You like to think you know us better than anybody, and in some ways, you do. You are the ones who love us more than anything. You'd die for us, if it came to that.
But, in many ways, you don't know very much about us at all. While there's no such thing as a typical teenager, here is my wishlist of what I'd like my parents to know.
1. Talk to us the same way you talk to adults.
We are almost adults. We're not babies anymore. If you talk to us like we're 'grown up', we are more likely to act grown up. It's pretty simple. Ask us questions that are not just "How was school?" My mum likes to ask "What happened today? Anything good? Anything bad? Anything make you laugh?" It's not true that teenagers don't like to talk, or that we just 'grunt' in response to a question. I guess the trick is to ask questions as if you really want to know the answer.
2. You embarrass us.
Here's the most common way parents embarrass their teen: by being in public with us. Think very carefully before you go to a public place with us -- it's a ticket straight to being made fun of by friends or the loss of a 'cool' reputation in the teen world, which is crucial.
Just picture this: I am at the mall -- a place where teens are most commonly found. I've agreed to go shopping with you because I didn't have anything else to do. Then you suggest we go to the movies. We head to the cinema to get your tickets. Then, out of nowhere appears a mob of insanely popular, finely dressed, reputation-destroying teens. It's pretty much the equivalent of death.
3. We want privacy.
Believe it or not, we need some privacy and time to relax. Don't just barge into our bedrooms as if it's your room as well (it's not like we're cheating on you with another set of parents). All we want is some time to wind down, read or talk to friends.
If you want to make me furious quickly, just forget to close the door. Oh, and since we're on the subject, I'd like to add that none of us like 'The Talk'. We all know exactly what it is. You sit us down and we're literally stressing our heads off, "What could it be this time? Parents divorcing? Grandma died?" And 95 percent of the time it has something to do with our growing body. Yes, puberty AGAIN.
4. We don't want to be 'friends' with you.
Don't try to be a 'best friend'. You're a parent so we need a bit of guidance and to be able to look up to you.
5. You can't pause an online game
This is insanely vital for parents to know for their child's good mood. Imagine being called for dinner while you're half way through an intense online game that requires out-of-the-ordinary thinking and concentration and you get told to pause the game!! You tell your parent that you CAN'T pause a game and then your parent goes off their head about the fact that they "didn't grow up with technology". Then, they tell you you're being rude and, as a result, force you to stop playing... ridiculous!
But I suppose all teens need to remember our parents have not grown up in this strange technology era and are still learning even the basics: such as the fact that you can change the brightness on your mobile phone.
6. We like getting praise.
It's always great to hear a parent tell you they're proud of you when you do something right or get a good mark or achieve something your parents can boast about. Most of the time we would rather a couple of compliments than a crisp $10 note. If we are having a tough time at school or our grades are going downhill, a "Everything is going to be okay" or "You're doing great" is heavenly.
Also, saying "I love you" will never get old... even when we do.