Why do so many parents think teens cannot be in love?


I am not a teen but am a parent. I have spoken with teens in the chat who’s parents don’t seem to take their relationships with others seriously. The hardest breakups of my life were when I was a teen. When you are a teen the feelings you have are so raw and uninterrupted by house payments, laundry, careers, crying babies and all of the other adult things that get in the way. When you are a teen all you have to do is your school work and think about/be with the other person. It’s just so simple of a love but so very intense in my opinion. It hurts me to think that so many parents cannot remember what that felt like when it comes to their own children. I respect both of my teen son’s relationships with girls. NO they probably won’t marry any of these girls but that doesn’t mean their feelings for them are not very intense and very real. They may even be in love. Parents seem to think of teen break ups as something that’s no big deal. After all they are just kids right? I have a 13 yr old son who has been dating a girl for 3 months right now. Do I think they are to young to be so infused in one another? Yes. I think it’s a little soon for the kind of feelings they seem to have but I will not forbid it. They seem to be like peanut butter and jelly. I know they probably won’t stay together forever but I respect how they feel about each other. If I forbid my son to date a girl at this age he will just do it anyway. I am so worried about how upset he will be when they break up because I can see they have real feelings for each other. Just because they are still learning the ways of life does not mean their feelings are not very real. I will never forget how upset my oldest son was in 9th grade when the girl he had been dating for months broke up with him right before homecoming. I didn’t really care for her as a girl friend for my son but his feelings for her were very real and I respected that. They still went to homecoming after that but it was a very hard time for my son. I tried to understand what he was going threw and help him get threw it as best a I could. I guess I am just wanting to raise awareness that teen love is very real.

asked November 19, 2013

3 Answers

Emotions are very strong when you are a teen- as you have pointed out. This is because the prefrontal cortex is still developing and the amygdala is largely guiding and reasoning for them (in the adult brain, as development continues but slows down, we are guided by the frontal cortex). Deals with fight or flight, emotions. ///It's not that teens cannot be in love- it's that because of their brain development and limited experience plus, hormones), they are more likely to feel it very, very strongly and have a lack of impulse control and social control when it comes to how to respond to it. Teens can also be very egocentric. You'll see them thinking that everyone is staring at them when they aren't. Punishments will seem harsher and without reason. Most college kids will tell you- there is a different mindset to being 14 than being 24. Worlds away. Teens are people (deserving of respect and to be listened to), have developed incredible abstract thinking skills, but nonetheless, they are set up differently at that point!I definitely see teens expressing legitimate feelings. I also have seen many who think like is love. Who think lust is love. Maybe this isn't so much just a teen thing as a human thing, but time spent on earth does seem to weather perspective, broaden understanding.
I think some parents believe when their child in in a relationship with someone else, they think it isnt really love considering their age. Most people think teens are too young to know what love is, so therefore they can no experience it. But, I disagree! Love is a confusing emotion at times, and no one actually knows what love is. You can experience true love at any age I think. Sometimes you can even confuse your feelings for another human being as "love" when its just lust
parents think its just dont want to see their kids hurt but they also think it just some stupid boy or a sluty girl