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This is on the same level as Knee Jerk, but I agree, there is some insanely cruel advice that will guarantee alienation from your teens.

Although my daughter is not yet a teen( she is 12) I am appalled at many of the suggestions here to get teenage kids to modify their behavior. Not only would I never treat my own kid with such contempt and disrespect, but I have the experience of my older sister, who has nothing to do with our mother because of the way she was treated in her teenage years, after she spent all night at a boys house at 15. We were not allowed to date. I was younger, but the rules were the same for us both. She liked a boy, and decided to start seeing him. She could not discuss this with my parents, as my mom would not hear of this. When my sister was missing, my parents naturally worried themselves sick( they called everyone, the hospitals, the police). When my sister returned, the worry turned to anger. She was grounded. they made a huge effort to stop her from seeing this guy. Took away her phone for a week, made her come right home from school for almost a month. Mom never really trusted her again. My sister really hated being treated like a dog on a leash, and it wasn't that she missed privileges, but her pride that was hurt. And she resented it, and now she still remembers and resents it. Now in her late thirties she will not speak to our mother. She made the decision to go to college far from mom and dad. And the resentment grew. She feels(correctly) that they had no right. Yes, they are the adults, and need to safeguard the child. But they should have taken into account that she was no a young child, and had the right to make her own decisions to a large extent. If they trusted her to go to school and live in a dorm at 18, why would they treat her like a little kid at 15? I agree. They just clamped down on her because they could. Because it made them feel better. Now even when my sister lets her kids be with their grandma, it is my dad or myself that picks them up and brings them.
i know this is a long and boring story. But in view of some comments here, i thought I would share it. Be aware that teenagers will have their own lives soon. How you treat them now will not only reflect how difficult your lives will be while they live in your house, but how your relationship will be with them when they are adults. If you demean them, (God forbid)spank or otherwise hit them, make them afraid of you and hate their home, they will leave and never look back. Do not punish them like children. Do not take away their privacy in any way. Compromise. Honestly, its good advice.

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Asked by martine1778 at 3:17 AM on Jun. 18, 2011 in Teens (13-17)

Level 6 (144 Credits)
Answers (13)
  • So let me get this straight. Your sister won't contact her mother because your mother grounded her when she was 15 years old? I WISH my family problems were that petty.

    Answer by kazmia at 3:22 AM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • Not exactly. But it stated with that. My mother never trusted her after that, and my sister never trusted her. Believe me, it doesn't take much to go downhill with things like that. Kids may be forgiving while they can not go and live on their own and depend on you for food, but they won't always. they will recall how you treated them. But yes, definitely now 15 years after the fact, that night comes up as a major reason. It may seem petty to you. But obviously it really struck her. Little stuff adds up fast, my friend.

    Comment by martine1778 (original poster) at 3:28 AM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • Come to think of it, my hubby didn't even go to his fathers funeral. He despised his father, and the main reason is that he hated my husbands long hair in his teenage years, and once wanted to cut it off with home shears. I guess he never did it, but that incident stayed very prominently there in DH's adult years. Thats how it goes. Its not always years of torture or sexual abuse that makes people turn their backs on their parents. Often it is the petty mistreatment that parents think their kids forgive. But if you don't care what your kids will think of you when they are grown, keep telling yourself its all petty.

    Comment by martine1778 (original poster) at 3:41 AM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • Sounds like your family needs lessons on forgiveness. Damn, I can only imagine how unhealthy they are with all of this wasted time and energy on petty crap. Life is way too short to act like a two year old well into our adult years.

    Answer by bcauseimthemom at 4:32 AM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • Dear Martine,
    Thank you for sharing your story. As you mentioned, I would like to confirm, that it's never just ONE instance, but it does have to start somewhere. I don't think your sister's bitterness is petty, just as I doubt that your mother put a stranglehold on her just that one time. Not everyone grew up with the fairy tale, and I commend your sister for allowing her children to have a relationship with their grandmother, even though she does not have one with her mother. That's tough to do, and takes a smarter, "bigger", level-headed person to allow that.
    P.S. As a new mother myself, I appreciate the parenting advice.

    Answer by DMac08 at 6:57 AM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • I think there's way more to that story. My sister was clamped down on much harder than your sister, but it was because she needed it. She was basically grounded during her entire highschool career - no phone, no tv, no going anywhere unless the whole family went, and no having anyone over. Had my parents not done it, I am fairly sure my sister would have been a teen parent and a highschool drop out - she was definitely headed down that road. As it is, she is a college graduate, married for 14 years with 2 kids. I'm sure my parents would rather see her the way she is now and hate them than have her living close to poverty as a single mom with a couple kids. Personally, I know I would rather see my kids grow up as responsible adults and dislike me than make poor life choices and like me. 15 year olds are NOT equipped to make choices alone that affect the rest of their lives.

    Answer by missanc at 8:28 AM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • So let me get this straight. Your sister won't contact her mother because your mother grounded her when she was 15 years old? I WISH my family problems were that petty.

    Did you even read this?'s not about her being grounded-it's about respect, trust, forgiveness and openness that wasn't there...

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 9:45 AM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • Sorry, your sister is totally ridiculous. My children are raised that the only reason to date is to get to know the person that you may marry better before taking that step. Since most children are not thinking about marriage at 15, 16 or 17, there is no reason to date. Your sister snuck out. As a parent I wouldn't trust her again either. Parents jobs are to raise their children to be responsible adults. Being responsible includes following rules, which are laws when you are an adult. Your parents rules were no dating. Dating isn't a need, it's a want and though my children aren't allowed, in other families only given to children who can be trusted and are mature enough to make good decisions. There are far more things to worry about in life than missing dating years ago. She obviously is still not mature or grown up and your parents were justified in not letting her out of their sight.

    Answer by attap5 at 10:45 AM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • if you want your teens to respect you, you have to, first treat each other as parents with respect, and then treat them with respect. Good post.

    Answer by onethentwins at 6:55 PM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • hummm.

    I would have to hear the WHOLE story to give a full opinion.

    However, I will point out that although you do have to start to give teens some room to make life choices. At 15 if she is sneaking away to spend the night at a boys house she is PROVING that she isnt old enough, mature enough, wise enough to make GOOD choices. And she SHOULD be supervised... how ever that may look.

    However, that being said you DO need to allow kids to earn back trust and learn from their mistakes. Hopefully they dont make mistakes that will alter their entire future.

    as a point of reference I currently have a 16 & 14 yr old. I would have grounded the hell out of them had they snuck out of the house to spend the night with aboy.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:31 PM on Jun. 19, 2011

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