When you’re a teenager it’s normal to want to grow and explore who you want to be and how you want to live.
Sometimes you think you’d like to live a little differently from the way your family does, but it’s hard to do that while you’re still living under their roof!
You might want to try eating more healthily, while your family is set on fast food and soft serve.
You might want to date a boy, but your parents say no.
You might want to dye your hair, but your parents say no.
You might want to try a new sport, but your parents say it’s too dangerous.
You might want to share your opinion on social issues at the dinner table, only to find nobody agrees with you!
In these situations, there is usually no clear right or wrong way forward. It’s about negotiating the situation and setting boundaries together - which is a whole lot harder than it sounds - especially if your attitude sucks or your parents aren’t willing to hear you out. Both parties need to come to the table with open minds and hearts and a big chunk of respect and love for each other - again, harder than it sounds!
We all go through this, it is healthy and normal, but not easy.
Of course we get it wrong sometimes and so do our parents. As much as possible, try to keep a level head, be patient with your folks and try to understand where they’re coming from.
It is really hard for rents to let go, when they’ve been holding you with such care for so long.
You don’t get their respect and trust as soon as you hit 13, it takes years to earn, and it should be that way.
Don’t give up either! It is important for you to think about who you want to be and how you want to live, and it is good to start to explore those choices (while being careful and smart, obvs).
So if it is something you are passionate about, hang in there. Be willing to wait and work for it. Persist with your parents, because your relationship with them is worth it!
But we’d like to hear from you.
When have you clashed with your parents?
Why did you want to challenge the family culture?
How did they respond?
How could you have done better?
How could they have done better?
What happened in the end?
How is your relationship now?
What do you do to show your parents you love and respect them?
How do they show you the same?
Please send your experience (in no more than 250 words) to firstname.lastname@example.org with 'Your name's Family Feud' (eg. Camille's Family Feud) in the subject.