Maturing is more than just getting older


Karma Bebawy

Staff Writer Julie Pinto writes that as teenagers mature, adults should be more understanding of their independence.

Julie Pinto, Staff Writer

If teens had a dollar for every time our mother or father told us, “I know more than you because I’m older than you,” we’d probably all be living on an exotic island right now with how much money we would’ve made.

There have been countless times that we’ve been told, “No, that’s wrong, I’m right.” It’s frustrating when adults make us feel like our opinions don’t matter or that we don’t know what we’re talking about just because we’re young.  

Our parents, grandparents and caregivers often think they know so much more about life than we do as high-school students. Although it may be true that they know more, not everything they know is necessarily true. It’s important for parents and other adults to consider that we, too, as teenagers can have educated opinions and ideas. 

Yes, when we are young, we are supposed to listen and learn, and we have a lot to learn. But now, as we’re about to step into the adult world ourselves we also need to be listened to.  

It’s natural for parents to seem like they are always right when it comes to basic things in life—not just because they’ve been around longer and know more, but because when someone becomes a parent they automatically are placed in a position of authority. 

For them, it must feel good to only have to answer to themselves and have that authority over their homes and children. What they have is what their kids crave to have. In my home, most of the arguments we ever had were small. Quarrels about who’s doing the math assignment right and who’s wrong occur frequently. But silly things like this are a part of maturing and learning that there can be two right answers.  

There are rules that our parents put in place to protect their children. These are rules that most of the time, the children hate, or maybe even deliberately choose to disobey. 

When we’re younger, rules are more along the lines of “no candy before bedtime” or “no TV during dinner.” Now, as teenagers, rules are more around “be home by midnight” or “you can’t go out until you finish your homework.” 

I know I’m not the only one who has trouble following these rules because they don’t always make sense, and personally, I feel as if they are sometimes made to be broken.  

We don’t choose to disobey for no reason. Often, children and teenagers want to be a little rebellious because we feel the need to test our limits. Sometimes the rules feel arbitrary. And sometimes, we need to learn from the consequences of breaking them. 

Part of maturing is realizing that moms and dads are not always right—we don’t have to believe them or agree with them just because of their authoritative position. The very essence of growing up is disagreeing and forging our own paths—paths our parents should encourage.

Now that we’re older, we have slowly started to develop our state of mind, believing in what we believe and not just what our parents do and going along with it. As parents, as hard as it may be, they need to be able to take a step back and see that their child is growing up. 

While we don’t need to question and argue with everything our parents say, we do need to take what they taught us and learn from it while making our own decisions and having room to share our opinions.