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Teens speak frankly

March 19, 2002

These are responses to our "Speaking Frankly" column that appeared in our Tuesday, Feb. 26, issue of Next. We asked area teens if there is something their parents do that drives them crazy or irritates them. These are the top eight responses. In the Tuesday, March 26, edition of Next, we will announce the winner of the $50 prize.

We did not specify that entries must be signed, so some are anonymous.

I recently finished reading "Speaking Frankly: Parents just don't understand," and I can relate to it completely. I would love to have a dollar for everytime my mother asks me, "Where are you going?" or "When are you coming home?" It gets to the point where it drives you crazy. I mean I'm a straight "A" student who never gets in trouble, and she still doesn't trust me. I tell her I'm old enough to make my own decisions, but she just doesn't understand that I only want to hang out with my friends. She worries and just won't give up that control. And what's worse, when she can't give me the right answer to the questions I ask, she calls my grandmother and my grandmother gets on the phone with me and tells me to stop arguing with my mother, she knows best. It makes me feel guilty, so I end up not going out. It drives me CRAZY.

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She's never going to learn to trust me, or learn that I'm not her little boy anymore. I'm not sure what she'll do when I go to college in the fall at Towson U. where she won't be able to control my every moment or action. I think though I can understand why she does the things she does though. It's because she loves me. And in a way, I will miss that famous saying (Where are you going?) when I'm at college, but there comes a time in everyone's life when they must grow up, whether their parents want them to or not . . .

Jason Bachtell

Senior at North Hagerstown High

Although there are many choices to choose from, I would have to say that the most annoying thing that my father does is talking to everyone. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he has talked to many of you who are sitting there going, "Oh yeah, I met this guy."

He just has the tendency to start a conversation whenever and wherever. He'll stop people in the grocery store, converse with the person at a drive-through window or tollbooth, and cashiers at various stores. Now, this wouldn't bother me so much except he talks about things he doesn't know anything about. He starts the conversation and then, as it progresses, doesn't have a clue what he's talking about. That is if his "victim" doesn't snub him before he starts his babbling. I had to laugh when he tried to talk to the guy at a drive-through window at a McDonald's and the guy just shut the window and walked away. I guess it serves Dad right!

Allan Platou

Funkstown, Md.

The most irritating thing that my parents do would have to be when I do something in the house that they don't like they always say when I ask why I can't do something they say "cause this is my house." And when they do something that I have done they say "cause this is my house."

Casey

Hagerstown, Md.

I'd like to speak up for the parents of teenagers, after they have been picked on so much in the article in the Tuesday, Feb. 26 Lifestyle section. I am not a parent myself (I'm 16), but I figured that someone needs to point out that they are just doing their jobs. It is their job to take care of their children, and also to let their teens go when they become adults. If the parents go too far either way, trouble happens. It is a very delicate balancing act, but in many of the examples cited in the article, the parent is probably right.

For example: it is a parent's job to make sure their teens are prepared for life, and making a teen get good grades is ensuring that they will be equipped for their future jobs. Also, we teens do not always have the best judgment; and since parents have been teens themselves, they usually know what is best for their kids (even though we often disagree with them). Probably the best way for us to get our parents to agree with us is to calmly explain our "grievances" to them and explain our point of view.

A lot of parents will listen a lot better if we speak to them with respect, instead of assuming that we are right. Basically, we will have much more success if we prove that we are responsible and then let our parents see that we can handle controlling our own lives, instead of demanding control before we will be responsible. Oh yeah, about that imaginary brake thing: can you honestly say that since you started driving, you have never stomped on your own "imaginary brake" (or gas pedal) while your parents are driving? I thought so.

Josh Yeager,

Hagerstown

I wanted to give my opinion on your article

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