Darrione Polk

Barker Middle School

Teens today are always going through highs and lows. Sometimes they have to deal with things at home and sometimes they have to deal with things at school, but they always somehow have stress. So here I am, a teen, to give you some advice on how to deal with these emotional teens.

Teens today, from my point of view, always seem to be emotional. Some of them are actually dealing with things at home or at school, but others are, honestly, just seeking attention. I feel that being "emo" is today's new fad. Honestly, I think it's pointless. I just don't get why a negative attitude is cool in any way. See if you can help them see the positives and skip the drama. But if not, contact a school counselor or someone else to help. Depression and bullying can be really serious issues for teens.

But if your teen isn't one of the attention seekers, they might really be getting bullied or something is happening at home, and you need to get to the bottom of it. Ask them what's irking them and if they say, "nothing," try to tell them you know something is wrong. They might open up to you and spill the beans. If not, they may need to wait for another day to talk to you about it. Don't sweat it, just ask about it another time. They will appreciate that you care and want to help.

And then there's anger: If your teen seems angry or annoyed by you, they may think that you don't give them enough freedom. Honestly, sometimes it has to be that way, but sometimes you're probably being over-protective. Let's say you tell your daughter that she can't go out of the house wearing something like skinny shorts. That I can understand. But if you tell your teen that he or she can't go anywhere without you, that's being a bit over-protective. If your teen shows that he or she can be responsible then you should be able to trust them. If you do give your teen a chance and they blow it, then investigate. If they stayed out past curfew, ask why — and then let them explain. Try hard not to jump to conclusions, and especially when you or your teen are angry, try to talk calmly about things.

I hope I helped you to understand a little better how your teen thinks and reacts to your emotions, too. Maybe I helped you build a better relationship with your teen or maybe not. I'm still a teen myself, after all.

Darrione Polk is a student at Barker Middle School. In the Middle is a regular column produced by MCAS middle school students.

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