I’m not going to ruin that trust my parents have
LILY Heath, Gaby Caldwell and Ebony Carrero are your typical teenagers. But unlike the stereotype, they are not looking for opportunities to misbehave.
The Port Macquarie girls say teens often get a bad rap. But it’s the bad few who give the rest of them a bad name. While the girls say they have seen teens acting out, particularly when it comes to alcohol and partying, they know better than to risk their parents’ wrath by doing the wrong thing.
“I went through a stage where I wanted to go to parties and things like that and I talked to my parents and they set some ground rules,” Heath, 15, says. “It was things like agreeing I wouldn’t drink alcohol even if it was around, that I wouldn’t get in a car with a P-plate driver, that I wouldn’t go off alone and that they would drop me off and pick me up.
“It’s all about trust, at first they had to learn to trust that me and my friends would do the right thing and follow their rules, and then I earned their trust.”
Heath says by showing her parents she is capable of doing the right thing, she was able to gain added flexibility and greater freedom.
“I’m not going to ruin that trust my parents have in me because then it makes things hard for me,” she says.
Caldwell, also 15, says she understands her parents will sometimes stop her going to a party because they want her to be safe. But she admits it can be frustrating.
“I know the thing my parents worry about the most is that I’ll fall in with the wrong crowd,” she says, “but they know my friends and they like them.
“It can be frustrating that they sometimes still treat me like a little kid even though I don’t feel like a little kid any more. But then at school the teachers expect us to accept more responsibility.”
Caldwell says having an older sister she can go to when she needs advice on any issue has been invaluable. “My older sister helps me out a lot and gives me advice on what to do in certain situations,” she says. “It’s much easier going to her sometimes than my parents, so I feel I’m lucky I have her.”