Parents Are SO Hard to Raise!


So many different stories in the life of a teen girl – where to begin? Read about what is happening with other girls lives here.

Parents Are SO Hard to Raise!

cartoon of parents in a hamster cage - Girl Zone

Tips for the successful care and handling of parents...

By Cinse Bonino

Most of us could use a little help handling our parents. Some of us could use a LOT! Some parents are harder to live with than others. Even when parents seem really nice to the rest of the world, their kids might feel that they are way unfair and far too picky. Your friends might think your parents are the greatest, but they can still drive YOU nuts! The Book of Lists For Teens suggests the following 10 Tips for Raising Well-Adjusted Parents - Girl Zone has added a little extra advice as well.

10 Tips for Raising Well-Adjusted Parents

1. Encourage their good behavior. On those rare occasions when they do something right, reward them - offer to stay home and babysit while they stay out way past curfew. Remember that if they get the idea they can't please you, they'll stop trying all together.

Not This - You should NOT be a smart-tush (you know, a smarty-pants)! Do NOT say, "Good job, Mommy" in your best kindergarten-teacher voice. This will only get you in MORE trouble.

This - Try a genuine, "Thanks for hearing me out, Mom" instead. The trick here is to CATCH them doing something YOU want them to repeat and then to REWARD them with thanks or a hug.


2. Don't be overly critical. Parents have feelings too. When you correct their behavior, try to add a compliment about something nice they've done lately. They respond positively to the words "thank you."

Not This - "Yo, Mama, it is GREAT that you are tryin', but you are STILL not getting it.

This - Try something like . . . "Mom, I love the way you don't judge your friends when they tell you what's going on for them. I really love it when you do that for me too. I hope I can learn to do that as well as you do.


3. Try to conceal your disgust. If you must be out in public with them, walking 10 feet behind them will only draw more attention to your plight. Instead, walk with them and show the world how bighearted you really are. Only a truly confident person would allow themselves to be seen with losers.

Not This - You run into your friends at the mall. You are way embarrassed because your mom is wearing a VERY weird hat. You roll your eyes at your mom when you think she's not looking. Yikes; did she catch you!?

This - Smile a little sheepishly when you see your friends, then suggest to your mom that it might be fun to go and try on new hats!


4. Be consistent. If your style is to talk on the phone for four hours each day after school, don't suddenly decide to do your homework first and use your phone time before you go to bed. This will only confuse them.

Not This - "I have a new boyfriend. His name is Steve. He's SO cool. Oh yeah, he's five years older than me."

This - "Hey Dad, tell me about guys - how do you think guys change as they get older? When do you think they start to get more mature? Do you think they all mature at the same rate?" A day or two later . . . "I met a really nice guy. His name is Steve. He's one of those guys we talked about that acts more mature for his age. He's only five years older than me, but he's SO much more together than most guys his age."


5. Don't try to teach them more than one new thing at a time. They are easily overwhelmed and will shut down if you feed them more information than they can process at once.

Not This - "I have a new boyfriend. His name is Steve. He's SO cool. Oh yeah, he's five years older than me."

This - "Hey Dad, tell me about guys - how do you think guys change as they get older? When do you think they start to get more mature? Do you think they all mature at the same rate?" A day or two later . . . "I met a really nice guy. His name is Steve. He's one of those guys we talked about that acts more mature for his age. He's only five years older than me, but he's SO much more together than most guys his age."

6. Keep an eye on them. You never really know what they're up to, so it's a good idea to spend time with them now and then just to see what's on their minds. This is also a good time to reinforce any point you have been trying to make lately.

Not This - Do NOT bombard your parents with: "Whatcha doin'? Whatcha thinkin'? What's up? What's wrong? What's the matter; you look upset."

This - Listen. Pay attention. Hear what THEY have to say. Notice what they talk about the most. Figure out what their concerns and hopes concerning you are. Be an undercover agent in your own home. Focus. Look at them when they talk AND remember what they say. Count how many times they mention the same stuff.


7. Never let them see you sweat. If you lose your cool, you lose your power. Where parents are concerned, indifference is your greatest weapon. If they're having temper tantrums and laying down all sorts of ridiculous rules, don't argue. Don't show any reaction at all. This drives them nuts. When they're finished, calmly suggest that it might be better to have this discussion when they're feeling more rational.

Not This - This does NOT mean to utter sarcastic replies like: "Okay, FINE!" or "NO problem." or to look away as you try to hide your disgust.

This - Try saying something like: "Is it okay, if I think about this for a little while and then we can talk about it some more, maybe after dinner?" Everyone will have a chance to cool off, AND you can come up with a reasonable case for your cause.


8. Show, don't tell. Parents can be really stupid, and yes, they need everything spelled out for them. So if you want them to think of you as someone other than a 10-year-old, you have to act grown up around them so they really get the picture. They need to see you completing your schoolwork, doing your chores, and generally acting like you're in charge of yourself. This is the only way they will "get it."

Not This - Don't BRAG!

This - Make a list of everything you have to do for the day (or even the week) and hang it on the frig. Check it off so that your parents can see that you are getting everything done on time or even ahead of time!


9. Make it appear as though they're not really losing the battle. Make it a win-win situation by giving them a point for every few you win. If they finally caved in and gave you permission to go to the mall, offer to pick up something that they need. Or, once in a while, if they agree to let you stay out past curfew, come home early anyway. Try to give them the impression that being responsible is actually important to you.

Not This - If your mom says "Yes" when she really seems like she'd rather say "No," don't keep trying to sell her. She may become annoyed and changed her answer to "No!"

This - If your mom gives in and lets you have a sleep-over on a school night at your best friend's house - find a way to get yourself there. Arrange for your friend's mom to come and get you or take a bus so that your parents don't have to be inconvenienced. Maybe even offer to make dinner for them before you go and have it waiting to be reheated when they get home from work.


10. Never give up. Your parents have a very short attention span, so it's important to make your point many times. Letting them see you treat your bratty sister lovingly once isn't going to do the trick; they need to see this behavior many times before they come to understand it. Hang out with them and campaign every chance you get. Talk to them at breakfast, call them from school, and show up for dinner. Let them know that the only way they will get rid of you is by giving you what you want.

Not This - "See? See? I CAN do my homework on time! YOU were wrong!" Oops. All they're gonna see is a bratty kid.

This - "Hey Mom, my homework is done, so I'm going to make some cocoa. Would you like some too?" Now, that's subtle and VERY smooth.


Even when you do handle your parents well, there ARE still those times when you have to tell them that you screwed up or you are forced to tell them something that you KNOW will make them blow their stack. Here's some more advice from The Book of Lists For Teens on how to survive the experience . . .


13 Ways to Break Really Bad News to Your Parents

1. Choose your moment. Don't blurt out the news the second they get home from work, just as they're about to leave for work, or at any other time when you might not have their complete attention. If your older brother announced yesterday that he's leaving home and your little sister was suspended from school today, maybe this isn't the right time.

2. Avoid Fridays (it'll ruin their weekend) or Mondays (which are generally stressful).

3. Talk first to another adult who's likely to know what your parents' reactions might be so you can plan a strategy.

4. Describe the problem first as though it happened to someone else, to give them a chance to digest and formulate an objective response. Then, once you've let the cat out of the bag, gently explain the real deal.

5. Is there a hotline that addresses your particular problem? Check out the list of "Hotlines for Teens" on page 24. You might be able to talk to someone who can give you an idea of what your options are before you break the news at home.

6. Be prepared to take responsibility for the problem. Start out by letting your parents know you've screwed up and need their help. Even if you think the problem resulted from someone else's actions, tell them up front that you know that this is your problem.

7. Say it with flowers! That won't solve the problem, but if the trouble has to do with damage that you did, this might be a good way to let them know you plan to make amends.

8. Use a film or book when you introduce the subject. "Mom, remember in that movie Risky Business where the kid loses all his parents' furniture?" This will remind your parents that you are not the first person to have this problem and that solutions do exist.

9. Put the problem in perspective. Check the statistics to find out how common this problem is. While you're at it, look for some solutions as well. Let your parents know you want to work toward a resolution.

10. Write a letter. If the problem involves a lot of feelings that may not get expressed in the heat of an argument, try writing it all down first. This won't replace a confrontation, but it will help everyone get an idea of the scope of the problem and where you stand. It will also help you get your story straight in your own mind before you spill the beans.

11. Just do it. You know you're going to have to face the music eventually. Sometimes the best approach is to just take a deep breath and make your announcement. Be prepared for the inevitable lecture, anger, punishment, and blame. Know that your parents' first reaction may not be the one they wind up with once they've had a chance to digest the news. Trust them. They are, after all, your parents, and they will want to do the right thing for you.

12. Once they start reacting to what you've said, let them finish. Don't interrupt, don't let out sarcastic remarks, and don't roll your eyes at them, no matter what. Stay cool. When it's your turn to speak, politely ask for the same consideration.

13. At the end of the confrontation, agree with your parents on what the next step is. If there is to be a follow-up discussion, schedule it now.





Sharing my story, hope you share too. :)
I'm going to the Community College of Rhode Island and majoring in fine art. I want to be a teacher. I have anxiety, ADHD and depression. I also have dysphoria. Dysphoria is the feeling I get when people use the wrong pronouns/name, looking at myself in the mirror, people calling me names, or looking at me the wrong way for being transgender.
I have been on Testosterone (Give myself a shot every Thursday) since January 2013. I also got my name changed that year and I am the first person in Rhode Island to get my gender change on my birth certificate without surgery first, when I was seventeen. However, the one thing that I still desperately need is top-surgery (masectomy) (so I won't get Cancer and deal with dysphoria). It is all very expensive. $7,805 dollars. I need help to raise this money. I identify as gay. Some people ask me why did I “become” a boy, to like boys. My sexuality has nothing to do with my gender. I always knew I was a boy I just never told anyone. In elementary school I would stand up when they asked the boys to stand. I wanted to play sports and play videogames but I was ostracized. I really want to goon the beach shirtless. I am very involved in my community and eager to make a difference in the world. I can’t live without my chest binder. Some my family disowned me. It seems wherever I look I can’t pass as myself. I don’t want to prove my happiness, my gender, my pronouns or my name. I want to help all the transgender kids, even by showing them that it is possible, to dream of a day without dysphoria. Nobody should have to go through what I've been through. Quotes Ilike are "Ask and you shall receive" and "The hardest challenge is to be yourself in a world where everyone is trying to make you be somebody else." -- E. E. Cummings because I didn't choose to be this way. I really don't want anymore trans people to die from ignorance or suicide. I tried to commit suicide four times. Insurance won't pay for my surgery, please help me get one step closer. Donate 1$, even that will help. I appreciate what you can do, spread the word. A share (by mouth, email, Twitter, etc) is as good as a donation. All I want is equality. And of course, no more moobs. Please help, thank you for your support, I couldn't accomplish this without you! Thank you. You get some of my art for donating 5$, which is totally worth it! Whatever you can afford will help me. Thank you very much! I appreciate you even spreading the word too! Please show your support in this journey to get my masectomy (chest removal)! Whatever you donate is going to be partially matched by another donor organization called Foster Forward. When I was in school I was bullied. Kids would spit on me, kick me, put my backpack inside out and push me down the stairs. When I told an administrator they told me, “A lady boy half-person like you should expect to be treated that way." Students and teachers called me an "it" and a "tranny". So, I withdrew out of high school my first week of junior year and got my GED.
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