It’s a mutual struggle!
Children love to grow up and be recognized as grownups while parents think their children haven’t grown beyond their first birthday and this remains true even when the child turns 40! Probably the reasons why many parents tend to buy shoes that are a size smaller!
This has always been an interesting debate which in my view, seems to have no satisfying conclusions to both parties because they vary depending on various factors ranging from tradition and culture all the way to modern civilization, education and even reason.
I’d prefer to focus on ‘us’, the teenagers; not merely “children” but however, also not fully mature. It’s at this stage that we face this struggle most acutely.
Usually wanting to make our argument and ‘be’ right once in a while. Well, some parents accept debates but also want to be right at all costs in the end, and even when they agree with the ‘child’s’ position, they somehow make it their own position.
Growing up seems to be an exercise of arguing rights, duties, and responsibilities from someone who is never very sure it’s the right time to give them away. Children want to be freer and freer to cross parents’ boundaries (which were set unilaterally after all)
Parents want their children to be protected and move within boundaries forever and ever.
This is obviously from love and responsibility, the only problem is that it collides with the child’s (especially teenagers) desire to manage themselves and prove it. Eventually, they have to submit.
We usually want to party over every birthday, anniversary, success, complete with; pictures, music and thousands of friends while the dear parents want fewer parties as they get older until only Christmas or New Year are the only celebrations in mind. Parents want their children to watch news 90 percent of their viewing, while we prefer to watch music and movies.
During holidays, we want to over relax, and be late for every basic activity as part of our enjoyment of ‘holiday’ i.e. free from school routine and teachers. Yet parents expect to see us; waking up early, exercising, doing the chores, etc.
While children want to dress like Hollywood stars, parents want to see them dressed like Kofi Annan and mother Theresa! Eventually, one has to accept defeat.
Parents even spy and try to gather intelligence information on their children; but soon get tired and give up.
Although, I personally believe it boosts our sense of belonging and self confidence when parents value the few years of maturity we’ve acquired, and want to know how we stand on the inside rather than only outside.
Parents, biological or not, were provided by God himself and mostly, they do whatever they do for our own benefit.
From them, we get identity, history, blessings, friends and education. They deserve and have God’s blessings!
The author is a Senior 5 student at Riviera High School