15 year old

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-22-2003
15 year old
12
Thu, 05-22-2003 - 9:20pm
I'm not a parent but I'm a 15 year old girl just trying to get through high school and I"m having a really hard time...I don't like talking to my parents about my problems because i guess it seems that they just don't understand me very well...For me it seems like they are too strict on me..I'm not allowed to date or talk to guys on the phone and it's really frusterating. Since i can't do this i go behind my parents back and do things but never-the-less I'm always caught...I'm really tired of being grounded and i just want trust from my parents back and i don't know how..i feel that they are too strict on me expecially my dad but i can understand why he is worried..he just doesn't want me pregnant or anything, but i still feel he is much to hard on me..i just want some other parents opinions and what they think also what a good way of gaining trust thanks

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: lindz510
Thu, 05-22-2003 - 9:43pm
Let's see, you're 15, you want to be trusted, but you continually violate your parent's trust to do precisely the things they tell you (correctly) that you're too young to be doing.

The easiest (and perhaps only) way to be trusted is to be trustworthy. If you're serious about this, I'd go to your parents and tell them that you're turning over a new leaf, that you will follow the rules they set out for you, that you understand that trust has to be earned and that you've violated their trust in the past and it may take them some time before they trust you again, but you want the chance to try. Do *not* make demands on them that they immediately trust you, you haven't earned that. Do not rush them, let them see if you are sincere in your efforts.

Then actually *do* those things - follow the rules, become trustworthy, earn your parents' trust. Eventually, and hopefully before it's too late to matter, you'll do so.

Don't know if this helps or not, I feel a bit like "Mr. Obvious" even suggesting it, but you never know. . . .


Firefly

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
In reply to: lindz510
Thu, 05-22-2003 - 10:53pm
Yep - got to agree with Lou on this one - seems pretty obvious to me too! Good luck - chances are the more open and honest you are with your folks the easier it will be for them to start trusting you.

Pam



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Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
In reply to: lindz510
Fri, 05-23-2003 - 1:00am
I agree with the other posts that the best way to earn your parents' trust is by positive action.

Sit down with them and tell them that you want them to trust you and you are going to work to prove that they can trust you. I suggest that you write down your rules and responsibilites and the consequences if you break them. If you do mess up then admit it and take the consequence calmly and maturely.

Realize that it will take awhile, probably much longer than you think it should. When my dd17 is trying to earn trust she seems to think after about 4 days of "being good" that everything should be fine already! In my case, the more she breaks my trust the longer it takes to rebuild it each time. It gets harder for me to trust someone that keeps messing up.

The other thing that might help is to start talking to your parents about your problems. Do it at a time when everyone is relaxed and there is plenty of time. Choose one problem at a time and save the ones like "all of my friends can talk to boys on the phone" until later when you are earning trust. Start with stuff like the pressures at school or something that isn't about what they won't allow you to do--otherwise everyone might get defensive and end up in an argument. Your parents probably want to understand you and can understand and relate to some of your problems. When they see you as cooperative and more mature they will be more likely to lighten up the rules.

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
In reply to: lindz510
Fri, 05-23-2003 - 1:03am
Obvious to US, yes--the adults. But remember that young teens don't yet think like adults! I think you spelled it out well for her.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: lindz510
Fri, 05-23-2003 - 9:19am
I have to disagree with the other posts up to a certain extent. I can understand her breaking the rule about talking to a boy on the phone. That is a ridiculous rule and her parents have to realize that it is. Of course she's going to break it. I wonder if her parents are new immigrants. The younger people that I talk to, like 19 & 20 year olds who have parents who make these kinds of rules are usually new immigrants. One girl, who was 19 and went to college and worked as a physical therapy assistant, told me that her curfew was 10 pm!! Now that is totally ridiculous, don't you think? I forget where her parents were from, but I work with another young woman in her 20's whose parents are Palestinians, and they would never allow her to move out on her own without being married. As soon as I graduated college and found a job, I was gonzo!!!
Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
In reply to: lindz510
Sat, 05-24-2003 - 1:22am
I agree with you that forbidding her to talk to boys on the phone at 15yo is unreasonable, but I don't think we should advise her to break any rules when she is trying to build trust. When my kids selectively follow the rules based on which ones *they* think are reasonable I get pretty upset! When she has demonstrated her new maturity she will be in a much stronger position to bargain with her parents. Plus, we don't know why her parents have that rule, just as we don't have both sides of the story here!
Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
In reply to: lindz510
Sat, 05-24-2003 - 1:29am
I have another suggestion. Do you know an adult that your parents respect, and the adult would be willing to be an "advocate" for you? I'm thinking of this after reading shadymom's post that you ought to be allowed to talk to boys on the phone.

I don't think that you should break their rules even if other adults think they are too strict. If another adult could review your rules and talk to your parents about them and whether they are too strict, then maybe your parents would agree to reconsider and compromise. Best of luck.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: lindz510
Sat, 05-24-2003 - 12:17pm
I really wasn't advocating her breaking her parents' rules, but I could certainly understand why she would. Rules like that are totally unrealistic and her parents are setting both them and their daughter up for failure. Have you read "Get out of my Life, but first can you drive Cheryl and me to the mall?". It's a great book and it let's you know that teens are not going to follow parent's rules 100% and if parents expect 100% compliance, then parents are going to be disappointed.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: lindz510
Sun, 05-25-2003 - 12:58am
It's to your credit that you are seeking advice from adults on how to deal with your parents, and not just from friends. And it's to your credit that you are trying to see why your dad appears strict. Trying to see a situation from someone else's perspective goes a long way in finding a resolution.

If you find it hard to talk to your parents, can you start with a letter? For one thing, writing out your thoughts gives you a chance to re-read it and re-write it till you get it the way you want. When you're nervous and trying to find the right words, sometimes things come out wrong. It also gives your parents a chance to read it in private and respond in private and talk things over between themselves before you sit down to talk.

First, I encourage you to write them and don't 'edit' anything; just write EXACTLY how you feel 100% - remembering this first draft is for your eyes only. So the anger or frustration you're experiencing has a chance to get out of your system to at least a good degree.

Then, wait a day or two, and go back and re-read your letter. Write it again. Try to incorporate the things that you know you've done that have caused them to feel like they might need to keep closer tabs on you than if you hadn't done something. Tell them you understand that these actions would cause them to worry or feel that stricter rules are necessary. *Acknowledgement* of our actions & choices is also a very important step to opening up a person's willingness to hear you out and to negotiate - whether it's your parents or anyone else you have to deal with at some point in your life.

Tell them that you love them. Tell them that you would like the opportunity to prove that you are trustworthy and ask them to find ways that they think they could compromise with you on certain issues and be prepared for change to happen one step at a time. Let them know that you don't expect EVERYTHING you want to happen overnight, but that you are asking for a CHANCE, one step at a time, to gain greater freedom and choices. Tell them you understand that it's hard for them too - for whatever reasons, including that it's hard for a parent to 'let go' of their teen because they feel responsible for their safety because they love you TOO.

Give a few suggestions of how YOU think some compromises could be made. For example, perhaps they have a rule you can't *date* till you're 16 - so then tell them you can accept that but could you be allowed to talk with a boy on the phone and perhaps "group date" to APPROVED places; that you will be willing to provide them with whatever information they need to feel comfortable with this or any other activity that they are struggling with you over. Offer to call them from whereever you are during the course of the evening - or maybe just do that anyway. If you were to just call from a friend's house one night and just said something like, 'hi mom, dad - I just wanted you to know I am *whereever* just to touch base with you' - that will also make them feel soo much better, knowing you're taking the initiative to do that. During the course of each day, find at least 10 minutes where you actively go and seek them out, just to share bits of your day with them - funny stories from school; something you're working on in class - sharing goes a long distance in helping to establish a parent's sense that they know their child and it makes them feel a great deal better and far less of a need to 'hang on tight' for fear of 'losing' their teen, too.

End the letter by affirming once again that you love them; that you hope they will be willing to sit down and talk with you when they have had time to talk together and to work *with* you on finding compromises that you all 3 can be happy with as a starting point.

Good luck :-) I think you will do just fine. Speak from your heart, be honest with them, and know that it won't all happen overnight - change is a process, just as growing up is a process :-)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
In reply to: lindz510
Wed, 05-28-2003 - 1:12am
Hi there. I think I may have a few suggestions for you. I'm 18, and I like to read the messages on this board from time to time.

It seems like you are in a sticky situation. I will tell you that my parents were never really wierd about boyfriends. They had to meet him before I was allowed to go to the movies or his house, but that was about it. We weren't allowed time alone, really. I mean, alone in my room? Yeah, we did that, door open, lights on. But always in my house, there ranges from five to eleven or twelve people living here, the most being on weekends, when he came over. The bathroom is right next to my bedroom--there are only two bathrooms in the house--take a wild guess how many times someone would walk by the open-doored, well-lit room during one movie. So really, we did get to chat and know each other better, but there was never any true "privacy".

I would suggest to you that you just lay low for a while. Let your parents cool off--you said you are always grounded? SO live through the rest of this punishment, and then be on your best behaviour for. DO you have any sort of steady boyfriend? Or a boy you like to chat with, eat lunch with, whatever? Wait a couple more weeks.

Then, one night at supper, ask your parents if they think it would be all right for you to invits *boy* over to watch a movie with you all. Remember, be calm!! If they say no, you have to be able to try and have a rational discussion! (I have a tendency to burst into tears when life goes the wrong way--then you can't discuss anything.) Explain your case. You think *boy* is nice because of this and that, his parents do this or that for a living, and you have a class together. He gets decent grades and is relatively mature, and you don't see why he can't come to your house for a family dinner and to watch a movie with the family next Saturday.

Now, you may think that this plan sucks big time. And for you, it may well. But this is a chance to show your parents that you have been behaving well lately, you are showing an interest in family life, you aren't asking that you be alone or anything-- Just a quiet evening for your parents to see that you have good taste.

A word of warning though: if he has spikey green and purple hair and three face pirceings, baggy pants and a Megadeth T-Shirt on when he comes in the door, this whole plan goes right out the window. PLus, I wouldn't reccommend holding hands or cuddling on the couch while the movie is on. Just sit beside each other and share some popcorn or somehting.

ANyways, this got kind of long. And although I realize the plan won't change them overnight, and it might not even work, at least you tried to compromise and show some maturity. And if it does work, and if they do say yes, just remember that even though sitting on a couch with your parents to watch a movie may not be your idea of fun, or your boyfriend's it is a small step in the direction you want to go in.

Anyways, just an idea. Let us know how it goes, okay??

Good luck.

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