Why your parents worry about the friends you keep – #16conversations
8 Jun 2018 FAMILY
By: Natasha Archary
No it doesn’t end. Your parents worry obsessively about every aspect of your life. Regardless of how old you are or whether you want them to or not. It’s biologically ingrained into every parent’s DNA.
You would think that now you’re a teenager, things will ease up a bit. Nope, with each year comes new parenting terrority to wade through. Your parents are raising you as best as they can, equipping you with all the life skills and moral compass they could possibly fit in over the past decade or so. But you’ve since ventured a little outside their comfort zone with the company you keep.
It’s natural for your parents to feel alarmed when you are suddenly no longer BFFs with your BFF from childhood. Instead you bring home your new buddies, all of whom look like they just stepped off the set of the Adams Family remake. You’re just broadening your horizons and socialising. Completely normal. But to your parents, you’re one step closer to joining a cult and alarm bells start ringing.
Best-selling author and award-winning psychologist Michael G. Thompson, sheds light on understanding the social lives of children. According to Thompson, there are four main reasons for parents being concerned about their child’s friendships.
- Bullying and social media. Your parents live in fear that you could fall victim to the relentless bullying in schools.
- Being unable to track your social media life. This drives them insane. You have backup passwords for your devices, don’t location share, never accept their requests to friend you. It’s like they don’t know who you are anymore.
- Your parents want to protect you more than anything. From everything. Breakups, fights with friends, any form of trauma that could leave you physically or emotionally bruised.
- Parents know they can’t dictate who you are friends with. That goes against everything they’ve taught you. But it’s this fact that makes them feel completely hopeless.
It’s normal and it’s your right to expect privacy and trust from your parents. You’re at a point in your life where you’re figuring things out and exploring what life has to offer. Any mistake you make is yours to make and learn from, something they can’t prevent you from experiencing. But before shutting them out, try to see things from their perspective and bridge the communication gap.