It's hard being a family. Put together different personality styles and temperaments and you are bound to have conflict and clashes.Add to that people who have grown up in the same home and are reaching the teenage years, and things just get downright tough. I work with many teenagers and their families. We work on communication, relationship building and conflict resolution most often. What I hear most from the teens I counsel with is that they desire to be heard; some of them tell me that outright and with others I hear that more indirectly. But they all long to be known and loved at their core - even if they aren't sure who they are quite yet. That can be said for us adults as well; at our core we are desiring to be known and loved. Teens are seeking attention, affection and love - and often they seek this in the wrong places. It can be scary to seek this kind of love from our families. Maybe there has been pain or hurt in the family and they have been wounded in the family. Or maybe there hasn't been any major family trauma or tragedy but it is still hard for them to reach out; likely it's just a product of being a teen, searching for who they are and where they belong, needing connection yet desiring independence as well. I encourage parents to pursue their teens, pursue their kids' hearts. Chase after them even when they continue to run away or put up walls. Deep down teens do desire to be known and loved; they need their parents attention. It's just hard for them to ask for it, so instead they disobey, rebel or talk disrespectfully. It's hard to be a teen; there is so much pressure to perform - to make the grade. There's pressure to fit in, to look certain ways and act certain ways and if you don't you'll be an outcast or made fun of by your peers you so desperately want to love you. It's a tough world to grow up in these days. I admit though, I'm not a parent of a teen so I don't fully know what it's like to have your child rebel, disobey or disrespect. And I know I'm no longer a teen and that they live in a different world than what I experienced during my teens. Yet I think a lot of it comes down to pursuit of relationship- real, deep, consistent relationship. It's not going to always be easy or pretty, but that is life - messy and difficult. So parents...pursue your teens. And teens...be open to letting your parents in every now and then, even if it's hard. I encourage you to seek out Family Counseling if times are rough in your family; it can be a great tool to navigate the relational changes and challenges that happen during the teen years.