Essay on Relationships Between Parent and Children
Once children reach adolescence, they often feel the need to rebel against their parents to gain independence, and to figure out who they are as a person. However, this is not always a healthy way to grow up. When teens find their parents to be excessively strict, they might disobey their parents’ rules, and disregarding rules could become a habit to them. If those rebellious teens become accustomed to breaking rules, it could have dangerous consequences for them in the future, jeopardizing the well-being of their lives. Rebellion in teenagers against parents is not healthy nor is it necessary to develop, due to its dangerous aspects, its ability to disconnect parents with their children, and because it is easier to grow up to be an adult with an open parent and teen relationship.
Rebellion in teens may seem harmless at first, but as it progresses without a solution, it becomes more and more dangerous, from suffering depression to even jail. Many teens rebel against their parents in order to fit in at school, and the “unbelievable pressure” without “solid advice from their parents” has lead to many problems of depression, such as the 14-year-old named Katie. When teens rebel against their parent’s rules, like Katie did to be able to wear “skimpy” outfits, any pressure they feel cannot be consoled by their parents for the fear of backlash, and that can lead to serious mental health issues (Peters). Having to keep in all of your problems stemming from rebelling against your parent’s rules can create unbearable pressure.
Another major downside to rebellion, when it comes to danger, is the fact that as teens continue to rebel, they start feeling increasingly more comfortable performing dangerous activities. According to a survey on the San Mateo Union High School district, 13 percent of freshmen did drugs or alcohol, which grew to 35 percent for seniors, which can be partially explained by teenagers doing these activities as an act of rebellion (Healthy Kids). Although there are other reasons why these teens may have started drugs or alcohol, the fact that continuous rebellion can cause serious consequences later still remains. Being comfortable breaking rules can eventually make breaking laws seem comfortable as well. In addition to rebellion having physically dangerous consequences, it can have emotionally dangerous ones too.
Despite rebellion seeming harmless, or even normal at first, the longer it continues the more disconnected teens will be from their parents, making for an unhealthy relationship. Any advice a parent might give to that rebellious child will most likely be brushed off, because the child starts to not trust their parent’s judgement anymore. An example of this is shown in a comic, where a high schooler wouldn’t even take advice from his own mother about what outfit to wear to prom (Zits [Scott and Borgman]). When rebellious behavior comes to a point where the teen won’t even take simple advice from their own parents, it would become very difficult to build back the bond they have lost. Furthermore, an example is displayed in Romeo and Juliet, where Juliet rebelled against her parents by refusing their advice for her to marry someone other than Romeo.
This seemingly simple act of rebellion caused her to be temporarily disowned by her father, and eventually got herself and Romeo killed (Shakespeare). Also, according to Carl Pickhardt, when rebellious behavior continues in teens into “late adolescence,” parents develop a “loss of closeness and compatibility with their son or daughter that they have enjoyed for so many years” (Pickhardt). When this rebellious behavior isn’t acknowledged and dealt with, a permanent disconnection between parents and their children can be formed. However, some may still argue that letting teens rebel allows them freedom and independence.
According to these people, tolerating the rebellions of teenagers is a necessary process to allow them independence, and also a chance for them to figure out who they are as an individual. Rebellion, when it comes to younger teens, is “primarily a process through which the young person rejects the old child identity that he or she now wants to shed to clear the way for more grown up redefinition ahead” (Pickhardt). This argument may be partially true, although it fails to assess the negative aspects of rebellion, and also alternatives for teenagers to gain independence and develop to be an adult. The optimal situation would involve an open parent and teen relationship, where the teen shifts from “acting out to talking out,” and doesn’t need to break rules in order to mature (Pickhardt). If teens can discuss their issues with their parents instead of immediately rebelling, then a healthier relationship can be established. Numerous activities can be substituted for rebellion, to soothe a teenager’s growing need for independence and allow them to develop their own identity, including volunteer positions, or even jobs. Above all, teenagers and parents should strive to be open with each other, eliminating the need for any rebellion.
Because of the dangerous aspects of rebellion, its ability to destroy parent and teen relationships, and because of the alternatives for teens to grow up and develop to become an adult, rebellion should not be considered a necessary, or even healthy part of anyone’s life. Teenagers need to be able to talk about their problems with their parents, and those parents should try to listen, for an open, non-rebellious relationship to occur. Parents should attempt to understand their teen’s perspective, and find common ground, to avoid conflict while the teen grows to be an adult.