Grounded for life?

OK, so you to­tally messed up and now your par­ents are ru­in­ing your life to pun­ish you. Teen well­ness ex­pert Kim Smith tells you how to get them to get over it.

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Get the ’rents back on side

QUES­TION

I got caught wag­ging school and my par­ents have grounded me and are barely even talk­ing to me. I know it was wrong, but they have over­re­acted com­pared to my friend’s par­ents. How do I get them to see that they are over­re­act­ing and stop be­ing mad at me? – Abi­gail, 15.

Kim says:

This is a tough one. They are up­set be­cause they care about you and the de­ci­sions you make (as much as you don’t want to hear this). I know it’s easy to com­pare your par­ents to your friend’s par­ents, but in the end, this will only make it harder for you. In this sit­u­a­tion, you are best to ac­cept that your par­ents have your best in­ter­est at heart and love you… AKA will care if you make a not-so-good de­ci­sion. The way out of this one? Make up for it. Tell your par­ents you un­der­stand why they are up­set. Let them know you re­alise you did the wrong thing, and find a way to help them build trust in you again. Get ready for scrab­ble and fam­ily movie nights – it’s time to lay low for a while!

QUES­TION

I’m 16 and I have a boyfriend, but my par­ents have al­ways been re­ally strict about dat­ing. They re­cently found out about my boyfriend and have banned me from see­ing him. How do I make them let me? – Emily, 16.

Kim says:

Par­ents and boyfriends are tough, es­pe­cially for your first se­ri­ous boyfriend. You will need to show your par­ents they can trust him (and you). You will need to take this slow. Try to find a way to bring your par­ents and boyfriend to­gether. This might take some time and lots of pa­tience, but try ask­ing your par­ents if you can bring your boyfriend over to the house one day to meet them. Or if your fam­ily is go­ing out to an event or day out, ask if he can come. This might be a lot of pres­sure on your boyfriend, but it will be one of the only ways your par­ents will be­come more com­fort­able with him. At the end of the day they will even­tu­ally ac­cept you are grow­ing up – be pa­tient and try not to get frus­trated or an­gry at them, they are do­ing their job and just want the best for you.

QUES­TION

I got caught sneak­ing out to go to a party I wasn’t al­lowed to go to. My mum is be­ing so dra­matic about it and I’m in so much trou­ble. How do I get out of it? – Makayla, 16.

Kim says:

It’s go­ing to take your mum some time to get over this one. Un­for­tu­nately, it’s bro­ken some trust be­tween you two and she’s prob­a­bly feel­ing hurt that you’d go be­hind her back. The best way you can move on from this is to try and re­pair the dam­age that’s been done. Spend some qual­ity time to­gether. Your mum’s prob­a­bly feel­ing dis­con­nected from you, so it’s your job to re­mind her you’re still her lit­tle girl. When you start go­ing out to par­ties, the last thing you want to do is spend time with your mum – but it’s one of the best things you can do. The closer she feels to you, the more she’ll trust you (and for­give you!). Try booking in some mother-daugh­ter dates and give her a bit of love. Oh, and don’t sneak out again!

QUES­TION

Me and my friends got caught drink­ing and we’re un­der­age, I’m now grounded in­def­i­nitely and had my phone taken off me. How do I get my phone and life back? – Paige, 17.

Kim says:

This one is go­ing to take a while. A huge amount of trust has been bro­ken and your par­ents will be feel­ing a lot of hurt and dis­ap­point­ment. My best ad­vice for you is to spend a lot of time at home with your fam­ily – even if it’s the last thing you want to do. Your par­ents will be feel­ing like they’ve lost their lit­tle girl and they don’t know you. It’s time to do some re­pair work. Spend less time in your bed­room and more time with your fam­ily. It’s the only way to re­cover from this sit­u­a­tion. The sooner they feel closer to you again, the sooner they will move for­ward and put the past be­hind.

QUES­TION

I got re­ally bad grades in my end of year ex­ams and my par­ents are so an­gry about it. How do I get them to not be so mad at me? It’s re­ally stress­ing me out! – Ananya, 16.

Kim says:

In this sit­u­a­tion, the best thing to do is show your par­ents you have a plan of what you are go­ing to do mov­ing for­ward. Un­for­tu­nately, our par­ents worry about us, a lot! Some­times, their way of show­ing their worry is to get an­gry. This can be re­ally stress­ful, es­pe­cially if you’re al­ready feel­ing down be­cause of your re­sults. To fix this sit­u­a­tion, you’ll need to hold your head high and make a plan. Show your par­ents you’re dis­ap­pointed with your re­sults, let them know you know you need to make some big de­ci­sions and find a way to fix things. Be proac­tive and move for­ward with a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude. There are lots of op­por­tu­ni­ties wait­ing for you, and

I can guar­an­tee your par­ents will be im­pressed by your ini­tia­tive.

QUES­TION

When­ever my younger sis­ter and me fight, my par­ents al­ways take her side no mat­ter what. I al­ways end up the one in trou­ble and I’m sick of it. – Sa­van­nah, 14.

Kim says:

This hap­pens a lot and re­ally isn’t fair. Be­ing the old­est sis­ter has a lot of perks, but it also has a lot of down sides. Be­ing blamed for al­most ev­ery­thing is one of them! One of the best ways to get through this sit­u­a­tion is to keep your cool and not let your frus­tra­tion get the bet­ter of you. Try not to ar­gue or get an­gry with your par­ents, in­stead show them your ma­ture side. In a calm way, ex­plain to them you don’t feel they are be­ing fair. Talk to them about how you are feel­ing at a good time, like af­ter din­ner. Talk with them when your sis­ter is not around so she doesn’t stir you. If your par­ents see your ap­proach and hear how you’re feel­ing, they will likely think next time be­fore blam­ing you.

QUES­TION

My par­ents think that my friends are a bad in­flu­ence be­cause a cou­ple of them have been in trou­ble at school. I’ve never been in trou­ble, but they’ve said I’m not al­lowed to hang out with them. I don’t have other friends and I like the friends I have. It’s not fair – I’ve never done any­thing wrong, so I don’t un­der­stand why I’m be­ing pun­ished? – Monique, 13.

Kim says:

You’re right to feel the way you’re feel­ing. It can be re­ally frus­trat­ing and un­fair when par­ents judge us by the things our friends do. Your par­ents are try­ing to pro­tect you, but there are bet­ter ways to go about it. Th­ese friends sound very im­por­tant to you, so it would be a huge loss to be banned from see­ing them. I would rec­om­mend try­ing to get your friends and par­ents to­gether. If your par­ents spend time with your friends, and your friends make an ef­fort for your par­ents (be­cause you are im­por­tant to them), you should be able to find a way to make it work. It might take time, but it’s im­por­tant to take baby steps. Try not to get frus­trated with your par­ents, and find ways to show them you make good de­ci­sions.

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