I think any of us who’ve worked extensively knows that loving a teenager is very much like “hugging a cactus.” Or trying to make friends with an aloof feline – sometimes it feels like all they want is food; otherwise, “go away.”
But the teen years, hard as they are on parents and mentors, offer deeply rewarding moments as well: the opportunity to watch, before your eyes, a young adult emerging into life and discovery and calling.
Good article, quick read.
When teens push themselves away, says Hill, “it does not mean that they don’t want and crave their parents’ acceptance of their identities and interests. One of my colleagues said parenting teens is like hugging a cactus. Even as the ‘warm fuzzies’ are not often reciprocated, teens still need them, still need to know they are loved unconditionally. Don’t miss the opportunity to say or show love, warmth and affection toward even your most prickly teen.”