10 Things Every Teenager Needs to Know About Their Parents
- Tuesday, August 31, 2010
And since we are ancient by your standards, it is only logical that all those years of various life experiences must have had some effect on us.
Take the initiative to ask for help, ask for advice, and dare I suggest it? Ask for our opinion. By demonstrating the forethought to value someone's life experience above your own, you will be displaying the qualities of maturity, level-headedness, humility and resourcefulness that would impress any parent.
9. We are not trying to control you. We are trying to teach you, to guide you, and to help you to stay out of the potholes we stepped in ourselves. All parents want their childrens' lives to be better than theirs. We try to protect you from pain, make the path easier to walk, and keep you safe and happy. We can't help it — it's a job requirement.
But you can understand that on some level, can't you? After all, even though you may fight with them, you also try to protect your younger siblings (or the neighborhood children) from danger. You know that the third rung on the monkey bars at the local playground has a sharp metal edge on one side. You know that because you grabbed it once and cut your hand.
Your life-experience (there's that word again) taught you a valuable lesson that you now feel compelled to share with someone else. In fact, you probably feel a sense of responsibility, even an obligation, to pass along the knowledge you have gained. To do less than that would be to knowingly stand by and watch someone hurt themselves, all the while possessing information that could have prevented a potential catastrophe. Who could possibly do that? Certainly not you!
And likewise, your parents cannot in good conscience, stand by and stay silent when they see a potential danger lurking up ahead in your future. They simply must try to warn you, and even go so far as to stop you when they can't convince you to stop yourself. It's their duty.
When you were younger they wouldn't let you walk out into the street without looking both ways. They taught you to be alert for signs of danger. They are doing the exact same thing now when they intervene in your life. You may call it "butting in" or "intruding", but they are just doing what they have always done for you — trying to protect you from harm.
10. We love you more than you think. Sometimes our rules and regulations (and the resulting conflicts that arise from them) may make you feel that we don't care about the things that you care about. Consequently, you may even feel that we don't care about you.
Nothing could be further from the truth! On the contrary, we care too much. We know too much. We have seen, done and experienced too much. It has made us a bit fearful for your well-being.
So at times you may think that we are unreasonable, over-reacting, and being over-protective. At times perhaps, we are (remember number one, "We are not perfect"?).
But parenting means erring on the side of caution. It means utilizing our knowledge, wisdom, life-experience and any other weapon in our arsenal, to keep you safe, healthy and happy. It means teaching you coping skills for when we aren't around to protect you. And it means that no matter what - we will always love you, and there will always be a piece of our heart that belongs only to you.
That is why we cry ourselves to sleep at night when you hurt our feelings or when we are worried about your choices and feel powerless to help. It is why we sometimes react negatively out of sheer fear and frustration. It is why we get angry when we can't seem to get you to understand. And it is why we often say, "No", when you are begging us to say, "Yes". Not because we want to be mean, to deny you the things you want in life, or to punish you.
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