My Parents Won’t Let Me Have a Life!

this makes you maddest of allQ Dear Miss Abigail:

I’m 16 years old, and I’ve been getting really close to this guy; we’re really like best friends. I stay after school everyday just to spend time with him, and I’m constantly on the phone with him. My problem is that on the weekends my parents won’t let me go anywhere, anytime, whether or not I’ve done anything wrong. They simply just don’t want me to have a life. I don’t know what to do.


A Dear Azriel:

Lucky for you, during my perusal of thriftstores and used bookstores last week while on vacation, I found the perfect book to help you out. Here is an excerpt from Frank Howard Richardson’s For Young Adults Only: The Doctor Discusses Your Personal Problems.

1961: You and Your Parents

At your age there is probably no relationship more difficult that that between you and your parents. They have known you as children and as irresponsible young teen-agers. They have dictated to you. They have controlled you as best they could.

Now you are young adults, have minds of your own, are thinking your own thoughts, planning your own futures. Those thoughts do not always agree with those of your parents. It is a source of great irritation to you that they can’t seem to see your point of view, which you are convinced is the right one. This makes you feel bitter toward them. Then you blame yourselves for this feeling of bitterness. . . .

You are mature enough to realize that there is always a conflict being waged between parents and their children who are maturing into adulthood. In this difficult situation you can see that this conflict between parents and children is inevitable. Both sides may well pray hard for wisdom. But you can take the situation in hand. You know you cannot yet be independent of your parents and go your own way. For they are supporting you, and you don’t really want to break with them right now, anyway. You know that.

What you do want is a fair deal, and you feel that you are not getting it. It may be about your allowance, or the use of the family car, or staying out too late at night. Or, and this makes you maddest of all, they may not like the boy or girl you are going steady with. . . .

Your parents are as anxious as you are to get things on the right footing. But they don’t know how to go about it. You can be the one to show them.

Choose a time when they are in a good mood. Then, reasonably and quietly, present your case. A good time is right after you’ve enjoyed a good meal. Don’t press for an immediate answer. They may have to have a little time to think things over. But it may amaze you to find how they will swing around to your point of view, if you have presented it unemotionally and maturely. No, this will not be easy. But who has ever claimed that growing up into adulthood is easy?

Source: Richardson, Frank Howard. For Young Adults Only: The Doctor Discusses Your Personal Problems. Atlanta, Ga.: Tupper and Love, 1961.
~ pp. 28-30 ~