Parents should allow children more freedom

Kyla Barnett, Features Editor

Many of us have that one friend whose parents need them home by seven on a weeknight and their phone is taken away as soon as they enter the house. If they’re even a minute late, they end up grounded for a month and lose all of their “privileges,” like their bedroom door. 

Parents need to be able to trust their kids and allow them to learn from their mistakes without imposing ridiculous and oftentimes unhelpful punishments.

For most, our parents are constantly telling us to act like adults but will not give us the freedom to do so.

A lot of teenagers feel like they have no say in their home life. Many of us feel like our parents make all of our decisions for us and chastise us for the decisions they allow us to make. For some, our parents control our entire lives, deciding what classes we take, from what job we can have –if they allow us to work at all– to who we hang out with and even what career we choose. Some of us feel like we have no freedom to make our own decisions and yet our parents  command us to “act like adults.” Allow us to make our mistakes. That is the only way for us to really learn how to live. 

When we make decisions our parents don’t support or do something they don’t like, they often find pointless and ridiculous punishments to change our behavior instead of trying to direct us down the right path. For the most part we are not allowed to make mistakes without fearing the wrath of our parents. We shouldn’t be scared to go to our parents when we are struggling or need help. They should be our support system and our confidant, not someone we fear and lie to.

Instead of helping us with our problems they often just get angry at us and take things away. When grades begin to slip or we lose our temper, they take our phones and other belongings away, not bothering to get to the source of the problem. A lot of the time we begin to feel isolated from our friends and the situation gets worse before our parents notice a negative response and take more away from us.  

Sometimes they do reach out to us about things we’re struggling with but it sometimes ends in screaming as they pester us and get mad at us. We want our parents to reach out and just listen to us, not come up to their own conclusions. Our belongings don’t need to be taken away, we just need help and a voice.

They want what’s best for us and they love us. We know that but it doesn’t feel like it when all we feel is constant pressure to be better than we are. They want us to be perfect and set insanely high standards for who we should be. We look to them for guidance and it is hard to meet these standards when we aren’t able to mirror their actions. When we don’t have a role model it is hard to know exactly what to do. We want to meet our parents standards but we need them to show us –not tell us– what to do. Sometimes we need to be walked through making better decisions, especially when we’re struggling.

We want our parents to talk to us, be there for us and trust us. Parents should do that by allowing us the freedom to act like the adults they want us to be. They should let us make our own decisions, good or bad, without fear of punishment and lead us in making good choices.