Not seeing eye to eye

Tyler is a 17-year-old from Denver, CO. She enjoys reading and traveling, one day she would like to pursue a career in Business Management.mail (500×375)

Most teenagers have a curfew, a job, and do not have to have their parents chauffeur them around. But not all of us. I have lived the extremely protective and extremely sheltered life. Dating, bikinis, and a cell phone were off limits until I turned 16. I will not be allowed to get my driver’s license until I turn 18. My curfew is nonexistent because late nights and parties are a rarity for me. For the past 17 years, my parents and I have played an endless game of tug a war of my freedom. This is by far what we fight about the most.

I always have felt as if I lived in a glass box watching the world pass me by. My parents say that they are simply trying to protect me from harm. They do not want me to get my heart broken, get in a car accident, or get drunk at a party. They say that I should be focusing on my future. Not worrying about materialistic things like new clothes or a new car, but about college and career paths. I appreciate the support and protection, but sometimes I wish I had a little room to breathe and to be a teenager. I believe that I am responsible enough to make some decisions on my own and have always had trouble rationalizing with my parents.

I have been waiting to get my driver’s license since I was old enough to know what a car was. Regardless, my parents refuse to let me get one until I turn 18. They want me to focus on my schoolwork instead of learning how to drive a car. By not letting me drive, they have a pretty good idea of where I will be going and when. This has probably put the biggest dent in our relationship. I am also not allowed to have a job. My parents do not feel comfortable with me earning my own money and would rather just give me an allowance. All of it comes down to freedom. It will always be a battle between me being upset that I cannot make my own choices, and my parents being upset that I do not believe in the same things as they do.

I have tried to rebel, have cried many tears, and have tried almost anything to get more freedom from my parents. But along the way I have learned that fighting with parents is a part of being a teenager and growing up. It has been so hard for me to accept the way things are and to accept the reality instead of wishing for things that are not going to change. It has been a tough road, but I am finally learning to respect my parents’ rules. I am learning to stop trying to get around them and to simply start following them. They are not going to change their minds anytime soon or give in.

As a result, I am learning to be more appreciative. It could have been a lot worse. I would definitely take overly protective parents over parents who did not care at all. My parents do offer a lot of support and protection. Having my parents always gear me towards school, I was able to get into the college of my choice. I have never had many opportunities to get myself into trouble.

As my high school graduation is creeping up on the horizon, I do look back and wish a lot of things were different. But you cannot dwell on the unchangeable. So maybe I wonder about the day when my parents will be forced to let go of my hand and let me step out into the real world. But honestly, no matter what happens and how many arguments I have with my parents, I know I will be all right.

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2 Responses to “Not seeing eye to eye”

  1. Aliza G
    May 13, 2010 at 6:29 am #

    I admire your grace in dealing with your situation. I know it hasn’t been easy for you. I look at my own teen and while I allow her to do the things her friends do, I also see that she has been distracted from her schoolwork in a MAJOR way and is concentrating on the parts of her life that won’t matter (at least to me) when she gets to college, if that is what she chooses. Next school year I plan to make her “deserve” doing the things she wants to – with good schoolwork and grades. I’m sure we will fight a lot. But while she sees things on a day to day basis, I see the bigger picture.

  2. Bob Collier
    May 14, 2010 at 5:53 am #

    “But along the way I have learned that fighting with parents is a part of being a teenager and growing up. ”

    No it isn’t. The number of fights my wife and I had with our daughter during her teenage years is precisely zero. Not even a raised voice.

    We allowed our daughter all the freedom you haven’t been allowed and she turned out alright. LLB (Hons) for example.

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