Teen Issues

When I was sixteen I had a boyfriend that I was crazy about. Love at first sight.
He was tall with long blond hair and blue eyes. He smoked cigarettes and dropped out of high school. He got into fights and loved to curse. We grew up in New York. The F- word was a very popular verb and one of his favorite words. He was my parents worst nightmare. My father was a principal of a school. My father was the kind of man that you didn’t want to mess with. In the beginning I kept this boy far away from my house. As the time passed I started to act sloppy. He would walk me home late at night and finally my father caught a glimpse of the character I was hanging out with. My father initially told me to stop seeing him. Then the sneaking around part played itself out for a couple of months and again my father saw me with my bad boy boyfriend. When my parents noticed that nearly six months had passed and he was still a part of my life they realized they better meet him and see what he has to say for himself. My father asked him to come into our den one day. To come into the lions den. He sat him on a chair and began to ask him various questions. Surprisingly my boyfriend was very respectful and answered all my fathers questions honestly. Even the one about dropping out of high school. By a stroke of luck my dad saw some spark in this young boy. From that point on every time he came to pick me up he would say hello to my father and they would have a little conversation. After all my father was an educator and dealt with teenagers everyday at his school.
Now as an adult I see I got my parents to listen about my boyfriend because I was consistent.
It was the same boyfriend all throughout my high school. My parents saw that I was serious and they were willing to give him a chance. Much of my boyfriends behavior was a show to be cool. To act cool in order to be respected by his peers. He was also born outside of America; in Germany, and had trouble doing his school work in English. His own parents didn’t emphasize education and so dropping out was easy. It was a blessing that he met my father because in the end my father encouraged him to go back to school. In the film “A Walk to Remember” the father was also initially very upset about his daughter spending time with one of the high school trouble makers. As the time passed and he saw his daughter not give up on this young man the father opened his heart.
I think the true secret of getting our parents to listen is through knowing what you are ultimately doing is OK. If you are hanging out with a boy who may be hitting or verbally abusing you or bringing you down with drug use your parents will always figure it out.
If you choose wisely ultimately your parents will listen to you and support your decisions.
My father became like a secound dad to my boyfriend and we eventually ended up married and raising a family of our own. As a parent I always try to let my children feel comfortable speaking with me and I try desperately to listen without being judgmental. We speak about every topic openly and I hope my children will let my husband and I into their lives.