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:

Parents:
“What's my mom's problem!?!?”

Hey Terra,

I'm sick of my Mum. Take 2 minutes ago, I asked if I could go out on a bike ride with my friend, she said "NO!" I asked her why I couldn't because it was still light, and I said I would be back before dark. She answered with "I don't feel like letting you go out." What's her problem!?!?!?!?

Why Me?

Dear Why Me,

I don't know what your mom's "problem" is, but my guess is that she's worried about your safety when you're not home. Because she hasn't told you this, it sounds like she's just trying to be controlling. I can certainly understand why her arbitrary restrictions upset you. It's challenging to be in a relationship with someone who makes all the rules and doesn't feel it's necessary to talk about things that you feel are unfair.

Here's my suggestion. Pick a time when your mom is not tired, stressed, rushing out the door, etc. Tell her that you would like to talk with her about something that's important to you. Sit down with her and calmly and respectfully let her know how it makes you feel when she tells you you can't do something without explaining the reason behind her decision. When you talk with her, focus on your feelings. For example, "Mum, I'd like for us not to fight so much. I'd like for us to communicate better. I want you to know that it makes me feel _________ (frustrated, angry, annoyed, irritated, sad, hopeless... You fill in the blank with what is true for you.) when you tell me I can't do something and then not give me a real reason for it. I understand that you love me and want me to be safe and maybe when I'm out, you worry. I'd like for us to work out a way for me to have a bit more independence and also help you feel safe about where I am and when I'll be back."

Try that and see what happens. Then let me know what she says.

In friendship,

Terra


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


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