I used to think I had Nazi’s for parents…that they were as bad as it could possibly get. I was clearly very wrong and the main reason I began to notice that was because of two things. One, most of the strictness came from my father and second, I took a look at my friends parents/family lives.
Circumstance changes everything, if the time is right things will happen that may have never occurred in the first place. My parents separation was a huge adjustment for everyone. I chose to live with my mom full time, where as my little brother goes back and forth each week. I feel like that decision may have determined the fate of my dad and I’s relationship but in turn it strengthened my mother and I’s more than ever.
I soon realized that my mothers insescent pushing to get me to communicate with her more was the key to unlocking freedom. I took a big step and finally started to talk. I told her everything about boys, my friends and I even went as far as to discuss drinking and partying. I opened the flood gates and it was probably the best choice I’ve ever made. We talk about almost everything and it’s amazing. I may not take the advice that she gives me initially but her words will stick with me and they truly do help. When my father’s opinion stopped being a concern in regards to my curfew, what I can do in my free time and basically all aspects of my freedom levels, things suddenly became immensely better. My mom trusts me and that’s one of the greatest feelings. We have an open relationship and even though there are speed bumps along the way, and I still sometimes struggle to tell the truth all the time, our relationship is better than it has ever been before.
If I could give one word of advice to anyone, but especially kids/teens, it would be “communicate.” It’s hard, I’m not going to lie, but when the walls come down and there is open communication between kids and parents everything is smoother. The circumstances surrounding my parents divorce were horrendous, but from all that pain came something that will benefit me in the rest of my life.
Communicating with my parents was always hard, especially with my dad. He isn’t mature in the sense that he can’t have a conversation without jumping into screaming and yelling mode and while my parents were together I could see it rubbed off on my mom, even though she tried hard to not be that way. That was one of the main reasons I wouldn’t talk to them about the struggles I endured during my life. There was also the fact that I didn’t want them to judge me. Everyone tells me there’s no way your parents could judge you, but thats wrong. Clearly my father judges me for not wanting to live with him and his way of showing that is by cutting me out of his life, so it’s unfair to say there is no judgement in the arena of parenthood.
I was one of the lucky ones, when I opened up to my mom she reciprocated and supported me. Other’s don’t get that same benefit. One of my best friends could never talk to her parents about anything. Her mother is slowly becoming more open but her father is even worse than mine from the stories she’s told me. He’s called his own daughter certain things that should never be said under any circumstance and by doing so he’s shut down any chance of ever having a relationship with his child. I’ve witnessed first hand my friends strict parents and all the dumb rules that are put into play, like early curfews, car monitors and constant checking in on them. None of those things work, as the famous quote goes, “strict parents create sneaky kids.”
For all the parents out there dealing with similar situations or having issues with their kids, all I can urge you to do, as a teenager myself, is talk to your kids. Give them the ability to believe in you and to trust that they are safe talking to you about even the most uncomfortable topics. It will save you from a world of complications you probably never want to deal with…believe me, I didn’t talk to my parents about my life for a while and it dragged me way down hill and now that I’m able to communicate openly, I’m at such a great place in life.