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How to deal with extremely strict parents as a teen?

 
 
Reply Mon 7 Feb, 2022 02:26 am
Just to cut to the chase, I'm depressed. And I've never wanted to blame my parents but, to be honest, it's their fault. They're extremely strict and it makes me feel like I can't just be a normal teenager.

I'm 16, but they treat me like I'm 12. I'm tired of it. My metal state has been horrible lately and I just don't feel happy anymore. I don't know what to do.

I love my parents, and I know they love me. But I feel like this is extreme (at least compared to my friends) and I don't know if I can handle it anymore.

Just to give a basic idea...
- My phone is very, very, restricted. I literally can't even make a google search. All I have is a few games and the ability to text/call a few select people. No social media at all. No internet. Can't even donload games without them putting in a code. Everything shuts off at 11.
- They won't let me dress or do my makeup how I like. If I try to, I hear about it all day. My Mom has even said to me "you look terrible." I'm not allowed to wear makeup or jewlery to school, which may not seem that bad but to me it's kind of a big deal.
- They're super controlling about who I hang out with and what I do. It feels like a fight to go anywhere or do anything. It takes a full hour discussion to get them to let me just go to the mall.
- They've even restricted my ability to get a job, and limited me to a few choices of where I can work, which makes getting a job even harder than it already is for someone without the ability to apply online. I've tried multiple places, it feels impossible.
- They put a huge amount of pressure on me for school, A's are expected, anything else isn't good enough.
- They really invade my privacy. They even read through personal texts of mine between my friend and I, and my boyfriend and I, even after explicetly telling me they wouldn't. It made me super uncomfortable and broke my trust with them. They also look through my room when I'm not home.
And etc, etc, etc

Basically all I have is a school issued Chromebook, but even on here basically everything is blocked. Pretty much all I have is "safe search" Google and YouTube. Most sites and apps are blocked. (which is how I ended up here, it's like all I have) They've threatened to even take this away.

I'm not okay, and I really feel out of options. So I've decided to seek advice;

How do I try to change my situation? How do I cope? How do I talk to them? Any advice is very appreciated...
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Type: Question • Score: 11 • Views: 1,938 • Replies: 47

 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Feb, 2022 06:10 am
@Kayster ,
I grew up in the 70s, where there was just 1 phone line. And I also had to let my father catch me in my bra to get him to quit barging in my room without knocking.

So I hear ya.

Sometimes, people can't be told; they have to be shown.

Are you responsible? Getting homework and chores done? Doing your best in school, even if it's not straight A's?

Then you're fulfilling your end of the bargain. And some privileges should come with that. Because otherwise, you're being treated like you've been grounded. It's the kind of treatment that makes a person wonder why you should bother doing everything right, if there's no carrot to accompany the stick.

I think you may need to sit down with them and calmly demonstrate (with your report card in hand, and photos if you've got any) just how much you've been holding up your end of the deal. And, you're not super young anymore, and would like for their treatment of them to better reflect your maturity level.

But I do caution you. If there's an old incident in your past, or in an older sibling's past, then they might not budge. Sorry, and I know how unfair that is. But from their perspective, they may be terrified that you'll be attacked or drop out or whatever

There are also cultural issues which may be at play. A friend of mine is of Indian extraction. He writes great urban fantasy and his first traditionally published book is coming out this year. It's being published by an extremely picky publisher called Tor. The guy is pals with Jim Butcher and Brandon Sanderson, two of the biggest players in urban fantasy today.

And.... his parents still pretty routinely nag him about not becoming a doctor or a lawyer. He's also IIRC in spitting distance of age 30.

So... recognize that.
snood
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Feb, 2022 07:14 am
If your school has a reasonably competent psychologist or counselor, who is someone you think you can trust, it might be good to try to enlist their help.
Maybe you could show the counselor this message you reached out to A2K with. Maybe the counselor could be some kind of mediator - an adult to persuade your parents to talk.

Sixteen is a time when you should be starting to push your boundaries out a little and explore who you are becoming.

I’m sorry you don’t seem to be getting the kind of support from your parents that makes you feel safe to be a young adult.

Hang in there.
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Mon 7 Feb, 2022 07:16 am
@Kayster ,
And if you are feeling depressed reach out to a counselor. Most high schools have a counselor besides a guidance counselor you can speak to. My daughter had some social issues and anxiety and she was able to meet with and speak to an adjustment s counselor at her high school.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  2  
Reply Mon 7 Feb, 2022 07:22 am
I agree with all the above and feel your pain and frustration. I think speaking to a school counsellor or a crisis line in order to get some family therapy is absolutely crucial. Your parents are too restrictive. I have grandchildren your age and I cringed when I read what you're not allowed to do. Your mental and emotional state is very important and I'm alarmed at how you're feeling. You absolutely need family therapy. Perhaps they're not seeing YOU, as Jespah suggested, but someone in their youth (perhaps even themselves).

Please come back and let us know how you go on. Take care, hon.
bobsal u1553115
 
  5  
Reply Mon 7 Feb, 2022 07:25 pm
@Kayster ,
Study hard, do the best you can, and prepare yourself to leave home. Learn how to balance your bank cards, how to work, how to present yourself whether for school, work, or higher education. If you work hard now, your life will be easier when you get to make your own choices and make your own mistakes - we all make mistakes, we learn and we move on. We all get second chances and preparing now improves your chances.

Chance favors a prepared life.
0 Replies
 
Kayster
 
  3  
Reply Tue 8 Feb, 2022 01:22 am
@Mame,
Thank you. I've considered speaking to my school couselor before, but honestly I'm scared to. I've heard horror stories in the past about things not staying confidential and legal issues happening because of school counselors. Maybe thats an irrational fear, but it's always been a thing for me.

I appreciate the support and concern.It's nice to hear, even from strangers online.
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Tue 8 Feb, 2022 07:51 pm
@Kayster ,
Kayster wrote:

Thank you. I've considered speaking to my school couselor before, but honestly I'm scared to. I've heard horror stories in the past about things not staying confidential and legal issues happening because of school counselors. Maybe thats an irrational fear, but it's always been a thing for me.

I appreciate the support and concern.It's nice to hear, even from strangers online.


If it helps my daughter talked to her adjustments counselor at school and it was made clear to me that it was confidential even to a parent ...they only time it is to be reported if it is life threatening or abuse.they are required by law to report any abuse ..that may be the legal issues you have heard.
0 Replies
 
Kayster
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 Feb, 2022 01:51 am
@jespah,
Yes, I do generally very well in school and I'd say I'm over all responsible. I have brought this up in the past but the only response I usually get from my parents is that I'm "making excuses", either that or they'll bring up one single bad grade or single time I stayed up to late, even if it's the minorty.

You're completely right that I often wonder why I even try to please them if this is what I'm left with anyway. I've considered before just not listening to them at all, but of course, that would just put me in a worse position than I'm already in.

My parents are both Christian, and grew up in the US. I know my Dad had a very strict upbringing.

Thank you for the advice and reply.
0 Replies
 
Kayster
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Feb, 2022 01:53 am
@snood,
To be honest, I've never trusted school cousilors because I've heard too many stories about things not staying confidential with them. Maybe it's an irrational fear, but it's always put me off from talking to them.
snood
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 Feb, 2022 02:19 am
@Kayster ,
Kayster wrote:

To be honest, I've never trusted school cousilors because I've heard too many stories about things not staying confidential with them. Maybe it's an irrational fear, but it's always put me off from talking to them.


And I would say that’s a reasonable, even healthy fear. If you go see a counselor, tell him/her/them right up front that you are aware of the rule of confidentiality, and that it’s important that you get their assurance it will be held to.

I’ve done some counseling - my license has lapsed, and I’m inactive now, but I know about the policies, regulations and laws that govern mental health practitioners. It’s drilled into us that breaking the confidentiality or violating the privacy of clients puts our license at risk of being revoked. This is a powerful incentive for practitioners to keep confidences, because their license is the way they put food on the table. They just need to be reminded every so often.

The only time they can break client’s confidence (tell anyone else what you two talk about in private) is when not telling would put someone in danger. Like if you told them you were being molested, or you told them you planned to kill someone, or kill yourself.

As long as you’re aware of the rules, and you let the counselor know you’re aware, you should be safe to use them for what they are paid to do - which is listen to you and help you work through things you couldn’t go to other people with.

I wish you good luck🤞🏾🙏🏾

engineer
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Feb, 2022 06:55 am
@Kayster ,
Is there a cultural or religious component to their concerns? Those can be extremely difficult to overcome.
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 Feb, 2022 09:09 am
@snood,
I agree coming from the other side dealing with a teen who has reached out to counselors .. This is exactly what her experiences had been.

One thing you could in addition with what shops proposes...is to until you establish trust share what you feel comfortable with sharing. At this point what would it hurt to reach out? You won't know the rumor from the truth until you reach out. No one even needs to know you are speaking to a counselor...or at least why you....you could be speaking to them to discuss potential colleges. No one needs to know but you.
0 Replies
 
Kayster
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Feb, 2022 01:24 am
@engineer,
Yes, could definetly be religious. I know they're both Christian and my Dad grew up in a very strict household.
0 Replies
 
Kayster
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Feb, 2022 01:27 am
@snood,
Thank you for the advice. I might try talking to my cousilor, I know my school has one. I've just never really done that before and don't know what to expect. What could I get out of it? What is it like?
snood
 
  2  
Reply Thu 10 Feb, 2022 01:32 am
@Kayster ,
Well if he/she/they are competent, you should at the very least get a sense of relief from being able to share the burden of carrying around all that worry and anxiety you have from living with your parents. You should leave their office feeling less alone and more okay to be exactly who you are.
0 Replies
 
david lyga
 
  -2  
Reply Thu 10 Feb, 2022 11:31 am
@Kayster ,
Kayster, from a 72 year old queer man (who has no friends or contacts): I suggest that you adhere to their wishes, period. Your 'illness' of being young will pass soon enough for you to escape your malady.

Yes, I give you good advice. Your parents are utterly terrified of how this conspiracy of 'progressive' culture, melded to the Internet, has forbade them from raising you as a decent child. At your tender age, you have NO IDEA how parents' rights have been obfuscated, defeated, denied. I promise you, I promise you that you will not only persevere through this dilemma, but in future years will thank me posthumously for giving this sane advise. Again, your parents are justifiably terrified, terrified. - David Lyga
0 Replies
 
Medusax
 
  2  
Reply Sun 13 Feb, 2022 04:53 pm
@Kayster ,
I grew up before internet and cell phones, but your experiences are close to my own. I probably would not have been allowed to have a cell phone.
Makeup was forbidden until age 16, and even then, you got a lecture on what "kind" of women wore it. Of course, as a kid would, I snuck it on at school sometimes, but I had to remember to wash it off before I got home as my parents were both retired it was very hard to get away with anything. I am surprised they let you have a boyfriend. We weren't allowed to date until age 18. I hear you about the "discussions" before going anywhere. I had the "job fight" as well. My parents were the kind that thought there was a potential threat in literally everything. Yes, A's were expected for us as well. And privacy? Why would I need THAT? The only thing you can do is look forward to the time when you will be away from them. Start setting money aside so your escape can be well financed.

Kayster
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Feb, 2022 03:39 pm
@Medusax,
Thank you for the reply, it's good to hear that I'm not alone.

I'm kind of surprised about the boyfriend thing too, but I assume the only reason they let me is because it's long distance. No risk of having sex or anything, he lives multiple states away. And they feel like they're in control by restricting my phone (ie only contact with him.) He's been a great support system for me.

Medusax
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Feb, 2022 09:46 pm
@Kayster ,
I am curious...what is their issue and you and jobs? My mom wouldn't let me take a job at a restaurant because I would have to walk home at night. About a half a mile. I laugh at this as an adult, because I have worked into
the wee hours of the morning and I don't drive so I was either on a bike or on foot, and I did it for years. They would not let me work during the school year at all because my grades might suffer. They were both mega control freaks.
 

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