When parents express ongoing resentment toward their adolescent, I take it seriously because of what it often connotes – a lack of adequate returns from the teenager in their relationship at a time when he or she has become increasingly preoccupied with developing a more individual, grown up, and independent sense of Self.
“It’s all give and no get” is how the parental complaint commonly goes. “We do for him, but he does nothing for us! All he thinks about is what matters to him! What about what matters to us? He’s so selfish, that’s the problem!”
Except, what they are charging the adolescent with is not the problem, only a reflection of it. The problem is that parents have not been holding the teenager to adequate two-way account in the relationship and now they are paying the price for their neglect. They have elected to live on his more self-serving, one-way terms and now they’re angry at him for the bad bargain they have made. In their resentment, they conclude that the matter is with him, when in fact it resides with them.
Read the rest here.
Not 100% on board with all of this, but found it generally good, and also appreciated the address of how being concerned with the self and increasing independence from from parents IS part of healthy, essential young adult development.