Originally created 07/09/02

Prove you're responsible and freedom will come



THIS WEEK'S PROBLEM

My problem is that I can't do things that other teen-agers these days do. No matter how many times I've told my mom that I'm growing up and she needs to let me out more, it never gets through. What should I do? - 15-year-old North Augusta girl

Here's what you had to say:

  • I have the same problem. Since talking didn't work, I showed my mom how much I was growing up, and it worked.
  • Show her that you are old enough to do things other teen-agers do ... She's probably worried about you doing something wrong. Show her, let her see with her own eyes that you could be good enough to do stuff.
  • Having fun's great, but you need to worry about studying more. You'll have plenty of time to go out and hang out when you're older.
  • You should be grateful your mother wants you to stay home and wants to keep you from trouble. There's so much on the streets that could hurt you or get you in trouble, even when you have nothing to do with it. You're 15 years old, you don't need to be running the streets. Go to the movies on the weekends and come home at a reasonable hour ... I wish my parents would have kept me home when I was your age and I wouldn't have got into the trouble I did.
  • I think if you've done something childish recently to make your mom think you're still a child, you should get over what you did. Move to something that makes you seem like more of a teen-ager - like different clothes or a different hair style - something you didn't have when you were a child.
  • I live with my grandmother, so I understand exactly what you're going through. First of all, I would get some of my friends over to the house so she could meet them and get to know them, and get to know their parents. Establish trust, and from there, ask if you can go out with friends she trusts.
  • Xtreme reporter Alisa DeMao says: Talking isn't going to convince her. This is one of those cases where actions speak louder than words. Show your mom that you're mature and can be trusted.

    Start by acting responsibly around the house, then point to your maturity there as backup for being allowed more freedom. Don't expect to suddenly be granted a lot of freedom. Start small. As your mom sees that she can trust you and that you know how to be safe and responsible, you should slowly be allowed to do more things. Don't push too fast and don't act impatient and angry if your mom doesn't allow things as soon as you want - that will just convince her you're too immature.

    Also make sure she knows who you're going to be spending time with and what you'll be doing. She's probably worried that something might happen to you. Have her meet your friends and their parents, so she knows who you're going to be around. Set up a schedule to check in with her - it's usually easy to slip away for a minute and give her a phone call to let her know you're OK.

    NEXT WEEK'S PROBLEM:

    I like an older person, and my mom doesn't like him. I want to go out with him, but I don't know if I should, because my mom doesn't want me to. I really love this guy. What should I do?

    Do you have any advice for this 13-year-old Augusta girl? Call the Advice Line at 442-4444 and press 8614. You'll have one minute to answer.

    Got a problem? Call 442-4444 and press 8613. You'll have one minute to give us your situation. Please speak clearly and state your age and the town you live in.

    You can also e-mail your problems to ademao@augustachronicle.com. Put "Advice Line" in the subject line. All e-mail addresses will be kept confidential. Questions may be condensed for space.