Teen Talk
Reader's Digest Canada|November 2021
When my eldest hit adolescence, our relationship hit the rocks. Here’s how I got us back on track.
Philip Preville

MY ELDEST SON LUKE is a fantastic young man: kind-mannered, well-spoken and hard-working. But since he turned 13, he’s also become more argumentative, moody and distant.

He still needs my help with his math homework, but now he doesn’t want it. He’ll also meltdown at the slightest provocation, and any word I utter in response— whether to empathize with him or offer him some perspective—lands with a thud. His preferred tactic is to mumble as he stomps out of the room.

In other words, he became a teenager. There is nothing unusual about any of this behaviour, yet as a parent I was unprepared. The teenage years are parenthood’s real test: a blast furnace of emotion, instability, questioning and self-doubt, of endless trial and error and frustration as you seek to establish your identity. This is me I’m talking about now, not Luke.

I thought I’d already laid an unshakable foundation that would allow Luke and I to coast through to his adulthood. These days I laugh at myself for ever thinking that I could skip the hard part of parenthood. But I’m here at the hard part now, and with adolescence bearing down fast on his 12-year-old twin brothers, I’m here to stay.

Luke turned 15 this year, and so, a couple of years into this adventure, I’ve figured out a few things to help keep us connected—things that, as it turns out, make a lot of sense to the experts, and that apply as much to teenage girls as to boys.

Press Pause on Your Agenda

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM READER'S DIGEST CANADAView All

SECOND CHANCES

One man’s incredible cross-country trek to meet the family who gave him a new heart

9 mins read
Reader's Digest Canada
November 2021

The Diagnosis

For 30 years, Tracey Mellis struggled with a miserable, messy life. Then she found out why.

10 mins read
Reader's Digest Canada
November 2021

Teen Talk

When my eldest hit adolescence, our relationship hit the rocks. Here’s how I got us back on track.

4 mins read
Reader's Digest Canada
November 2021

Can Stress Give You Ulcers?

Most people believe it can, but the answer is more complicated

3 mins read
Reader's Digest Canada
November 2021

I SURVIVED

WHEN FACED WITH CERTAIN DEATH, IT TAKES BRAVERY, DETERMINATION—AND PLENTY OF LUCK. THE STORIES OF FOUR PEOPLE WHO LIVED TO TELL.

10+ mins read
Reader's Digest Canada
November 2021

My Baby Brooklyn

Now that I’m a parent, I’ve discovered how much my dog taught me about maternal love

5 mins read
Reader's Digest Canada
November 2021

THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE

SCIENTISTS AND AMATEUR UFO SPOTTERS ARE CLOSER TO PROVING THAT WE’RE NOT ALONE IN THE UNIVERSE

10 mins read
Reader's Digest Canada
November 2021

The Bad Doctor

How a respected family physician, lured by easy money, fell into a fentanyl trafficking ring

10+ mins read
Reader's Digest Canada
November 2021

The Pieces That Remain

For the last nine years, I’ve paid tribute to my late mother by wearing her clothes

4 mins read
Reader's Digest Canada
November 2021

When Will We Live on the Moon?

We quiz astronaut and author Chris Hadfield

3 mins read
Reader's Digest Canada
November 2021
RELATED STORIES

MOODY MARK BAILS ON NCIS!

Why TV lawman is done after 18 years

2 mins read
Globe
November 01, 2021

Climate Risks Come for Sovereign Credit

FOR YEARS climate scientists have warned about the ferocious wildfires and hurricanes that are now overwhelming many communities. Today alarms are ringing about a related financial danger: risks lurking within government bonds, the biggest part of the global debt market.

7 mins read
Bloomberg Markets
October - November 2021

INTO THE WILDS

JESSICA ZEVALKINK AND LUKE YEATES SET FREE IN THE SEA OF CORTEZ WITH THEIR NEWLY RESTORED YACHT AND NEW BABY

9 mins read
Yachting World
October 2021

Time in the Bank

You might think that money is the most valuable currency in the world. All of society seems to run by cash or card. However, it’s not the change in your pocket that’s your most valuable possession. It’s something even more sacred— and I guarantee you, you’re rich in it!

2 mins read
White Wing Messenger
August 2021

NINE PERFECT STRANGERS

Nicole Kidman, Melissa McCarthy Premieres Wed., Aug.18, on Hulu

1 min read
Star
August 23, 2021

A New Hope for Star Wars

What The Mandalorian teaches us about the true power of George Lucas’s galaxy—and how to restore it

9 mins read
The Atlantic
July - August 2021

BORN TO RIDE KIDS - CHRISTIAN MOTORCYCLISTS ASSOCIATION

There is nothing quiet as spontaneous as mounting up on your bike and going for a ride.

2 mins read
Born To Ride Florida
January 2021

The Struts

THE U.K. OUTFIT HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD WITH THE TITLE OF THEIR LATEST RELEASE — STRANGE DAYS, INDEED

2 mins read
Guitar World
January 2021

FORTY, SOMETHING

Tristan Rogers Hits A Major Milestone As GH’s Robert Scorpio.

10+ mins read
Soap Opera Digest
December 07, 2020

LEGENDARY BEAR HOUNDS: PART 34

LUKE’S JOSEPH

10 mins read
Bear Hunting Magazine
November - December 2020