Teenagers and Privacy

Question: Dear Luise: What do you think about the generation gap between teenagers and parents? Teenagers keep yelling, “I want my privacy” and parents keep yelling, “it’s for your own good.” I am a university student and doing my final year project. The school has asked us to study on a social issue. After the study, I have to offer a solution to the problem. My topic is “privacy”… but it seems that the privacy issue between parents and teenagers is a forever debate. I truly understand that teenagers are rebellious at a certain age and it’s hard for parents not to “control” them; as they don’t feel at ease. Can I really solve this problem? I don’t think so. Can I change parents or teenager’s perceptions over this issue? I don’t think so. If teenagers understood that their parents just loved them, it would stop them from losing their tempers. If parents understand about “room to grow”, they couldn’t really let go more easily. What do you think? What is your opinion over this issue? Y.

Answer: Dear Y.: I think letting go of teenagers is tricky. It needs to happen, so they can learn to make wise decisions but if it is done too soon…the privacy that is being sought by them can become a danger. On the other hand, it can be hard for parents to teach caution without instilling fear or activating rebellion. Allowing privacy often means the parents no longer know what is going on and from that place, being a good parent is difficult. Mutual understanding and respect can help a lot in negotiating these issues, especially if it’s formed all through childhood and is firmly in place before the angst begins. Blessings, Luise

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