By Mariesha Morgan
As you know, teens and parents have always been at odds on certain matters, whether it’s differing opinions on maturity and independence, freedom of expression or the plain ol’ lack of understanding on both parts. Though we teens can be a bit exaggerative where expressing our agendas is concerned and trying to take what we want, here are some things I/we wish our parents would understand:
1.) We’re not opposing you because we hate you!
We have opinions, we have feelings and all those wonderful things. So I don’t think it’s fair when I should express myself on a topic, only to be shut down and shouted at because it clashes with yours- and then be labelled as someone who’s fighting against you!
I should be able to expect some understanding from my parents if I feel uncomfortable wearing a certain article of clothing and opting for something else (not too revealing of course). I don’t think it’s a personal attack if I choose something for my wellbeing- just sayin’.
2.) Don’t think that comparing me to another child helps….. just don’t do it!
So firsthand, I know my mother likes to compare me to my friends in academics, demeanor and even appearance, and at first it bothered me, but with age and the ability to tune any and everyone out, it stopped bothering me as much. I never gave much thought to why she did it, I just thought she wanted me to feel bad about not being like another person’s child. What really ticked me off was when she began doing it to my 11-year-old sister who doesn’t know how to deal with it.
At that moment, it became clear to me that what she wanted was for my sister to see what she was doing wrong, and try to be like someone else. From this she would get the impression that being herself is a total no-no. I saw her little face fall as she was crushed when she realized she wasn’t good enough for mommy. Though I, a teen, learned to get over this and not pay attention to it, it doesn’t mean it didn’t hurt, and now I get a personal replay in the form of my own sister. Is this what they teach at parenting school? Bottom line is, don’t do it. It’s hurtful and detrimental to us in the long run.
3.) We’re not contrary, just SUPER sleep deprived.
Our schools require us to get into extracurricular activities, ok, that’s about two hours after a seven-hour school day. So that’s already nine hours gone from twenty-four. Cool. Then, we have homework- this depends on the difficulty of each subject and how many pieces one gets per night- so let’s chalk this up at about two and a half hours of homework/studying. That’s fifteen hours minus two point five hours now. We have twelve and a half hours left from twenty-four hours. Still going strong…….
Now, we’re supposed to be getting at least eight hours of sleep (“eight hours of sleep” = myth). So that’s twelve and half hours minus eight hours, we have four and a half hours left. Still going strong people. Then we have those miscellaneous hours for relaxing, extra sleep etc.
What was described above is the ideal day, but what really happens is:
School lasts for twenty hours alone; let THE LORD HIMSELF bless those precious four hours of sleep- and don’t get me started on any major school projects because your only rest will be when you blink!
Parents, this is why some of us are always sleepy/cranky/ done with life.
4.) Leave us to enjoy our technology, it’s in our era, and it’s entertainment…… just leave me and my fidget spinner be!
When you were growing up, I’m sure you had your doohickeys and dinglehoppers, and I’m sure it was irritating when *your* parents nagged you about amusing yourself. It’s one thing for
us to start dangerous fads and go through detrimental challenges that we don’t see the negative effects right away (and then we therefore need your guidance), but it’s totally another thing when we’re constantly ridiculed for making our YouTube videos and whipping out our fidget spinners.
Here’s the truth, selfies are a thing, roasting is a thing, coming up with absurd and innovative challenges- THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT NOW- just as much as Frank Sinatra and cave jottings were back in your days. Let us a live a little, because these are the memories we’ll need to look back on and smile on in our last days…… please.
5.) That attitude had to come from somewhere Brenda *vicious neck whip*
All the lifetime movies and weird parenting books paint us teens as some rebellious breed with nothing more than the spirit of the devil revving our engines. Would you believe that, were not exactly…… like that? I know it sounds strange, but like, the most many of us will do is eat cereal in the bed, and if we’re feeling really rebellious, we’ll eat cereal on your favorite couch.
Oooooh, stop that wild child!
In the cases where there has been some serious lashing out, have you ever taken the time out to, I don’t know, talk to your child? I personally believe everything comes down through a pipe, and a pipe is connected from the toilet, straight down to the sea. Over time, the waste starts to build up and the pipe has to end somewhere. A dumping ground can only accommodate so much until everything spills. My advice is, instead of lashing out and only making your problems worse, comparing your child, etc. speak to your kid, I’m sure we don’t all get up and say “I’m gonna do something to involve law enforcement….. goodie!” You’d be surprised on how you learn about your own flesh and blood and where the behavior came from.
6.) If you cage me in, you’re not gonna like it boo.
Stern parents are good- sometimes. You’re good when you want to ensure a good upbringing, proper etiquette and manners. Kudos! However, be stern in moderation please and thanks. I don’t need to tell you that if you block your teen from being A TEEN, you’re gonna fuel:
B.) rebellious nature
C.) two-faced behavior
D.) the potential to become good liars
E.) crafty tendencies, etc.
Give us some freedom, these are sensitive years! We need people our age around us, we need fun, and being carefree isn’t such a bad thing if you trust that you’ve raised me right and trust that carefree doesn’t mean careless. I know you mean the best, but choking isn’t good in this area 😏
7.) You not addressing my curiosity at home doesn’t make it go away.
In fact, your fear or your being annoyed at my question(s) makes me want to find it out even more and maybe my source(s) of choice will not be the most teen friendly. I know you don’t want anyone outside parenting for you, but that’s what you ultimately let happen when you don’t adequately address our concerns.
Y’know what’s ironic as well, many parents don’t appreciate their kids seeking outside help with “sensitive” or controversial matters; they prefer that these topics are discussed within the family…… but yet they are unwilling to bring them up
Puzzled. Puzzled. Puzzled.
8.) We’re not selfish, just oblivious sometimes.
Parents have tried years and years to make our lives as comfortable and as bearable as it can get, only a few things short of us living like plush models in our own right. My parents sometimes go without eating just to make sure I remain fat, they make sure the bills take a backseat to my tuition, and that my clothes never show a sign of wear in the public eye while theirs do all but exist.
We’re oblivious sometimes because the myriad of problems we face as teens often seem like the biggest problems in the world. We don’t do it to be intentionally selfish, but we know it often comes off as such, and for that we apologize.
We appreciate you guys, I know not everyone can truly live up to saying “I’d sacrifice everything for my child” but you’ve done it for eighteen years now and will keep doing it until whenever. I wish I didn’t allow myself to be so consumed by my own problems that i forget you have them too. Just know, I love you as much as you love me.
P.S. don’t shove us into religion when we’re clearly not into it, we’ll hate you for it