January 2002
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It's a Matter of Trust
By: Dennifer Beaucage, Grade 12,
Tec Voc High School, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Parents, why is it that you always say "We trust you", "We love you", "Set a good example" and "Treat them like your friends"? But you never show that you love and trust us? You never praise us when we do set a good example and you never tell our siblings to treat us like their friends?

Why is it you're quick to listen to our siblings but quick to yell at us without hearing us out? You're quick to listen but only when you have the time and not when we come to you. Then you say that we never tell you anything. Why is it that you're quick to turn your backs on us when we try to get your attention, but when we do the same to you, you yell at us? I think that if you want us to believe you when you tell us things, then you inspire us do that!

When you say, "We trust you", prove it! If you trust us so much then let us go out with others our own age without you sometimes. We're not going to say one thing and do another. Take me for example ~ I say I'm not going to date because I'm not ready to. You don't think I've been asked out? Well I have, twice by the same person. Want to know what I told them? No, because at this point in my life I'm not ready to date.

When you tell us that you love us, maybe you can prove it by making the time to talk with us when we want to talk with you, not when you want to and have the time. You can't imagine how much that will do to show us how much you love us.

Please, stop yelling at us when we don't treat our siblings like our friends, or when we don't set a good example. Maybe, before punishing us for doing something, you should listen to our side. It would help a lot. When you do punish us for something without listening to us, we learn to tune you out.

Try to remember what it was like to be a teenager, and try to imagine what it must be like for us to be a teenager. Having feelings and emotions that we've never had, dealing with things that we've never dealt with, trying to figure out who we are and what we want do to, being torn between wanting to stay a child and wanting to be an adult. Maybe then you'll be able to close the age gap and we'll view you as a friend and a parent, and we'll want to come to you, to tell you things.