Seven Things I Wish My Parents Had Told Me As A Teenager

ideal mother, mother-daughter conversation

Whenever I think of my teen years, I cannot help but ponder over how things could have taken a different turn. There are many things I would have done differently, seen differently if I had some guidance or foresight. I do wish that my parents had told me some of the things I learned over the years on my own, that could have lessened my stress or allowed me to be stronger. I could have been more confident, on my feet ready and to take on bigger battles.

Marks don’t matter, up to a point

My parents always told me I had the potential and pushed me to do better in academics. Realistically, marks do matter in certain aspects of school life. But, I wish they had told me that no one will show the slightest concern over grades till ninth grade. I would have appreciated it if I was told that grades of only certain classes matter for college admissions and others are merely to fill a report card.

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Figure out which friends are good by yourself

Constantly telling me that I made friends with a cunning person who’s only using isn’t helpful. Contrary to what parents think as sound advice, it only increases self-doubt and makes me question my ability to make decent friends.  Even today I suffer from under-confidence when it comes to my judgement about people.

Attraction has nothing to with gender

My parents never opened me up to the possibility of being anything other than heterosexual. I still think they are only clear about three terminologies- gay, lesbian, and bisexual. They never normalised having crushes and being attracted to people as a part and parcel of puberty and hormonal changes. If only I had learned that sexuality and gender are a spectrum instead of a rigid norm from my parents and not from other avenues, it could have shaped my life perhaps in a different way.

Not feeling okay is okay

I would have worshiped the ground my parents walked on if they told me I could stay in and watch movies with them if I was having a very bad day. There have been days when I just wanted to wrap myself in a blanket and eat carbs, but I couldn’t imagine my parent’s reaction to it, so I just went to school. Teenage is hard for all of us, and sometimes, we just a day off from everything else.

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There are other things besides college

I was told to build my academic and co-curricular skills for life in general and for a good college. But my parents  never told me I could travel the world, and hold off on college for a year or so. Gap year to them is unacceptable unless you’re in the Forbes 500 list. Hearing graduating from a reputed college will make my career soar high, was something I was accustomed to.

You don’t always have to share with us

Parents aren’t and shouldn’t be privy to every detail of my life. Pestering me to tell them the who, how, when, and where didn’t make me confide in them more, but just more secretive. Beyond the point of safety concern, it should be my decision to share information about my life. I needed to learn on my own. I wanted to hear that they respected my privacy. Moreover, there were somethings I wasn’t comfortable telling.

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We won’t  judge you

In the ideal scenario, when I hit adolescence or puberty, my parents should’ve sat me down and told me that I can come to them for whatever problems I had. More than that, they should have only shown unconditional love, trying to understand things from my point of view. I often wanted my first instinct in a bad situation to be calling my mom. Instead, I would end up thinking about their possible reactions.

I think I speak for a majority of teens when I say, all I wanted to hear at the end was ‘We’re here for you, no matter what.’

Bhavya Gupta is an intern with SheThePeople.TV. The views expressed are the author’s own.