Wish I Could Tell My Parents…

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high school classroomSince time immemorial parents have pondered just what their teens may be thinking, so we did the tricky thing and asked them directly. You might think that would result in a total fail—the twist being that we offered them anonymity.

So, how’d we do it? We asked a creative writing class from a high school in Corvallis to respond to the prompt “What do you wish you could say to your parents?” The answers were not as predictable as we had anticipated. In fact, many were heartbreaking and brutally honest.

Here’s a sampling:
“I don’t joke about your alcoholism, so why do you joke about my eating disorder?”

“At this time in my life, I’m inundated with hormones, newfound responsibilities, and potentially life-altering decisions on a daily basis. Sometimes the frustration and fear I feel gets taken out on you and for that I apologize. I love you.”

“I love you—even when I act like I hate you.”

“There are many things with far more importance than school.”

“At my internship last summer I worked with an older man who constantly spoke of his recent divorce and got a little touch[y] with some of the college girls, caressing their hair and such. Although the issue was solved and he was reprimanded, I still long to broach the subject with my parents, but find it awkward to approach.”

“I wish I could tell my parents that I’m depressed instead of always saying, ‘I’m tired’ or ‘I don’t feel good.’”

“You keep climbing your own mountains while helping me climb mine. Thank you.”

“I might be in the stereotypical ‘rebellious teen’ phase, but I still need my parents’ advice. I want to tell them that I need more help.”

“I hate my last name because it came from my father. I am not a disappointment because I don’t believe in God. I am proud of my mother for being different than her family. I wouldn’t try to find my parents if there was an apocalypse.”

“You can’t just expect me to know what you’re thinking, or know what you want from me without telling me and when I don’t know yell and get mad at me. I can’t read minds!”

“I wish you would realize I am different from my siblings. Stop putting me in a box and let me be my own person.”

“Thank you!”

“Just tell me, the answer can’t be worse than not knowing.”

“I wish I could tell my parents how I really feel about politics and social issues instead of sitting quietly and listening to theirs.”

“You can trust me, so stop micromanaging. I can make my own decisions now.”

By Hannah Darling


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