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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Seohyun Offline
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Smile I'm 16 and my parents won't let me hang out with friends on my own? - September 4th 2015, 04:48 AM

I'm a gamer, so it's quite rare for me to want to hang out with friends, but when I do want to, such as go to the park with a friend(s) or an event such as an anime convention (which i find even more ridiculous as you have to pay to get in, with a huge group of friends, it's held inside, with security around, and they still think i'm bound to be kidnapped), my parents will not allow me to go by myself. I'm female and they tell me that because "i'm attractive" I will get kidnapped and raped if I go without a family member. I am also the youngest in my family. My brother and father get extremely mad when I tell them that they're being ridiculous for trying to keep me so overprotected. I can't enjoy any event with a parent or my older brother constantly at my side. It's so embarrassing going somewhere with a group of friends (who are the same age as me) and me being the only one having a parent/brother with me. Not only does it make me uncomfortable, but it makes the people I hang out with uncomfortable as if my dad goes with me, he tends to judge them behind their backs. My dad is so overprotective he once told me "if i could keep you in a cage to keep you safe from these sick people in the world, i would" which is WAY too overprotective in my opinion. I don't know how to convince them to let me hang out with my friends without constant supervision. To them, they see me as some "weak female/kidnap material." My dad didn't have the best childhood and due to his paranoia he thinks keeping me extremely overprotected will stop me from being in harms way. No one has ever been kidnapped in our family either, he and my mother just love watching shows that feature those kind of things so he can become more paranoid and treat me like I'm 5 and follow me everywhere I go. They make events that I was getting excited for become "I don't even want to go anymore" with this overprotective crap. Whenever I try talking to my dad about it he goes about saying "I get it, you hate me, when you're 18 you don't have to live here anymore" even though all I asked was for some freedom to hang out with friend in peace. They also give me other excuses such as "I don't know/never met your friend(s)" even though they have met them and know them. I don't know what to do. I need help here.

other info~ my mom works swing shift, so during school it's pretty much just me and my brother and father
~i don't sneak out, do drugs, drink, smoke, none of that and nor do my parents do that
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Re: I'm 16 and my parents won't let me hang out with friends on my own? - September 4th 2015, 07:49 PM

Do you think that any sort of compromise could be made? I think you should have a meeting with both of your parents, but this time not only tell them how you feel, but also try and compromise. For example, maybe you can reach an agreement where you have to call and check in with them every so often, or that they have to drop you off and pick you up. Or maybe they will agree if they see who you are with first and watch you go in?

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Re: I'm 16 and my parents won't let me hang out with friends on my own? - September 4th 2015, 09:43 PM

Hey there!

Honestly, I can very much understand how deeply frustrating and upsetting this is for you. I can also see how it would make any events you were once excited for a lot less exciting and just simply making you stop looking forward to it as much. The reality is, the world is dangerous and your parents are probably just trying to protect you in the best way they know how. Which is a misguided way due to your father's less-than-perfect childhood and the fact that they tend to become more paranoid by watching TV shows centered around the subjects that scare them so much.

Despite all of that, I do very much believe your family does love you and are just protecting you and probably don't see just how much this affects your enjoyment and happiness over spending time with your friends and attending events. I can appreciate and admire your parent's love for you and the fact they just want to keep you safe, but being with a group of friends (as long as they're observant and responsible) is a good way to stay safe in public.

Perhaps you could sit down with them when they are in a fairly good mood and things are calm around the household? They seem to be misunderstanding your point since your dad mentions he knows you "hate him" when that definitely doesn't seem to be the case. So it would be best to have a respectful, polite heart to heart with them about your feelings, how their ways are affecting you, reassure them and allow them to also voice their concerns about why they do what they do.

Let them know you don't hate them, you love them but you're just really frustrated. Explain how you understand in a way how they would be worried for you but that their ways affect your enjoyment during events and impacting gaining general independence, reassure them that you stay with your friends in a group (if you truthfully do stay with them) and ask them if there are any compromises or ways you could enjoy events with your friends and also make them feel okay about it. Dez has some good ideas about compromises. If you don't have a phone, perhaps you could ask them about getting you a phone for that specific purpose or maybe you could borrow your mom or dad's cell just when you go places with friends, and you could call and check in every once in awhile? You could also ask your mom first then invite your friends over for dinner so your parents can get to know them better.

Talking to your parents in a respectful, understanding tone and acknowledging their reasons behind their ways while sharing how it's making you feel is the best way to get through to them while maintaining a close, good relationship with them. Showing that you'd be more than happy to compromise rather than going against their wishes is something they would appreciate I think.

I hope you and your parents can come to a solution and compromise that both you and your parents are happy with. Best of luck and let us know how things go for you.
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Re: I'm 16 and my parents won't let me hang out with friends on my own? - September 4th 2015, 11:25 PM

I can understand. You wouldn't believe how much I understand you. My mother thinks that she knows what's best for me all the time but I just can't connect with her. I'm not allowed to say that I'm going to a football game without her overreacting because I said it like I was entitled to it. It's like parents have their kids in this cage. The door is always locked but it seems like other kids parents let their kids do what they want and the unfortunate people like us are forced to endure the anger and humiliation our parents cause us socially. Parents think they are doings what's best for us, but in reality could be pushing us to the brink. I know that I feel the urge to pick fights with my mom on a regular basis. This happens when she wont let me do things that every other kid I know is allowed to do.
I'm not going to say any bullshit advice like "try to see your parents view point" because I know from personal experience that it doesn't work like that. All you can see is red. You aren't alone in this. The best advice I can give you is to let it out somehow. You can kick a ball really hard or you can shout until you cry. Even confronting your parents with the raw and painful truth can be so freeing. Good luck kid.
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