I recently had a conversation with a teenager that I know well. He was stressed because he felt his stepfather was being too hard on him. I tended to agree but I didn't want to take sides. In my experience there is too much side taking in relationships by people who are not even part of the problem.
This young man is in my opinion doing a great job of growing up. He is trying to keep his grades up, he has a part time job after school and also does what he can to help out his community by volunteering. He has an interest in sports, skate boarding, music and has a great group of friends who do not do drugs. He also has specific chores to do at home. I wonder how much more can a parent ask of a teenager?
According to the young man his stepfather just got a promotion at work and is having difficulty adjusting. He is taking his frustration out on other people, especially his stepson.
As I said I was trying not to take sides as I listened to his complaints. I was very impressed when he said, "I'm just a kid trying to grow up." Perhaps his stepfather should remember that too.
I replied, "I know you are having a hard time right now and I feel bad about that. I think you should stand up for yourself, but don't talk back to your stepfather. Most of all remember how lucky you are to have him in your life and all of the things he has done for you."