You know how youth workers waste time? We do things like spend a couple of hours Googling the phrase, “What Do Teens Like?” out of curiosity of the results.

Here are my most interesting discoveries on the topic:

  • A list of 24 memes I have never ever heard one teen talk about or show me.
  • “Hangin’ Wit Their Mates.” (Guessing that an American did not write that one.
  • According to a Discovery news article girls no longer really care about being this
  • Several articles talked about how teens are leaving Face Book for Instragram and Vine, even over Twitter.
  • According to a couple of “Wiki-Answers” sites that had (supposedly) been modified by teens themselves: Porn
  • Planking (I didn’t even know that was still around.)

In short none of the articles actually agreed with each other as to the trends or ideas that teens like. It’s probably because we live in a day and age where we can barely keep up with what we “like” ourselves. Just a couple of years ago none of us had even heard of “Duck Dynasty” and now that they might not renew their contract (who knows if this is even true) it will only be a matter of time when we say, “Remember that show?”

Other than the talk of social media and where teens are going to communicate, there was only one other trend I found. There were several articles titled something along the lines of: “What Teens Wish Their Parents Knew About Them.”

Even in these articles there was a mix of ideas. However, there were always two thoughts that rose to the top:

  1. They still need/want/love their parents, and need to know/hear their parents love them
  2. Teens care what their parents think.

Isn’t that fascinating? What did I really discover in my little afternoon research project?

Here are my thoughts:

  • If you want to know what a teen likes, ask them, then next week ask them again. It isn’t that they are indecisive; chances are they have been introduced to something new.
  • They may “like” some things that are hurting them.
  • Several articles spoke about a variety of “dangerous trends.” It’s vital that we really get to know the teens in our lives and we may discover, they truly need some help.
  • Be a trend watcher, but don’t “assume” it applies to every teen.
  • One of the favorite statements I found was how not every teen likes One Direction. I found this funny, because I live with three in MS and not a single One Direction fan.
  • Parents are important.
  • We all knew that didn’t we? I wonder if we will do whatever it takes to both get to know parents, and strengthen their relationships with their children?

What about you? What do you discover “teens like?”

Leneita Fix co-founded Frontline Urban Resources to help equip, coach and speak into the lives of those working with families living in a “survival mode” mentality. They refer to this thinking as the “new urban.” You can see her resources on DYM right here.