What Teen-Agers Want of Parents
Some parents don't listen. That's what kids really, really need. The kids come to them and really want to talk to them and share their problems with their parents. Some parents don't listen, don't want to know. It's the kids, too, sometimes who don't talk.
When our parents were growing up there were a lot more family-oriented things. That's what we've lost. Everything now is so individual. Everybody has their own schedules, everybody's always driving to go somewhere. The time you have with your whole family is cut down a lot. Partly it's the kids being busy, but working mothers and divorces do affect this a lot. Marit Hedstrom, 15, Hopkins, Minn.
My dad is always trying to help me decide. It's like, ''Dad, will you allow me to make some of my decisions?'' You have to make some decisions on your own. Student, North Junior High, Hopkins, Minn.
Ever notice how your age varies? Kids do it and parents do it. Depending on what the situation is, you're either almost 18, or you're 2. Sean Brown, 15, Golden Valley, Minn.
Parents don't take kids seriously enough on problems with people of the opposite sex. If your boyfriend breaks up with you, your parents don't think it's that big a deal, but to you it really is. 9th grader, West Junior High, Hopkins, Minn.
When you're in grade school your parents say, ''Grow up.'' Then when you're in high school they say, ''You're getting too big for your britches.''
People my age still have a lot to learn. You can guide them, but you'll get more response out of them if you guide, not push. Skip Messbarger, 18, Rockford, Ill.
My parents want to do stuff for me, but I'd rather do stuff by myself. Then I can be more proud of myself, because I can say I did it, and not them. Kerri Wirkkula, 14, Hopkins, Minn.
I don't think grounding ever really does anything. When I'm a parent, I'll probably just talk to my kids. When I was grounded, I just got mad - I didn't really learn anything. If they sit you down and they talk to you, sometimes you won't listen. But after they're done talking to you and you're by yourself and you think about it, you think, ''Well, maybe they're right.'' Talking can accomplish more than punishing, because kids can always get around punishing.
Sometimes your parents are happy for you that you're getting more chances than they did. But sometimes they say, ''Well, we didn't get to do it, so I don't know why you should.''
My mom says, ''Marry a rich doctor.'' I say, ''Hey, I'll be a doctor myself and be rich myself. I don't have to go marry someone that's rich. I can do it myself.'' Mary Rainaldi, 15, Hopkins, Minn.
People tend to give up too easily - they aren't willing to push themselves a little bit. Probably parents have a lot to do with that. If they don't want to have a fight with their kids, they'll say, ''OK, do what you want,'' just so they don't have a fight. Student, West Junior High, Hopkins, Minn.