Brooke is a 15-year-old from Sunnyvale, CA. She enjoys dancing, traveling, studying languages, and her dream is to study, work, or live abroad.
I woke up that morning two summers ago next to one of my best friends. There was a stench in the air, it completely filled my room. I walked to my bathroom to freshen up and the memories came flooding back in. We had been drinking the night before, and I had stains on my carpet to prove it. It was our first time, so I suppose we didn’t exactly know our limits. It seemed that the second we were both done showering (and removing the chunks from our hair!) that my mom came home. Of course, I thought of a cover story quickly and told her that the four various vomit splotches on my floor were from my friend. She was “sick”. Due to the lack of evidence, my mom was forced to believe us- we thought we would never be found out! Then, a couple months later my one and only mistake caught up with me- I had left the water bottle filled with vodka in my dresser. I felt like I was never going to hear the end of it! It took my mom about 6 months to allow me to see my friend again.
All in all, I think it could’ve been handled in a much smoother fashion. Now I’m not saying that it was only my parents who handled it badly, but it was me too. I didn’t ever want to discuss it; I just wanted it to disappear. I knew I made a mistake, I felt bad about it, and I had apologized and promised to prove it to my mom that I would be well behaved (which I was until this point). But my mother doesn’t let things go. That’s where she goes wrong. If she wouldn’t have raised her voice, I might’ve decided to talk about it. I’m not saying teenagers shouldn’t have to pay for their mistakes, but if you get too upset, they’ll never want to tell you anything again. My mom has always used that typical line: “You know you can always tell me anything, right? It doesn’t matter how bad the situation is, I want you to know you can trust me.” Unfortunately, now I feel like I never want to tell her about anything serious ever again. I’m scared of her reaction, and I don’t want her to define me by the mistakes I’ve made. I don’t want to be held back, disciplined, and reminded of it forever. My mom being mad about it all the time makes me not even want to be in the same house; and sometimes it makes me want to be more rebellious. She seems to view me like a bad kid now. If there’s no way to change her mind no matter how well I’ve behaved, then I might as well not worry about what she thinks since she would’ve been thinking about it any way.
The lesson that I’d like parents to get from this? Simply listen. Talk to them as if you were a guidance counselor, don’t scream and yell, because that won’t solve anything. This doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be punished, but if you want your teen to continue trusting you, you should come into the conversation calm and unhostile, don’t make it an argument, make it a mutual understanding.