Do we really know our teenagers?

My daughter said to me the other day after our daily/weekly “mother/daughter bonding” moment, that I really “didn’t know her.” She said that who she is around her friends is “who she really is.” Well, I then asked her “Who are you?” She answered: “Not who I am around here.”

What does that mean? Does she lead a double life?

Part of me was sad that she can’t  “be herself” at home, but did I really expect her to not be? I told her that I understood that the way she acts around her friends is not the way she acts at home. I was a teenager at one point you know.

This “teenage stage” is harder that I thought.

I truly believe teenagers want their privacy and want to be treated like adults — even if they aren’t. I also believe around friends they can be who they want to be or what they wish they could be, older, more mature. But at home, THEY ARE exactly what they are, teenagers, not adults, someone’s children, someone’s brother or sister.

I hope someday my daughter will be able to “be herself” around me, but then again aren’t we different around our friends than with our family?

Curious to know what you think?

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5 Responses to Do we really know our teenagers?

  1. Raquel,

    I was so offended the other day when my daughter acted completely different around her friends than she does around me. It was like they had a secret language and I wasn’t entitled to know it. Maybe our teens are different people around their friends. Anyway, your post helped me to feel I’m not as alone in raising a teen daughter.

  2. Meg says:

    Okay well i am a 14 year old girl. And i act different around my parents than my friends because you are truly honest with your friends and with your parents you want them to think that your a good student. With my friends i tell them how i drink alcohol and they do to, i smoke and i have had sex. None of that you want to tell your parents.

  3. Tom says:

    Dear Meg. In 25 or however many years, please show that post to your daughter.
    Dear parents: force yourself into your kids lives. They want to have separate lives, but really it’s not that complicated. They need you, but want the praise from their peers. Get involved, deeply. If you suspect behavior that isn’t consistent with what you believe, toughen up and ground them, it’s your job to keep them safe, even from themselves.

  4. Evelyn Roux says:

    I am 14 years old, and I can tell you that I am not myself in front of my parents. I am very different in front of my friends.

  5. Evelyn Roux says:

    I allready posted one comment. I am myself in front of my friends. I curse all the time, and I can be completely honest with my friends. They know I used to cut myself, they know i once starved myself to get thin. They know I don’t believe in god, and they know I’m gay. I would NEVER tell any of that to my parents. I am a completely different person in front of them.

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