When your Parents just Don’t get it
Why don’t they trust me?!!!
I’ve always tried to follow my parents’ rules and be home by curfew. Just because some of my friends get into trouble doesn’t mean that I’m stupid enough to make those mistakes. Besides, they’re the ones who raised me with these values and now they don’t even trust my judgment to follow them. There are kids at school who do WAY worse things than I do, so why are they always yelling at me?
I’m old enough now to make my own decisions!
My parents haven’t even taken the time to get to know my friends, so how can they decide who I consider a friend or not? They have friends that I don’t like, but it’s not like I’m allowed to tell them their friends are losers! They think I want to take these classes because a friend is taking them, but they don’t understand that drama class is something that I would REALLY enjoy. Besides, I hate playing the flute and being in the band; the only reason I am in it is because they made me! I’m not a follower like they accuse me of being.
My parents always say that I don’t know what stress is because I’m not an adult yet who has to pay the bills!
My mom and dad have NO idea how stressful it is to be a teenager these days! Stress is about more than paying bills. When my friends start acting weird and leaving me out of conversations, it hurts. They think that “I’m a goody two-shoes” and would try to talk them out of some of the things they plan like going to a party where alcohol will be served.
It’s hard being on the outside looking in and having people think I’m not cool enough to be invited to some of the parties. Girls spread rumors about me because guys they like, like me, but the things they say are not true. Their boyfriend asked me out first. It seems like everyone at my school is “doing it” now, and I get tired of people asking me when I’m going to get with the program. It was really hard a few months ago when I had a crush on Jacob. I was SO excited when he finally asked me to hang out with him. I thought he was such a cool guy, and it shocked me when he was all over me as soon as we got to his house. The crazy thing is his mom was cooking while he did this in the entertainment room not far from the kitchen! He wanted nothing to do with me once he found out that I’m not the kind of girl to put out at this age. It’s so hard just trying to find someone to chill with who isn’t trying to have sex with me! If I told my parents, they would just overreact and not let me hang out at anyone’s house anymore. It’s so hard to talk to them and have them LISTEN!
How We Can Help
Parents love their kids very much and often see them as a three-year old toddler no matter what their actual age is. Having been teens themselves at one point, they know what goes on at that age. They encountered the same problems with their parents even though they often forget. Their main objective is to keep their kids safe and sometimes become overprotective in doing so. As therapists, we help them remember they too have encountered these difficulties of not being trusted by their parents, not being allowed to make their own decisions, and experiencing stressful situations with their peers at school. We also remind them they have taught YOU how to handle difficult situations since you were a toddler trying to touch the hot stove and taught you not to do so.
Parents expect respect from their children in their behavior and communication toward them. What they sometimes forget is respect is something that goes both ways in interactions with others in order to reach the best solutions. They don’t want you to forget the model of showing respect to parents, but they sometimes forget they too want respect when interacting with their parents (your grandparents) now that they are adults. Both teens and parents are taught that attempting communication when emotions are high is the WORST possible time to reach a solution. Each family member will learn strategy tools to cope with their emotions first before attempting to communicate in a way that is respectful to yourself and the other person. Parents can be firm while still respecting you as a person.
Our therapists will teach assertive communication to express thoughts and feelings in a safe way. This will allow you to be more comfortable approaching your parents about difficulties you are facing when they learn how to listen without overreacting. Often, it is the other kids your parents don’t trust and not you. The goal is to remind them they have taught you the strategies needed to handle difficult or unsafe situations and be able to contact them for help when needed.
If you are a teen and this sounds like something you struggle with, talk with your parent about coming in to learn these tools of communication in order to improve your relationship and to have a peaceful time at home. Dr.Steph specializes in building better relationships between you and your parents.