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  1. #1

    Honours student, disappointed parents

    Hi,
    Over the past couple of years, my parents and I haven't been getting along so well. I am currently 15, and turning 16 in just under 3 months. I have been told that our fighting and all is normal, and should get better over the years. However, I definitely cannot understand how whatever my family is going through right now is normal, and I seriously doubt I can hold out over the next 22 months (time left until I move out).

    See, I am an honours student in school...always have been. Even though I'm a grade ahead of myself (Grade 11), I still manage to remain a top student in all my classes. I'm currently taking two advanced placement courses, and my average on my last report card was a 90. For the longest time, my mother would get on my back about how she never sees me bringing home any homework and yet, most of the kids she sees at my school always have backpacks. This really made me mad because I', doing way better than all those kids at school, so how dare she say something like that.

    One of the main reasons my parents and I have not been getting along is when it comes to going out with my friends. About two months ago, a friend of mine was in a really messed up situation at home, and I went over to help her. However, I told my parents I was going to work and when my dad went to pick me up (he usually doesnt so I dont know why), i wasn't there. I didnt tell my parents where I was going because we're not that close which is one of our problems. I came home at around 12.30am that night, and since then, everything's been going downhill. They barely let me out anywhere for almost a month. Now they let me out, but they tell me to be home by 6pm. I find this ridiculous I'm in Grade 11 and im moving out in 22 months!!

    They recently made up this new rule that I cant go out every weekend with my friends because we need to "grow together as a family". They dont care if im in my room sleeping all day, as long as I'm home and we're all "together" as a family. I find this totally ridiculous. Also, whilst most of my friends have curfews of 1am, 2 am, the latest my parents would ever let me stay out is 10pm, and thats after I beg and beg. I dread ever having to ask them for anything because its always such a dificult proces. I really dont know if I can keep living here for the next year and ten months and I'm trying raelly hard to put up with them but it seems they just keep finding new ways to keep me a prisoner in this house.


    The main reason we moved to Canada was for me and my younger sister (shes 7) to get a better education. Everytime we get in an argument, they keep bringing this up and that makes me really mad because I understand that and am doing well at school!! I come from a country where children completely respect their parents, and any talking back or such leads to severe consequences so obviously, I can't ever tell my parents how I really feel. They see it as my being rude and unappreciative of everything theyve done for me. Everyone tells me im quiet mature for my age and I feel that I've proven this by doing so well at school, regardless of being the youngest in my grade! Most of my friends are in university because theyre all from my country and can understand my parents. My friends that are my age are all used to going out and partying, and dont understand why my parents are the way they are and so, im not very close with them. My parents howver aren't too happy that most of my closest friends are much older, and are trying to make me cut all ties with them. They even suggested my forgeting my friends right now and making new ones if thats what it takes to live by their rules. Obivously, life doesnt work like that.


    Someone please tell me what to do??

  2. #2

    Honours student, disappointed parents

    it sounds like you really are trying your best to get good grades in school and just have some fun on the side by going out w/ friends etc.... I do understand what it's like to have parents w/ such huge standards, and to get the "we moved her so you can have a better educ." line..... but the point is, it was still their decision way more than yours or just as much, so they can't blame all of that on you. You are succeeding, you are trying your best and for you that should be enough. I think parents though, and espec. if they don't understand the new culture etc., want their kids to succeed, but the question is to succeed at what? Life or school? Getting good grades does not predict happiness and from the sounds of things you're not too happy in this situation, maybe you could talk to them and tell them that you are doing well at school (report cards!) but that you also value your friendships and social life. It's worth a try. Only ever going along w/ what they say will sort of teach them that that's all you want anyways, so why would they even think of acting differently? Maybe they don't realize that you are able to do well in school and still go out w/ friends etc. Maybe they don't realize the importance of it to you. In the end, they are your parents and you are living w/ them so there's only so much you can do. But if there's anything I have learned it's to not give up following your dreams and goals only to please someone else. At the end of the day it's your happiness that's at stake.

    Try to compromise w/ your parents, ie. to bump up your curfew if you did your homework that day and give them adequate notice of what you're doing when (not all the details, just the basics) b/c then at least they have time to "prepare" so to say. It's kinda hard for them to not let you go out w/ friends if they know it's been planned since a week and they said ok, right?

    The situation where you helped your friends who had problems, why didn't you tell your parents? Do you think they would disapprove of the friend? You don't have to go into specifics, that's really none of their business. I did something similar once where I met up w/ an old hs teacher to get one of my friends help and I didn't tell my parents exactly what I was doing and so they ended up being mad b/c it took way longer than expected- now I thought there's no way I could ever tell them the issues my friends were having and why I even cared, but one, I never tried but just assumed their reaction, and two, at least they could have been mad about the actual situation instead of finding out I lied, right? Also, it doesn't make a lot of sense for them to be mad if they know you're being a good friend and trying to help, but again, I do understand that they may not put as much value on this as you.

    I'm not saying argue back w/ your parents, but could you try maybe sitting down w/ them and explaining a few things to them, ie. what's important and what you are doing, want to do....?? or are they not willing to talk at all? maybe w/ your mom vs. your dad? or vice versa? maybe they could hear from one of your teachers how well you're doing so that they'd have a little bit more reason to believe you and trust your judgment? I mean you get good grades, have a job... those are great accomplishments for your age, probably even a little "too perfect"!

    Your parents probably worry that you're friends w/ older people.... is it only b/c they're from the same background as you? But isn't there anyone like that at your school? how did you get to know them? if you know them through community events specific to your culture, shouldn't your parents at least know of them? try to tell your parents why you like these people and how much it means to you to have them understand where you're coming from. I don't think they should determine who you're friends w/, again my parents tried to do this as well and sometimes I listened and to this day I regret doing so. At your age you know who to be friends w/ and why. On a side note though, it would be a good idea to be friends w/ people your own age too, it'd make school a lot more enjoyable and help you feel more connected. There's lots of schools w/ people from other cultures, I'm sure you're not the only one, if they don't understand something about you or your parents just try your best to explain to them, but cultural differences shouldn't stand in the way of you making friendships. Not everyone goes out every single night and parties, so I'm sure you'd find some people that share your values more closely or w/ whom you could do other things w/ too. The potential problem w/ you being in hs and having friends is that their agendas are so different than yours and you should enjoy being at the stage you are in your life and not having to act like you're in your mid 20's. But again, some of those people might serve as good role models for you (in combination w/ friends that are your age though).

    And trying to "connect" as a family, as you said, doesn't really work if in the end everyone ends up doing their own thing anyways- again, I can relate. But I don't know how much you can do about that.... clearly they value family time, maybe suggest doing something w/ all of you together, ie. go for dinner, a picnic, to a museum, to a community event, cook dinner together, take your dog for a walk (these are all just ex's....), you get my point. I doubt they'd object! If not, I guess use that time to catch up on work, read a book, etc. and then tell them now that you spend some time w/ them you should get some time w/ your friends as well.....

    good luck w/ everything, feel free to ask me to clarify or post more, it seems like a lot of the things I had to deal w/ and still do to some extend....

  3. #3

    Honours student, disappointed parents

    Hey Whisper,
    Wow, reading your post was like looking at my own life...I started going to a babysitters when I was four weeks old...both my parents worked high power jobs, but w/ power and money comes long hours...since I spent most of my childhood at a babysitters I am definitly not close to my mom(my dad died when i was nine)...then my mom married my step-dad and that did not bring us any closer...I was always the kid that had to go home at 10 to..when i turned 16 and got my license i was allowed by law to stay out till 11 but my parents made me be home by 10 anyway...my sister who was 13 at the time got to stay out later b/c my mom would pick her up but since i was driving i had to be home...i told my mom that she could drive me there and pick me up so i could stay later but she was like i'm not doing that...you can drive....uhhhhh....so frustrating...I turned 18 this past August, but since I'm only a senior in high school I can't afford to move out...so now I'm just counting down the days till i leave for college...far far away from my house....I know it's hard, and I really don't have any advice for you b/c despite going to family theraphy my family is still not close at all and my parents and I can't get along for anything! Hang in there...the only advice i can give you is that when you need to talk about it...talk about it...somehow find a way..either here or to a therapist or a school couselor...whoever...just talk! Hope things start to turn around for you! If you need to talk send me a private message (pm)
    Kelsey (kels)
    How can you have a beautiful ending without making beautiful mistakes.

  4. #4

    Honours student, disappointed parents

    wow I can't believe you guys actually took the time to read all of that!
    thanks for the replies they're really encouraging
    ive tried talking to my parents, well my mum because my dad and I just dont talk about anything except school and just recently, sports
    ive had several conversations with my mum, lasting about 2 hrs each and she seems to be listening at the time but its like as soon as I walk out her door, the conversation never happened. The next time I try to go out or something, she just goes back to her old self
    I'll try talking to her again and hopefully things change really soon
    I really appreciate you guys replying I actually never thought I'd find anyone to understand what I'm going through

  5. #5

    Honours student, disappointed parents

    yeah, it sounds like Kels & I could more than relate..... :o)

    talking to your mom about these things is all you can really do right now in terms of trying to make her/them understand. that's exactly the way things go w/ my mom, and even though she may forget as soon as you walk out the door, I sometimes refuse to believe that b/c how can you spend 2 hrs talking to someone and then have it be like that conversation never happened??? Somewhere in there, she must remember those 2 hrs! also, the more you talk and maybe bring up issue but also just get closer in general, the more these things will stick in her mind and hopefully get her to remember at least some of it the next time something comes up. If you end up talking for 2 hrs try to get some input from her too, how does she feel about things and why, what are her suggestions, can you two compromise on "x" situation etc. Also, about your dad, again, I can relate, but I think that yes, he may have different intested or not be as "open" about things, maybe also not as interested, but it's always worth giving it a try, right??? for example, my mom will listen much more and so I tell her things b/f him but he tends to be much more rational and calmn. it really depends, maybe over time things will change for the better.... keep us posted!

  6. #6

    Honours student, disappointed parents

    That's really awesome that you were able to open up to your mom...sorry that things seem to not bwe changing, but like Eunioa I would suggest to try and keep talking...alot of times I realize that my mom doesn't even know me...doesn't know what I like, doesn't know my friends, doesn't know how hard I try, doesn't know the stress I'm under, ect....so even though it might be frustrating see this time as a time where your mom is getting to know you....as a teen you're starting to develope your own personality and parents need to take time to get to know their teenagers....hopefully the more your mom gets to know you the more she will realize that you are a great kid, who tries hard and deserves to be trusted...hopefully then she will be able to talk to your dad....also if you have a way of getting some maybe some family couseling would help....I know it's hard b/c I had to go through it but find a way to have a conversation with your parents with a bi-partisan monerator/couselor...that third party will be unbiased and can tell your parents when they're being unreasonable and can tell you if you're being unreasonable...good luck to ya
    How can you have a beautiful ending without making beautiful mistakes.

  7. #7

    I am a mom who sounds a bit like your mom...

    [size=18px][/size]...I know what your parents are thinking and feeling, so maybe I can lend a few suggestions.

    I have a daughter who is very much like you- super student, intellegent, mature, go-getter- but it is extremely difficult to know when to let up on the parental pressure or tighten down the restrictions. Like your mom, I want her to be successful. Also like your mom, when I look at her, I still see a young girl who could easily get into dangerous situations (and has in recent past). Even though she is rather mature, she does not have a lot of experience, and has been used by friends, exploited by aquaintances, and not always used the best judgement. However, I, more than her father, believe that we as parents have to back off and let her make her own choices, even to her detriment if necessary. But it is very hard to do this. She has been hurt so many times now, but she still insists that she is responsible enough to take care of herself.

    The current situation with your parents may stem from a belief that if they let you have more freedom you will get hurt. They probably cook up all kinds of scenarios in their heads which have you doing drugs, getting into too-serious relationships, suddenly deciding that school is not worth it, you running away from home, and finally you ending up begging on the street corner after sleeping in a dumpster the previous night. These thoughts might be outrageously ridiculous, but they are no less real in their minds. In order to avoid any of this happening, they believe the best route is to keep you wrapped in wool and bottle-fed.

    I have a couple of suggestions that you might try. First, negotiating with your parents always goes better when you show them that you are as responsible as you claim to be. Write a list of all of your responsibilities, how well you manage each of them, and maybe even a comparison with what your friends do. Next, write out everything that your parents have done for you. Be as detailed as you can. You will be able to come to the bargaining table better armed if you can take the wind from their sails by telling them how grateful you are for each of these things. Then, explain to them that school is only one part of the maturing process. You also need to be able to develope socially. This entails spending time with people of ALL ages, in many types of situations. Here, is where you might disagree with me- do some research into different clubs and organizations in your area. Especially those that involve some sort of social service like visiting people at rest homes, volunteering with the local Humane Society, church groups, food banks, children's hospitals, anything, everything! If you can't find anything in this type of service, maybe a club like a karate or tai kwan do. I'm wracking my brain here.

    Anyway, if you approach your parents adult to adult, you will stand a better chance of them not seeing only a child talking to them and having your requests considered. If you join some sort of reputable volunteer organization, that will show your willingness to take on extra responsibility. Parents love to brag about their kids. When you are doing some noble cause they can brag about, you will have a better bargaining possition.

    Lastly, you might want to do your best to see your parents as human beings. I know it is easy to focus only on their foibles, but if you make an effort to see their strengths and comment on them, they will be better able to do likewise for you.

    I hope these thoughts help.

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