gained that notion - the opening comment is "... in general ..." and does not appear to mention the AB'ers at all.

joko - thank you for your kind words.
jno - I beg your pardon, I didn't read the post closely enough - like a man in orthopaedic shoes - I stand corrected!
Why do parents feel they have to pander to this nonsense? Tell it like it is.
I agree with you Joko, and Andy. They need sympathy and understanding. I don't agree with the saying "Ignore them, they're just attention seeking". I think if they're crying out for attention, then give it to them, don't deprive them of it.
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andy - i meant wherever...i just used ab as an example we all knew well...
Yup - I only scanned the Q and posted a little too quickly - again!

I think your question is perceptive, and I think it;s a shame that some posters seem willing to dismiss the dramas of adolescence.

From my experience - if youo take in all the drama, you'll also hear the serious stuff - and set in place a relationship that lasts into adulthood.

Distance your teenagers, you will distance your adult children - and who wants that?
no problem, andy, and I wasn't disagreeing with you at all, just thinking that maybe joko's question was a little more specifically about AB
Just been thinking. We really do have to be very careful how we deal with teenage angst and emotions. It is a very crucial stage of development and if we don't listen carefully and sympathetically and if we are dismissive we really cannot pick up on what can turn out to be really serious problems.
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very true lottie.

and also being made to feel stupid, unimportant, soppy, ignorant or whatever, no matter how unintentional, could lead to neurosis in later life, issues with women, sex, men, families etc etc...

because this treatment stimulates emotions in these kids, ones which they cannot quite put their finger on and understand - all they know is they feel daft and like they arent as important as 'real grownups', and its coming from the people who are supposed to love them most - but also being backed up and reiterated by strangers who have no reason to lie - so must be true... right?
they dont know how to resolves these emotions - and it will turn into resentment and anger...that in time they will have no idea why they feel that way, they just do...

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