Annie Fox for Teens... Hey, Terra!

Annie (AKA Hey Terra!) has been around long enough to have experienced a lot of what Life can dish out. But, it hasn’t been so long that she's forgotten what it's like to be your age. Check out some of the thousands of email questions teens from around the world have sent to Terra. You may learn something useful from her answers:

Communication Problems:
“My parents are against everything I do, even cheerleading.”

Hey Terra,

My parents really bug me. They never listen to Me and they are really against everything I wanna do, like cheerleading. Also, they always punish me for nothing. I hate it. I fell so stressed out!!!!


Dear Arg,

I hear you. Sometimes it can feel like parents are trying to make things harder for their kids. (As if life wasn't stressful enough!) But I'll let you in on a couple of secrets...

  1. Sometimes parents feel like their kids are trying to make things harder for them! (I happen to know this because I'm a mom.)
  2. 99.99999% of all parents really love their kids more than anything else in life and while they don't always do the best job showing it (especially in ways that the kids would like it shown) the truth is, your parents are doing their best to keep you safe and happy. They really want you to grow up and they know you need to practice using your good judgment while you're out in the world learning to be a little more independent the older you get. Maybe they just haven't figured out how to start letting go a little bit at a time. But you can talk about that and look for ways to reach a compromise.

A change in your attitude will help!

If you truly feel like your parents "always" punish you for "nothing" and "never" listen to you, then you need to talk to them about what's going on. I've got something you can check out... It's something I wrote for teens about resolving conflicts resolving conflicts with parents.

After you read it, think about how you can use the tips to help you get some more independence while you continue to show your parents that you know how to handle the extra responsibility that comes with it.

Check these letters from other teens about problems with parents and you'll get some more ideas about the art of negotiation.

I hope this helps.

Let me know how it goes after you've thought about this, and had a calm and mature conversation with your parents.

In friendship,


Need some advice? Write to Terra. She'll give you a straight answer you can trust without any lectures.

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