Cake Boss: 5/18/12
What is too much freedom, and what is too little? A teenager’s freedom is a valuable thing. Levels of independence can make a teen or break one. Too much, and a teen is prone to making major mistakes because of inexperience and impulsive thinking. Too little, and a teenager will not know how to handle real life situations or be able to make decisions.
As a teen myself, I sometimes find it difficult to deal with a barrier on the freedom and independence I receive from my parents. When a parent limits a teenager’s freedom, determining for them what they can do and when, it is safe to say in most cases that argument will immediately ensue. This is what makes the period of teenage years dreaded by many parents. Although at many points in our lives we will find ourselves in our rooms, cursing our parents for the omnipresent chain that binds us to their rule making and governance, it is important to realize that this chain is more of a retractable leash, able to be let out or pulled in, based on the guidance of our guardians. Remember, our parents are there to ensure us a good future, not to suck the fun out of our lives.
As a newly–licensed driver, my current independence level has increased tenfold. With a car, I find myself asking for more and more freedom; inch by inch I see myself slipping away from the guidance of my parents. Sitting here now, I realize the importance of the healthy direction of my parents. As a teen’s freedom builds, so does the probability of making mistakes. Although it is important for adolescents to make mistakes because mistakes are learning moments, at one point major liberties may be taken that lead to making bad decisions. So make an effort to remember that the limitations set on your life are keeping you from making mistakes that might be made if you had total freedom.
Too little freedom is by far more frustrating and detrimental to an adolescent’s future. Coming from a small Jewish private school, Tehiyah Day School, I find myself to be an expert on being sheltered and lacking experience. Going to Berkeley High School after nine years at a small private school was a major jump, and it has made me realize that if I had maintained a similar understanding of the world as I had in my middle school years I would have been completely unprepared as an adult. The freedom and independence a teenager receives are extremely important because of the daily experience and absorption of life around you. Without them, forced and sudden understanding of society and how to function would leave an adult who was sheltered as a teen completely overwhelmed in the actual world.
Overall freedom is one of the most important components of any adolescent’s life. With just the right amount of independence and experience, knowledge of the world around you can be gleaned without making major mistakes. No matter how unfair it may seem, I encourage you all to realize that your parents are working for your future the next time they limit your freedom.