Tuesday, November 09, 2004

those wonderful teenage years.

i went to a play yesterday where i used to intern at (my supervisor hooked me up) and sitting next to me was this family (parents and two kids: one boy, one girl) which was a little odd b/c most people attending this show were anywhere from 40-65. the son was 17-ish, the daughter was 12-ish, and as i listened to their pre-show talk and intermission family discussions, i was pained to see something that troubles me so much nowadays: a parent trying to get to know their teenage son/daughter. now, when i say this i mean that it breaks my heart basically to see high schoolers basically ignore and scoff and roll their eyes at their parents' honest attempt to understand their lives. for instance:

"Who are you doing your senior project with?" mom asks.
"I don't know," son replies.
"When is it due?"
"Not sure."
"Didn't that girl Tracy say at church she'd want to help you out with it?"
"Well are you going to ask her?"
"I don't know."
"Well it's coming up right?"
"How long do you think it will take you?"
"I don't know mom!"

at this, the mom's face is overwelmed and frustrated to say the least. the dad looks over at her, disappointed...as the son slouches into "ignoring mode" and puts his hand up near his face to communicate nonverbally that "this conversation is over."

i've seen this happen a lot lately, and i don't know why it bugs me so much. i was like this to some extent in high school and so part of me wants to just talk to these kids and listen to their lives since they feel like their parents just "don't understand them." it's hardest i'm sure for the parents, who feel that their yesterday little 9-year-old beloved son is now the one person in the world who can't stand being around them. why this causes me such distress and makes me sit and think and try to understand what's going on here..i'll never know. are the parents just too controlling? overbearing? suffocating the kid? trying too hard to connect? not listening enough? i don't know. i know most parents mean well, but i also know that there still is a general generation gap that comes once one hits that certain age. i just wish i could understand it a little better...and i'm sure most parents do too.

1 comment:

Chalupa said...

I've been meaning to say something for a while but am just getting around to it. I totally know what you mean by this one. I don't think I did it all the time, but I definately acted that way sometimes back in my "younger" years. It was usually with my dad though who I've had "respect" problems with. That doesn't make it any more right though.