Advice for Parents of Teenagers

Warren Ellis was asked: “If you were to give out parenting advice, what would you say to the father of a soon-to-be teenage girl?” His reply is fabulous:

I could write a whole long thing here, but what you need to do next is simply this:

Keep telling her she can do and be anything she wants, if she really wants it.

Keep telling her not to take shit from anyone who says otherwise, no matter who they are.

Keep telling her you’ve got her back, twenty-four/seven and three six five.

Keep telling her you love her, even when she acts like she doesn’t want to hear it.

That’s it.

(Oh, and: all the stuff she’s going to do in order to show and enact rebellion against you, your values, your culture and your flaws? Relax and enjoy it all. Enjoy it in the way you enjoyed her learning to walk, and the way she first read for herself.)

The last point, in particular, is quite brilliant, and has completely changed my thinking about my daughter’s impending teenage years.

We all do it as teenagers, it’s hard-wired genetics, so why fight it and compound it? Take a step back, see it for what it is and enjoy it.