I am a parent. Yes, it’s true. I am on of those individuals you may, at times, find hard to understand. I know my own teenage daughters sometimes treat me like I’m from another planet.
This is a letter to try and explain some of the strange behavior you might see from some of us parents. So sit back, grab a Mountain Dew, and enjoy this attempt at explaining the alien life-form we parents are capable of morphing into from time to time.
• Parents are not afraid you will turn into a pumpkin as the midnight hour approaches. But we do realize that with nightfall, bars have drunk patrons leaving, burglars use the cover of darkness to shroud their evildoings, and police see teen loitering as a nuisance to their efforts to keep an eye on the aforementioned adults.
• Parents do not want to pick and choose your friends for you. But we do believe that it is sometimes in your best interest if we are familiar with some of the outside-the-home influences, just in case you need our guidance with friendship disputes.
• Parents do not set limits because we want to control you. But we do position boundaries to keep your lives structured enough to keep you on track so that one day the sky may be your limit. Most of our rules are set so that you may develop your own self-discipline, which will allow you to control your own life, your own career, and your own interests.
• Parents do not check on your well-being because we are nosy or intrusive. But we do ask you questions about your physical and mental status because we remember how we dealt with problems when we were in your situation. Our concern is genuine and loving, the exact opposite of what it may appear.
• Parents are not trying to destroy your life financially and socially. But we would be foolish to allow you to not understand the importance of fiscal responsibility and the need for the word “eye-candy” to not be part of your fashion statement.
• And lastly, parents are not trying to force you to share their value system. But we would like you to understand that a house without a foundation is sure to crumble. Many parents grew up in a home where structure, integrity, and vision were not a part of the surroundings. We’ve seen the negative side of chaos and disillusionment. We want better for our children. We want better for you.
I hope that in some small way my letter has explained to you part of the reasons why parents do what they do. I pray that when you have a disagreement with your parents, you examine some of the reasons parents do what they do. I imagine you sometimes find our actions as hard to understand as we sometimes find yours.