Dear Parents, Why Can’t You Accept The Fact That Teens Need Their Privacy Too
There has been a long debate about whether teens should be given privacy or not. And to what extent, that is the follow-up question? While parents might feel the need to protect and know all about their kids, we as teenagers need some alone time. We hate it when you barge into our rooms without knocking and start conversing. Or when you demand to check our chats or know who we have been talking to. Don’t you guys trust us, to handle friendships and relationships on our own? Don’t you trust all the good virtues and instincts that you have cultivated in us since childhood?
Here are some reasons why parents need to respect privacy of their teen children:
When cross-over into teen years, it is a whole new experience. Our body, our emotions, our thought process, everything is undergoing a change. We don’t know who we are anymore, but we are definitely curious to find out. Learning about oneself is difficult and a very private process, and if parents hover us all the time we feel conscious. Teens need to slowly ease into the world and remove the training wheels. But for that to happen, we need our parents to believe that we are capable of riding on our own, without any support.
Forming opinions of their own
Spaces like social media allow teens to contemplate issues that may or may not matter to us. In pre-teen years, we live under the shadow of our parents with not much hands-on knowledge of reality. Teenage allows us to build a new mindset based on our choices. This will be biased if parents still impose their beliefs upon teens.
Standing up on our own two feet
We’ve been told that life is a bundle of problems and it’ll keep throwing some at you. It takes time but often we like to solve our dilemmas without much help. The sense of independence that comes from tackling problems on our own, can give our confidence a major boost. Other than that, most teens, including me, think that our parents cannot understand what I am going through. The circumstances and society through which we experience this phase is different from their own. We need two arm’s length of space around us literally and metaphorically.
Relationships and sexuality
Discussing sex, sexuality and love with parents isn’t easy, owing to friction created by the taboos around these subjects. Also, parents and teens may not be on the same page in terms of their thinking about relationships and thus it’s hard to open up. Besides these aspects of growing up are often best explored on one’s own. So while parents should keep their doors open for all such conversations, what they must also do is keep their minds open, and let us decide how, when and why we want to discuss it.
Friends and friendships change in teen years as well, and we start realising who we best fit in with and who accepts us the way we are. Suggestions from parents on which friends are good or bad often complicate things. And show their lack of trust in our ability to judge people.
Privacy is a need that seems heightened at the onset of puberty. All we ask for is some faith and some space.
Bhavya is an intern with SheThePeople.TV. The views expressed are the author’s own.