Parents don’t understand — or do they?
March 4, 2003
“The early bird catches the worm.” “If all of your friends jumped off of a bridge, would you jump too?” “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.”
As a kid, I can say that I have heard expressions such as these over and over. I often wonder where my parents get this stuff. It seems like every parent was given a handbook full of sayings for every situation. Most kids wanting to learn and discover things for themselves disregard the maxims that their parents are constantly spouting.
I must admit that I have also fallen victim to this. Fortunately, I was recently forced to see the error of my ways. One thing that my parents have always told me is not to judge a book by its cover. I now know how right they are.
I am on the speech and debate team at my school. We recently had a tournament at Elko High School. None of us was looking forward to driving for hours into rural Nevada. We all had some preconceptions about this small town and the people who live in it. How could anyone who chose to live way out in Elko possibly be interesting? Why would anything exciting happen way out there? We were all expecting nothing more than a long drive that wouldn’t really be worth our while.
While we were in Elko, something happened to completely change our view. We met a woman named Sarah. At first glance she seemed to be just another average grandmother. My attitude was, anyone who chooses to live in a place so rural and isolated couldn’t know a great deal. Much to my surprise, Sarah turned out to be one of the most fascinating women I have ever met.
She was an artist, a teacher, a world traveler and so much more. I was amazed at how much I could learn from one person in such a short time. My preconceptions could have kept me from meeting an incredibly intriguing and enthralling person. My parents were actually right about not judging a book by its cover. I am now sure that there are all kinds of things to discover out there in places I never would have expected.
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It is unfortunate that I had to learn this valuable lesson the hard way. If my parents and I had been able to understand each other better, this might never have` happened. Kids today are too busy trying to learn things and discover things for themselves that they forget that their parents have already been through what they are going through. At the same time, parents tend to forget how it feels to be a kid. It’s hard to take advice from someone who is your elder and doesn’t seem to understand the trials and tribulations that life throws at you.
I have learned a valuable lesson that I would like to pass on. If you are a kid, don’t be so quick to disregard what your parents tell you. They know more than you think they do. If you are a parent, let children make some of their own mistakes. Try to remember what it was like to be a kid, and be understanding when they try to spread their wings.
Take it from me, being in high school is already stressful enough without having to worry about coming into conflict with my parents, and I’m sure it is stressful for them too. If we could just try to understand each other a little better, maybe my journey through high school would be a little smoother.
— Lorin Kline is a senior at Whittell High School.