Do your parents really suck?

Joanne Te Paiho, October 2011

Kia Ora all, my name's Jo, I'm one of the Counsellors at Parentline Manawatu. I'm a mum of three, ages 8, 13 and 23 and I have three mokopuna, who are 1, 4 and 5 years of age. I've been asked to write a bit of a blog to all the young people out there, and this is the first of many to come, enjoy. Mmmm, find me one young person that doesn't think their Mum or Dad sucks, at some stage through their teenage years. I did, when I didn't get what I wanted or couldn't go to that cool party that everyone else was going to. So what do you reckon it's like to be your mum and dad, raising you and trying their very best to get it right. Bottom line with most parents of teenagers, they just want to keep you safe. When they lay down the law and say you can't do this, you can't go there, you can't wear that, they are just trying to provide you with some boundaries that keep you safe until you are old enough to create your own boundaries... So they might get it a bit wrong sometimes and go completely overboard with their rules and regulations. Remember you didn't come with a hand book on how to raise you, and at the age you are now, 13-16 years, they could be feeling totally freaked out about how to get through this stage in your life. What are some of the things they could be freaking out about? ... Sex is surely going to be way up there on their list, right next door to drugs and alcohol. The most important and essential ingredients needed to get through this tough stuff is communication, communication, communication. The more you talk and share your world with your folks, the more comfortable they may feel about pulling back the reins a bit, and giving you some freedom. This freedom will deeply depend on how much they can trust you to do the right thing. The hope is that they have taught you enough to be able to make the right choices when you are faced with these issues of sex, drugs and alcohol. Your parents are only human, aye, all the different feelings you may experience about being a young person, they too will be feeling stuff. Go easy, and remember, they won't suck all the time, and with you all on board, ultimately working towards the same goal, which is of course all about you and your wellbeing, you can't go wrong.

If you think your parents could do with support from us, as they navigate their way through caring for you, they could contact us here at Parentline on 355 1655.

Nga Mihi
Jo Te Paiho