A Project for Better Journalism chapter


Dear Parents,

It’s 2018 and still no one seems to bring up the topic of your bad parenting and how it has impacted the lives of us adolescents. When I say bad parenting I don’t mean the fact that you won’t let us go to that crazy party filled with alcoholic beverages and illegal drugs, or the fact that you refuse to let us get a piercing or tattoo until we’re 18. I mean the simple fact that you guys are failing to recognize the true struggles and hardships that we face every day.

Believe it or not, a lot of us struggle with anxiety and depression. No we are not being moody or ungrateful. These are real mental illnesses that don’t feel good in the first place, so you coming home and yelling about how this isn’t clean or that isn’t done does not help whatsoever. It actually makes things much worse. Maybe take the time to ask about our day or how we’re feeling every once in a while.

Also, why is it that if we decide to be alone in our room for a while, you decide that we’re being an antisocial hermit? Have you ever had the thought that maybe we’re having a bad day? Or even if our day was amazing, have you ever thought that we might need space? Just like you adults, we kids need our space sometimes, too – to just relax and be in a calm state of mind, especially when we’ve just spent six hours in a chaotic, overcrowded high school.

Speaking of school, stop putting so much pressure on us to be perfect. Not all of us are going to get straight A’s or honor roll every quarter. If we don’t really want to play the sport that you once played as a kid, we don’t have to. If we fail a test although we genuinely tried, it’s not the end of the world. Parents, you need to realize that we are all human. We aren’t going to exceed your impossibly high standards. But when we do actually succeed with something and we’re proud of ourselves, it’s the other way around. You only actually pay attention to our school work when it’s bad so that you have something to critique us on. But maybe we need to hear “I’m proud of you” or “I knew you could do it” every once in a while.

You seem to think that the fact that you’re parents makes all of their decisions automatically right. In reality, some things that you do tend to damage us instead of empower us. First of all, we know right from wrong (most of us anyway) because you taught us well, and sometimes being overly strict about every specific thing can cause us to act out. Not all of us are always just thinking about sex, drugs, or doing things we’re not supposed to do. So please, let us take a breath. We’re also not all the same so stop comparing us, especially to other kids.

These points shouldn’t be taken as counts of disrespect. We take the time to respectfully listen and accept the advice and recommendations that you give us, and mature adults should do the same instead of thinking we’re attacking you.


Your kids