17-, 18-, and 19-Year-Olds: Who They Are and How to Talk to Them


In the summer months, we will be focusing on two topics:
  1.  Stay-At-Home Activities for Kids:
Stay-At-Home Activities for Kids, Part 1
Stay-At-Home Activities for Kids, Part 2
Stay-At-Home Activities for Kids, Part 3
Stay-At-Home Activities for Kids, Part 4
    2.  Teenagers: (This is the last new post on teenagers; prior posts are below.)
How COVID-19 “Stay-At-Home” Time Can Improve Parenting Teens
What You Need to Know About Teenagers
13-Year-Olds: Who They Are and How to Talk to Them
14-Year-Olds: Who They Are and How to Talk to Them
15-Year-Olds: Who They Are and How to Talk to Them
16-Year-Olds: Who They Are and How to Talk to Them

What 17-, 18-, and 19-year-olds can be like when struggling to grow-up:

  • Have to be “king or queen of the hill”
  • Go along with a group without doing their own thinking
  • Act like they have to able to do everything even if they haven’t been taught how
  • Don’t like to learn new things
  • Have to be part of a “gang”
  • Are always alone
  • Don’t respect rules
  • Don’t believe in morals or values

How to talk to 17-, 18-, and 19-year-olds – let them know:

  • They are good thinkers and can figure out whether they should say yes or no in a situation.
  • They can learn from their mistakes.
  • They have a voice inside them that will help them decide what to do.
  • They can find a way to do things that works for them and still within the rules.
  • They can learn what rules will help them live, work and play peacefully with others.
  • They can figure out how to disagree without hurting themselves or others.
  • They can ask for help.
  • You love them even when they make mistakes, even when they disagree with you.
  • You love watching them become more grown-up.
Remember, giving your child the above messages should only be done when you really mean them. If the time or situation is not right, wait until they are. If you find it hard to give these messages most of the time, figure out how you can help yourself believe the messages and give them freely (get some help, rest, information, therapy, etc.)
Based on concepts in Growing Up Again, Jean Illsley Clarke and Connie Dawson