We’re not all bad

During National Youth Week 2012, we asked teenagers to tell us parents something we need to know. This is what Resi, 14, wrote for us.

It’s almost insulting how little you trust my friends and I. You say it’s because it’s just to protect me but if protecting me means not letting me go to the beach with some friends for fear of us getting drunk and stoned and ruining our lives in a day then I don’t think you’re doing a very good job.

Remember that day? Mum? Dad?

Remember when I just wanted to go to the beach to hang out with my friends and you insisted on driving me all the way there? Remember when you insisted on coming down to see them with me? Remember when you told me to call them and tell them to “hide your shit because my dad’s coming down”? You want to know what their “shit” was? Beach towels and Diet Coke. The most hardcore thing there was probably a Red Bull.

At the beach

Photo by Parker Michael Knight/Flickr

I have no idea where you guys can possibly get the idea that all us teenagers do is wreak havoc on the town and our bodies but it can’t be because you were “a teenager once, too, you know” because you’ve told me that you would never have dreamt of doing half the things we do now.

So what is it? Why do you think every one of us is a delinquent youth? Do you think Thirteen is us? I mean, sure, there are the odd few who have done some things a lot younger and more frequently than they’re supposed to but we leave them be. The reality of our “hang outs” is getting a coffee and complaining about how tired we are after staying up late and watching 80s movies on our laptops.

The other reality is that we’re scared of you. We honestly are terrified of disappointing you because we have experienced nothing worse than the look of silent disappointment on your face when we do something wrong. So we try not to do anything wrong. Simple as that. Just cut us some slack, please. It’s tiring trying to convince you that we aren’t doing things we aren’t doing.

Resi, 14

Also from our National Youth Week series, written by teenagers:

Parents, don’t teach your kids to fear people (Jamie, 14)

Don’t punish me for my friends’ behaviour (Alex, 15)

Public versus private education (Phoebe, 17)

I don’t want to have sex with your daughter (Oscar, 16)



  1. miss.cinders says:

    Hi Resi *waves*

    Great post 🙂

    Sorry to hear your Parents have a trust issue with you going out with your friends. I don’t know what area you live in [and I don’t want to know], but I wonder if that is the reason for your Parents wanting to ‘protect’ you from the influences that could possibly surround you.

    I was a shocking teenager. I drank, I smoked, I smoked weed… I was one of *them* teenagers. And I know my Husband was too – we grew up in a bad area. So we are doing everything we can to try not to let our kids go down the road we did. Many of our friends are dead from back then. Drugs, alcohol… We’ve seen one of our nephews go through psychosis because of drugs…

    A Parents greatest fear is their teenager making one wrong decision, and it costing them [the teen] more that they could have ever imagined.

    Have your Parents told you why they are so protective [that’s what it sounds like to me], or have you tried talking to them about it?

    Maybe they might feel a bit better with you hanging out with your friends if they know them a little better. Do your friends hang out at your place/sleep over at all? I know it might be awkward if your Parents are in your face a bit. But in the long run they may realise there is nothing to worry about.

    Miss Cinders 🙂



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