Since young, I listened to my parents, obeyed their instructions, and did what they wanted me to do. At times, I would rebel against their wants. I thought I was old enough to make my own decisions. There are instances where my rebellion brought me to tears and still, I did not win the battles. One of my hard fought battles was wanting to go for a sleepover, which I was not allowed to. My parents forbade me from going for a sleepover at a friend’s place on her sixteen’s birthday. My mum told me that I have a home and there was no reason for me to sleepover at my friend’s home. I spent days to reason with my parents. I told them I would like to spend more time with my friends and a sleepover is a good opportunity for bonding. But I lost. I gave them the silent treatment for days. Upon reflection, I gathered the silent treatment was unnecessary but I refused to apologize.
Rebellion against parental control is part of growing up. We as teenagers are curious about the outside world. We do not want to be confined in just school and home. We want to meet other people outside our immediate circle of friends; to be in popular hangout places and to be current amongst our peers. These wants often do not sit well with our parents. Parents would always restrict us from doing things, which they believe to be unsafe or wrong. This mismatch of expectation and beliefs often leads to teenage rebellion. The reason why parents usually dislike teenage rebellion is not only that it creates more resistance to their job of providing structure, guidance, and supervision, but also because rebellion can lead to serious kinds of harm.
Rebellion can cause teenagers to rebel against their own self-interests like rejecting activities that benefit them or relationships that often support their self-esteem. It can cause them to engage in self-defeating and self-destructive behavior like refusing to do school work or even physically hurting themselves. Some of them experiment with high-risk excitement such as accepting dares, which could lead to hurtful circumstances. They often let impulse overrule judgment to a dangerous effect. Such rebellion could injure valued relationships such as pushing those whom they care away.
Some studies show, teenagers who rebel against their parents mature twice as fast than those who are meek and only listen to their parents without asking for reasons. They are street-smart since survival is vital when you are on your own outside. There are no parents to watch over them thus they have to find solutions to their problems or poor company. They ask questions, as they know sometimes their parents do not reason well.
However when teenagers rebel to an extent whereby he or she starts smoking or not coming home for days, parents need to ponder and question themselves on the restrictions they have imposed on their children and try to figure out a solution to solve the misunderstanding between them.
A possible solution to teenage rebellion is to offer teenagers true independence by creating and accepting a challenge. Teenagers who decide to do something hard with themselves for themselves in order to grow themselves have to have their parents’ support. By having parents’ support, teenagers do not have to rebel to transform or redefine themselves in their growing years.
Teenage years are testing period to make choices for themselves as well as to build trust between teenagers and the adults around them. To rebel is to disagree, and to disagree is not wrong but how we manage that disagreement is essential in character building. Thus, rebellion against parental control is part of growing up.
P.S This is an essay I wrote as preparation for my upcoming exams. I found this topic relevant to myself and my peers. Fortunately for me, I hardly rebel as my parents gave in to my request most of the time but my request were not unreasonable. They trust that I would make wise decisions and reason those which they feel are not right.
Dad, Can I go to Cambodia now??? 🙂