I think teenagers are frequently misunderstood by even the most caring adults. This isn’t due to lack of effort, but instead has more to do with inaccurate stereotypes and portrayals of teenagers. And the best way to cut through these superficial stereotypes is through a grounded understanding of adolescent development. Unfortunately, in this regard, much of psychology focuses on pathology and abnormality, which is of little help to parents. Teenagers are complex, but they are not impossible to understand. My goal is not to tell anybody how to parent their kids, but rather to help translate what teenagers mean (but can’t say) by their behaviors and attitudes. I do this primarily by connecting research to everyday behaviors that parents see in their teens. As adults, the more we understand the meanings behind their behaviors, the more flexible we can be in our responses. This in turn means better relationships with our teenagers and healthier teenagers overall. Finally, parenting a teenager means thinking and acting more in terms of influence than control — easy to say, tough to do.