We are human animals with instincts and skills inherent to us as mammals including signals, sensations and sensors about well-being and needs. This is our Natural Leadership.
As children, our Natural Leadership is fully ignited. Before it was socialized and domesticated out of us, we were much more connected to our mammal selves and our instincts. Being a teenager is a powerful point in time because they have the mammal awareness and instincts to attend to their needs and are becoming more equipped to put language to those needs.
Yes, they might need more skills around how to communicate their needs in a more nuanced way. That’s more about the relationship, and that’s the parenting opportunity for us adults. One of the reasons why teens are so miserable is that adults don't listen to them.
While teens are more connected to their mammal instincts and needs, they might not share that information in a way a parent likes or is useful. Parents get caught up in the delivery and miss the content. We have to listen to our teens because not only are they telling us what they need, but they’re probably telling us something we as adults need too. Let me repeat that, our teens are probably telling us something we as adults need too.
We need to encourage our teens to own their needs and don't stop fighting for them. But let’s help them learn how to influence and better communicate. How to listen to the people who are trying to teach them how to influence, but not give up on what they’re trying to influence.