My parents are completely ridiculous

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I’m 15 and I have family issues. My Mom said she’s gonna call a psychiatrist on me and make me stay the night in a mental hospital or something. She wants me to change schools too and go to a Christian school.
This is completely ridiculous because:
A) I’m a nice person. They call me a mean person all the time and it just lowers my self esteem. I know I’m a nice person because I care more about other people than I do myself. I wanna adopt kids from Africa, my friends and I never ever ever get into arguments, nobody at school has anything against me, I help people (like if someone drops their books in the hallway I’ll help them pick them up and or if some girl is in wheelchair I’ll hold her lunch tray or pick something up that she drops or help someone with a question and give advice to people I don’t even know). Just stuff like that. They just think I’m a mean person because I don’t act all hyper and happy and friendly around them like I am when I’m with my friends. It isn’t my fault if I don’t wanna talk about boys and music (that they don’t even know) to them. That’s just stuff I do with my friends. That’s what friends are for.
B) They say I isolate myself. Everyone needs some private time just to themselves, right? I don’t see the problem with that. It’s not like I’m doing anything wrong. And yeah I’ll admit I don’t enjoy being in the same room with them because they always find something to argue with me about.
C) Sending me to another school is flat out dumb. I love my school and I love the people there. She wants me to change because too many pregnant girls are there and too many kids who do weed are there. I mean EVERY school is gonna be like that. Christian school or not- there will always be bad people everywhere and I think a normal public school would be good for me. If she doesn’t believe me she can get me drug tested. I told her that and that STILL isn’t enough to convince her. She’s impossible to please.
D) I got a cell phone about 6 months ago and they think that’s changing me. A cell phone can’t change somebody. I think I’m at the age where I’m finding out who I am and stuff and it’s just a coincidence I just got a phone at the same time.
E) They think I’m getting too serious with my boyfriend and that he’s causing a problem when I’ve only been going out with him for 3 months and they’ve said numerous time this has been going on for 6 months.
F) They’re also saying that me being a vegetarian is wrong. That’s a personal descision and they just have to learn to accept it like accepting somebody’s religion.

They’re both Christians and so am I, I have a relationship with God and all that jazz but she says that the Bible talks about eating animals. It also says don’t kill anything. The Bible says you need to take care of your body so if I don’t get all the protein I need then I’m sinning or something. I’m skinny. So I don’t see why I need to have the exact amounts of fat and protein everyday.

G) She says I need to bring more people to church. I bring two of my friends to church every week. What more can she ask for? Like no on else will fit in the car! And you can’t MAKE someone go to church with you. It’s their choice.

Do I have a problem? Do I need a psychiatrist? Or are my parents just overreacting?

A: You sound like a sensible, caring teen who any parent would be proud of. So — either you aren’t seeing and sharing the whole story – or your folks have never parented a teen before and don’t know what to expect. If you are on the level, then my guess is that your parents are terrified because of all the negative things they’ve heard about the teen years. In their efforts to protect you and themselves, they are going overboard. Let’s give them credit for how much they care.

Your best friends in this situation might be your school guidance counselor and the psychiatrist your mom wants you to see. Share your letter with the counselor and see if perhaps she or he can meet with your parents to reassure them that you are a normal kid behaving in normal ways around her family. If that doesn’t do it, go ahead and see a psychiatrist. If all is as you say, the doctor will most likely support you and will tell your folks that you are all going through a normal stage.

BTW: The doctor is also liable to tell your parents that there are lots and lots of parents who would be enormously grateful if they were only arguing with their kids about how much meat they eat. (And yes, you do need protein but research the web for ways you can get what you need in the vegetable world, ok?)

You all sound to me like good people. Your parents are doing their best. You are too. I hope you can find another adult who can give all of you some support so that your folks can relax and you can go about the business of growing up.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 4 Jun 2009

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2009). My parents are completely ridiculous. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/06/04/2830/