“Sorry, I can’t make it to the movies tonight. My mom is not letting me”

“I am going to be late because I have to clean the whole house”

“I am having family issues, so I can’t go to football practice”

These sayings were acceptable when we were in junior high, as our parents ruled and controlled our everyday lives. But, we are in high school now, and the fact that we still have to even say “I can’t call you about homework today because my dad decided to take away my phone” is ridiculous.

Some of us can drive and even pay our own phone bill. So why do parents continue to restrict us from opportunities (hanging out with friends, going to the movies, etc.)? Teenagers are expected to act like adults, but are not always given the opportunity to act like one.

My very good friend has always been told not to get involved with boys until she is out of college. She does not behave poorly around her parents or disrespect her friends, however she is leading a double life, and has been dating since junior high started. Because she is secretly dating, she has to hide from her family due to the guidelines she must follow.

I am only an observer to this kind of child/parent dynamic. I was not allowed to officially date until my freshman year of high school. My close friends and peers have no phone and are grounded for months as a result of poor grades. Of course there have been times when I disobey my parents; however, I learn from these mistakes.

My friends around me are always surprised to know that I am very open with my family. My family is my number one priority, however, some may disagree. The people around me always mention how they cannot wait to be 18, and move somewhere far, far away.

Families only want the best for us. They do not want us to commit the same mistakes they made in their past. Freedom is something our parents grant us to a certain extent, but we must earn it.

Parents should let us go to the movies, make plans with friends, and go on group dates. I think that in order to better prepare us for the things that our parents are worried about, they should should let us go out, and experience the world. Instead of being angry at us for not being on time or taking our phone away for doing something accidentally, parents should sympathize with us.

Positive criticism and the occasional friendly lecture would stress us less. That way, we know that when we actually do commit a major mistake, we have our parents there to talk it out, and judge what the next step will be. I am, and always have been one that takes criticism very harshly. When my parents lecture me for my wrong-doings, I don’t normally brush it off, and move on, but I fix what was done, and strive to not commit that mistake again.

There is nothing wrong with our parents putting their foot down for poor behavior and actions. However, they should put themselves in our shoes once in a while, and view things from our point of view as well. That is the way parents should decide how to punish our actions.

Sure, it is more than okay to have parents protecting us from the bad and the ugly in life, but they should be allowing kids to take more opportunities, whether they are social or academic. Kids are not going to know how to handle bad situations, if and when their parents are not present.