Q: I am in my final year of high school and my parents do not allow me to go out for parties with my friends, is this fair

It is definitely frustrating when parents put rules and expectations which may appear unfair. In this case parents have restricted you from going out and partying with your friends. This can early seem unfair, especially if everyone else is going partying except you. However, your first move should be one of understanding why your parents have put in place such an expectation.

To understand your parents’ views you have to ask them why they have this rule in place. Don’t settle for one word answers, if you want to understand really sit down with your parents and politely ask them to explain why they such a rule in place. If you still don’t understand why they put such a rule in place, explain to them why and how you don’t understand. At this stage it is important to remember that the aim of talking to your parents is to understand why they have such an expectation when it comes to parties. At this stage you are not trying to advocate your views, personal values or rights, you are simply trying to understand. You also have to understand the issue from your parents’ perspective. Once you understand the issue from your parents’ point of view, only then can you give  legitimate well informed feedback to your parents.

The main concern for parents is the safety or their children especially when various stories pop up in the media about parties gone wrong. One that stands out is a story of four young girls in high school who went to an end of year school party. Much against their parents’ better judgement, the girls had begged their parents to go out. They assured their parents they would watch each others’ backs. Parents were reluctant to let them go but eventually they accepted on condition that the two girls would keep an eye out for each other. The girls went to the party and all their friends where there, but somehow the four girls got drugged, lost consciousness, woke up in the hospital and they had been taken advantage of. Hence, when parents put rules in place it is often not to hurt us but to protect us. Granted this does not happen to every party goer out there but even if there is a .0001% chance of danger, parents will consider the threat as being high and will do all they can to protect you.

The fact is you are not missing out on much when it comes to parties. People have been partying since the beginning of time and they will continue partying in the future. If you feel that strongly about it, wait till you move out of your parents’ house and start living and paying your own bills. Once you move out you are not living under anyone’s values and rules. As long as you live under your parents’ house you have to respect and honor their values even though you might not like it.

At the end of the day the choice has always and will always be yours as much as your parents put in values and expectations to guide you, only you can make the calls and decisions that will affect your future. Always make sure, that whatever decision you make no matter how small, has a positive impact on your future.

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