I am not a parent. Just want to make that clear right off hand, I am not particularly interested in having kids, at least not anytime soon. However, a friend of mine was talking to me tonight and it seems that when your a teenager and you have a guy/girl you like there is no end to the issues you can get from parents. At least conservative parents. No matter how “By the book” you try to do it, they always come up with some reason that you can’t go out or that you shouldn’t date this guy or that girl and the list goes on. They were kids once too, why does it seem that they can’t remember what that was like? Their crazy dating days where who knows what they did. Of course its all too likely that the reason they object so much is they do remember those days. On the flip side, did they listen when they were told not to do what they are telling you not to do? Probably not. Now my entire goal here, originally, was to sort of ask why can’t parents remember those days and cut some slack. It seems like they forget what it was like to be a kid, to want to go out and hang with your significant other. Go on a dinner date, go to a movie, whatever it is. However, I have a hard time arguing that in some ways because I tend to believe that they are telling us not to do what ever it is because they don’t want to see us get hurt and jaded by the people in our lives that claim to be such great people. They want us to learn from their mistakes, but who can really learn from another persons mistakes? Even if we claim that we did, how likely is it that in a few years, or whenever it is that we have the choice, we won’t go out and do exactly what we were told not to and learn ourselves. I say its inevitable. I am willing to bet that everyone reading this has done something that a parent or colleague told you not to do because they had tried it and it didn’t go well. Could be anything from mixing the wrong alcohol, driving down that street or ordering that food at a restaurant cause whats better than hearing from someone? Doing it and finding out the result.
In a way I guess we are scientist in our own way. Mix this that and the other and boom! It exploded just like we were told, but now we know for sure. Now we won’t try it again because a mistake made and a lesson learned is far easier to adhere to than a mistake not made and a lesson told. So, dearest parents, why can’t you seem to remember that sometimes? You know what the result will most likely be, and I’m sure you are hoping that your kids aren’t just like you and that they will listen. However, this is not a perfect world and those are not perfect kids and I bet they will go and do it anyway.
Now I am not referring to your 6 yr. old that you told not to touch the stove (Although they are going to do that too) but I am talking more about teenagers. I know, awful people, truly the damned worst thing ever, but still they exist (I barely just made it out of that realm so I speak somewhat for myself in saying this). Life is what it is and all we really want is to go on a date with our significant other. So what gives? Where is the line between “You are going to die if you go out” and “Do whatever you want honey, its your life”. I don’t disclaim the fact that guidance is necessary but innocent fun can also be a necessity at times. Let me go, let me enjoy my evening and I will be back at 11pm sharp oh astute parent. All jokes aside though, maybe a little understanding would be great “Listen honey, I know you think you know it all but I just want to say that I will be putting a tracker on you and there is a can of mace in your left jacket pocket. If he touches you then spray him and send me a message. I will come pick you up.” I don’t know, give some sort of alternative? “Tell your man thing to come to the house and we can all watch a movie together” is not what I call an alternative, thats just humiliating torture. Sorry to say, no one wants to meet you right away. Most likely we will only go out a few times, a few months at the most so why get you all involved at this point? Then you want an explanation for why we broke up when honestly all I want to do is curl up in a ball in my room and mope for a week about how awful of a person they were. Just try to see my point of view and I will try to see yours and in the end maybe we can all live happily ever after as parent and child and I can have some fun and we can reminisce about the memories later. I will tell you that you were probably right and I made a mistake, but for now I am not going to admit that.