March 2002
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Parental Responsibility
By: Mat Torgerson, Tec-Voc High School, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live with only one of your parents? Wouldn't that be great? Choose the parent, whether it's your mom or dad, pick the person that you get along with the best. Now that you've done that, listen to the following experiences and the reality of the situation.

First of all, think about how much income your parent makes. You probably won't live in the house that you live in now. You'll probably end up in a small apartment where it becomes so crowded to you that you'll both get on each other's nerves. My Dad and I moved away from my Mom's house and lived in a small apartment and eventually we got so fed up with each other that I decided to go back and forth between my Dad's apartment and my Mom's house. Trust me. It sucked.

Secondly, for a while you and your parent will get along and then suddenly that will all change. They won't pay attention to you and will complain about work and then increase your chores to another five items you must do before you go out with your friends for the weekend. While I'm on the topic of friends, you won't have any over because you'll be too "loud" according to your Mom or Dad, whomever you chose.

Finally, if you've already faced this situation in your life, then you'll definitely agree with this statement. Hmm… I wonder what life would be like with the other parent? The Mom I was previously talking about is what you would call my stepmother. I don't know my biological mother except for her first name and what she looks like. It's horrible to not know who your other parent is. Not a day passes in my life that I don't think about what my life would have been like if I lived with my biological mother. I could also imagine the same if I lived with her and didn't know my dad. My childhood did involve two parental figures, but the problem was that although my dad was there, he really wasn't. Karen, my stepmother took care of me.

In conclusion, to all the kids out there who think it sucks that you have to live with both your parents, who whine and complain that it's so unfair, think about it. Be glad that you don't have to live in the same situation that I and so many other kids live in.