The negatives of strictness

Michelle - Orchard Park, New York
Entered on February 28, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family

“This is for your own good;” one of those phrases that almost every teen has heard from their parents at one time or another. The phrase is generally a reflection of what most parents truly believe; that they are only helping their kids. With the coming of age I have realized that my parent’s ridiculous rules and restrictions are because they care. Although it’s hard to accept sometimes they do not yell for the sake of yelling or punish me just to anger me. They believe by restricting and limiting me they are teaching me lessons and bettering the environment that I’m surrounded in, but is this really so? Restrictions and oppressive punishments encourage the very thing parents are trying to avoid. Not allowing and forbidding behavior only further encourages it. This I believe.

Living in a house with parents that once felt they could control the world around me strengthened my belief. There is proof all around me as well. Coming into high school, the first child of the family to do so, my parents cracked down. Naturally, I do not have the perspective of a parent but, I would assume that my growing up made them nervous. For a year or so I lived with a very strict set of rules and an even stricter set of punishments for breaking those rules. I put this in contrast with a good friend of mine going into high school with the opposite situation on her hands. This time in which my parents were very strict was in all honesty the most poorly I have ever behaved in my life. The more I wasn’t allowed to do, the more I did. Most of my weekend nights revolved around carefully planned lies. For instance, since hanging out with the opposite sex was out of the question, if the opportunity presented itself my story might have going something like “I am going to the school basketball game and them going to my girlfriend’s house to watch the most recent episode of American Idol.” Of course, the girlfriend would be one that my mom knew so she wouldn’t call her parents but, not one she knew too well to avoid the evening coming up in conversation with her parents. In reality, I might have gotten dropped off at the game, stayed for about half and then left with my guy friends for a party. On the other hand, my close friend Carly could have told her mom her exact plans only to have her mom smile and ask when she would need a ride home. However, Carly would never choose to go to the party and truly would call it a night after the game, something that always baffled me. This is a scenario based on many events occurring that year. My strong belief being, teens are teens, it does no good to attempt to cut out all possible dangers in their lives or those very things will be sought after by the teenager. In an effort to keep their children innocent, parents often create the perfect recipe for a rebellious, unsafe, risk taking teenager, whether they ever realize it or not.