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Old 03-13-2013, 09:23 AM   #46
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wow, 14yr old me would not have been able to tackle the question of what was best! While I was a good student with high aspirations/expectations I certainly was boy crazy and fun-seeking!
We used to go to bars in Canada with fake ids! Really, crossed the border with nothing but fake ids! (oh sorry, that might have been 15yr old me!) No way would I trust that girl to know what's best!

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Old 03-13-2013, 09:36 AM   #47
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It's funny - some of the goals I set for myself when I was 14 actually materialized. I married my then-boyfriend, I earned the degrees I planned to earn, and I am a happier and better person for it.

But when I was 14 (and what I see in my almost 14 year old daughter), I viewed the world in black and white and from a very myopic standpoint. There is no way I knew what was best for me because I could not conceive of all the considerations which would go into making the best decisions for myself, and I did not consider what my decisions might mean for others.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:37 AM   #48
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Oops, wrong thread!

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Old 03-13-2013, 09:50 AM   #49
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I think this thread is a bit of a red herring from the issue that it purports to be a spin off of

I didn't see anyone there saying that parents should let 14 year olds make all their own decisions. I DID see a lot of people saying that the personality, strengths, goals, etc of the 14 year old (and, yes, to some extent their own desires) should be taken into consideration when deciding these things.

The more appropriate question, based on the boarding school thread, would be:

Would you parents have been able to make good decisions about all of the things listed in the OP for you as a teen based on what they knew of you when you were 15 months old? Or (on the case of caradana's future son) even before conception?

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Old 03-13-2013, 10:01 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by surfgirl View Post
This part struck me an interesting:

I'd be upset if my kids DIDN'T make valedictorian for a kid who "barely handed in homework". Sounds like for as much as you pulled yourself up by the bootstraps, you also were handed some breaks (lack of homework) and some opportunities. Little easier to preach from that high horse.
I missed this post from caradana before you posted it:

"So why might I have that flaw in my character? And why do I feel so strongly about helping my kids pay for college? Because I DIDN'T have that financial support behind me. I worked 20 HPW at a tanning salon through high school to help pay the rent for my single-parent family after my father went to jail, child support stopped and the house got foreclosed. I would literally go to school 7-3, sports practice 3-5:30, musical rehearsals 5:30-7, tanning salon 7-11, whatever studying I could manage 11-1, sleep, up at 6, lather rinse repeat. My teachers knew what I was doing and kindly turned a blind eye to the fact that I barely handled in homework. I do not think this was a character-building experience. I think the only thing that got me through it was knowing that if I could make it to June of senior year and graduate as valedictorian, going to college for free was going to happen for me."

Dana, I have to say that you are a much more forgiving person than I am. I admire that about you. Personally, I could understand the parent of a bright and capable young teen insisting they go to a "better" school on scholarship against their wishes (I am not sure i would do it, but I can understand the motivation) and I can understand insisting that a teen work and hand over that paycheck to help support the family when incomes are very low. That is 60 hours a week before you add in studying or homework or helping around the house or whatnot. Reasonable. I cannot understand then forcing that same child to spend another 5 hours per day (25 hours a week) on extra curricular activities on top of the work and strenuous schooling.

That would break a lot of kids, and even though I think I would have been able to handle it (based on my having had school, work, and a lot of hours in theatre and not having found it a at all stressful--though I went to just a normal public school,) I think I would resent any parent who forced that on me. Instead, you buy your mom a house. That is pretty cool.

(I would also be pretty upset and having been forced to work an hour a day more than legal for 14-15 year olds during the school year. Those laws have been around at least since I was a teen, and i think I am older than Dana. I would be okay with helping out--but that goes too far IMO).

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Old 03-13-2013, 12:14 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by NHdisneylover View Post
I think this thread is a bit of a red herring from the issue that it purports to be a spin off of
Didn't realize there was another thread, but now that you mention it, I can only imagine the discourse going on.

In answer to the question -- I think I knew what was best for me. My parents apparently had no clue. Today I cringe when I think about my mother's parenting skills. Without going into details, I don't think her negative messages were the best way to go. My father checked out of the marriage when I was about 11 (and yet they remained married for another 30 years. Go figure).

I don't know if I'd trust a 14 year old to make an irreversible decision that would effect the rest of his or her life, but in the grand scheme of things, a little latitude wouldn't hurt.

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Old 03-13-2013, 12:21 PM   #52
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I was definitely handed big breaks on the homework. So long as I was acing the tests, they pretty much let me do my thing. Big blessing. In retrospect, think my principal probably intervened on my behalf and never said anything to me about it. I also remember it wasn't really clear among all students who was handing in what. We just dropped homework into baskets in the morning, before classes --

Fergie, you strike me as a very resilient woman, having dealt with that kind of family situation. I think you have a very balanced view as a result!

Hadley, thanks. I don't want to hijack the responses here, which I actually find amazingly diverse and interesting! LOTS of variation among our 14-year-old selves, all along the continuum. But I'd be happy to continue a conversation with you about my adolescence if you like over DM? Or email? Message me.
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:57 PM   #53
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I turned 14 on April 8, 1959. The world was very different. I was extremely naive and innocent.

I was responsible for my sister who was 11 years younger than me because my mother was 40 when she was born and didn't want her. (She has no memories of our mother until I got married and left home--I am sure that Mother cared for her while I was at school, but she doesn't remember.)

I also babysat a lot for neighbors and their friends. I made excellent grades and the public high school was the only one available to me.

I didn't play sports as the doctor had forbidden gym and sports when I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, Scoliosis and Lordosis when I was 12.

I was only allowed to date to school or church affairs....and either my parents or his parents had to drive us. I was asked to all of them....but I'll never understand why since I couldn't do all the other fun stuff the other kids did. I was finally allowed to date a guy that my father knew really well when I was in the last half of my junior year.

I don't know if I knew better than my parents what was good for me....I do know that my mother said later that if she had me last instead of first, she would have appreciated me more! However, if she had me last, she wouldn't have wanted me and that may have changed my behavior!
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:36 PM   #54
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My parents kept getting in the way of my dreams. I wanted to do sport A, they stopped it by putting up roadblocks. I excelled in school and knew I was going to college. More roadblocks and they prevented me fromgoingto the best acedemic college for me.

In hindsight, I wish I had emancipated myself as a teen and then I could have written my own ticket.

I was the "accident" and I was always treated that way.
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