Teen Issues

The job of a parent is to care for and protect their children. You have been and are responsible for all aspects of their life until they’ve grown and moved on to their own life. Yet, even then, parents still have a hard time letting go.

When a teen lives at home, the protection factor is solid as a wall of steel. The media exposes parents to the daily tragedies engulfing today’s youth. Is it any wonder that we are so protective?

However, teens feel that they are capable of taking care of themselves. They are in the stage of, “I’m a big person, and I resent the fact that you’re so protective”. They don’t see things from a parent’s point of view, and quite often, never believe that bad things will happen to them. They often take our over-protectiveness as a sign of mistrust.

To get a parent to trust their teen takes time. Not because we don’t believe they’re worthy of it – it’s because we know what can happen in an instant. We have trouble letting go, because we fear if we do, and something happens, it will be our fault. The over-protectiveness we inflict because of the love we feel can often be taken the wrong way.

The best way to get a parent to give their teen more freedom is to live responsibly. This begins in the home.

If a parent has to constantly remind their teen about homework responsibilities, household chores, deadlines, personal hygiene or staying away from questionable friendships; freedom will not come easily. Parent’s need to feel comfortable with the maturity level that their child discloses. If you are actively involved in your child’s life, and they are open with you – lines of communication are open. The more communication, the closer you become to each other and the more trust can be developed.

If a teen wants more freedom, it should be discussed openly and without anger or resentment. Parent’s should already know what their teen is capable of doing – if they don’t, they are not parenting.

Show your parent that you can handle outside activities by handling the responsibilities given to you at home. Don’t lie to your parents – lying will make the process of trusting start all over. Freedom then, will not come easy.

Talk with your parents about their concerns regarding their limitations on you. Ask them why they feel you aren’t ready for what you feel you are. Quite often, a simple conversation can bring out in the open an issue that never was thought about to begin with. Parent’s need to feel like they are a part of your life. Make them part of it. Remember, they are the most important person in your life, and they love you more then anyone else does. The word “no” can’t be turned into a yes. You just need to find out why “no” is in place.

Remember most of all, that when we deny you an activity that you long to be part of, it may just be because we know for sure that it is not in your best interest. We don’t expect you to understand why – you won’t until you have children of your own. We’re not here to deny you a life, we’re here to maintain yours.

Sometimes we may go overboard, but we only do so because we fear that we’ll lose you.

Keep in mind that “no” sometimes means “I’m afraid for you”.

Being afraid means we love.

Talk to us openly, and we may just see that you aren’t in harms way. You’ll have to prove it by your past behavior – but it’s not that hard.

When we stop saying “no” is when you really need to worry.