Your daughter is just in her teenage years, and it's been an amazing transition to see her grow. She is becoming a lovely lady, but there are some things that worry you. You find it tough explaining certain boundaries to her. Telling her no isn't just working. She has grown up beyond Time Out and go to your naughty corner. Sharing this while the learning is still in progress.
I need a Phone
I understand it's more of a necessity than fun to have a cell phone these days, but the avenues it opens up are scary. The access to unregulated internet, opening a possibility to wider friendship; social media; meaningless apps; texting endless at the dinner table etc. So we give you the phone, but we are weary as to whether we should monitor you. The online world is different. It is virtual and poses potential threats. Happenings like bullying and asking for obscene photographs are common issues faced by teenagers today. It is imperative they talk to us about all their activity online and we still need to monitor you. Not because we are curious, but because it is our responsibility to protect you.
My room - my rules
While it is ok to not allow us inside, but cleaning up the room at least once in a while is great. Maybe, it should be tried as a family activity. Be aware, sometimes placing a smelly apple doesn't work.
Don't you trust me
Of course we trust you with all our heart. But sometimes we look through your stuff or probably cross check that you are somewhere safe. When we do this, the message we are sending out to you is we don't trust you but in fact we are just being a responsible parent. The more honest you are with us, the lesser we be this way, but you never get that. Trust me honey, when I was a teenager, I had lesser freedom than what you have been given now.
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Just smile and wave boys, smile and wave
You are still a kid to us. But I get it. We ought to treat you as grown ups, but when you say you need privacy, it's very tempting to tell you to just shut up. But what we do instead is play it calm and be a cute penguin. We simply have to smile and wave; just like the penguins in Madagascar
The era of correcting us
The way we dress, speak, walk and even smile needs correction. Well patience and endurance is all we need now. Just like a track changing to 'accept all changes. It's ok with us. After all we love you so much.
Don't call me
"Ma, I am going over to Sally's place. We are making a movie for our school project, and then we might go to the bowling alley. Please don't call me often; you are just embarrassing me." We call because we are concerned. We just need to be sure you are ok. Remember it’s a scary world out there, and we just want you to be out of harm's way.
Karma gets us
You have access to so much information. Thanks to your grandparents who pamper you and feed you with all our childhood mischief. When we ask you to study hard, it comes back like a bullet to the head, "Ma,I know what you did all the summers and you are just fine. So let me enjoy life." Little do you understand that its only because we did what we did. We learnt so many things the hard way, and we don't want you to go down that path.
You are not proud of me
That is far from the truth. We love you the most in this world, and we love you as you are. All our disciplining ways and advice are out of sheer fear that you shouldn't go through the same suffering we did. Sometimes we might exaggerate the situation or have a baseless feeling that life might treat you the same way. But one day you will surely understand the pride we have in you. After all we are the only ones who believe and see your success even before you do.
You are lovely and beautiful, and I am confident you will be just fine. But it's our love and affection that we tend to be defending. Our paternal and maternal instincts sometimes makes us do crazy things, but in the end we mean well and only that.
I understand we give you a hard time not letting you be yourselves. But we are slowly beginning to get it, that the more we try to be typical parents, the more we are going to be far away. Being a friend is our best bet. All we want to do is make you feel confident; protect your self esteem and give you the courage to face the world. Give us the friendship band; that's the best gift you can give us.
I hope the message that we mean well is understood. Or we will wait for that day patiently. We now realise how much our parents went through, and the difficult time we gave them.