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Exposing The Things That Teenagers of My Day Hated About Their Parents

Updated on August 27, 2014

"Son, for stealing my car, you are grounded!"

A very wise man once said,

“There are only two forces in life that a man cannot control: Taxes and teenagers.” Somehow I agree with him, but as a note of clarification, my daughter was a normal teenage girl. She giggled, talked too much on the phone, changed fashion fad’s like a tree full of chameleons, dated, broke-up, fought with friends, and seemingly overnight, she was a young woman.

And in her somewhat “stormy” teenage years, not once did I or her mother, have to go to our local jail and bail her out for some crime she had committed, or hire an attorney to defend her in a major criminal case. I am way too guilty of not thanking her for being a normal girl.

"No more gambling with your friends!"

"I'm 13 and can do what I please, dad!"

Trust in teens is everything

One reason that I would love to take credit for my daughter doing as right as a parent can expect was the fact that I trusted her. The only rule I gave her was: Never tell me a lie. About anything. If you will simply tell me the truth no matter how bad the situation seems, in the long run, things will work better for you.

But some parents had trust-issues and couldn’t bring themselves to trust her teens no matter how good and well-behaved they were. For these teens, I can fully-relate. I know the feeling from my teen years of always “walking on glass,” for fear that my dad would pounce on me for some innocent mistake and seize my allotted weekend freedom.

And that too, happened a few times when his stringent rules were more than I could manage. I confess. I would just say, “To heck with this concentration camp. I am going to the movies with my friends.” There was, of course, a big verbal confrontation before I left—most of the time in front of my friends to shame me into buckling like a drunkard’s knees, but I never fought-back. I just said that I was only going to see a show at our local drive-in.

"I wish my parents would just grow up!"

"My" teenage years were comparable to the film, "The Great Escape"

Upon my return, my dad who worked hard six-days of each week, no matter how tired he was, would be sitting-up waiting for me to get home. Then as every time I acted like an adult, there was the inevitable stern look and sharp-toned verbal assault on me because I had come home at 11 p.m. I had to explain play-by-play, to the minute, where we were from 7:30 p.m. (when the film started) until 10:40 p.m. (when the film ended).

I tell you, “This got old quick.” Then I would either be “grounded,” for two weeks—although I had not went anywhere else but straight home, dad’s logic was I wasn’t home quick enough. Or my car privileges were revoked until he thought I could be trusted. But on this particular time I went with my buddies to the drive-in, I rode with my best friend in the world, Steve Sullins, Hamilton, who is still living here and like me, unable to work.

At this time in my life, I thought many times how rough I had it living with my parents. I couldn’t see anyone’s problems but mine. That was until I got my hands on a magazine of the modern generation. A publication that published insightful stories about music, singers, movies that I liked as well as publishing stories about people who were laboring to make my world more-peaceful. People such as brothers, John and Bobby Kennedy, John Lennon, and many more, but as much good as they tried to spread, they only met with persecution from the masses of older people, my dad included. So I just had to keep a grip on reality and walk lightly for the next few years.

"You just don't get me."

This mod-generation-based magazine printed a story of a cross-section of teens, my age or a year older, who confessed what they hated about their parents. Of course they didn’t use their real names for fear of severe punishment from their parents. The magazine had somehow, and with some magical-negotiations, convinced the teens that by confessing their hate about things their parents did . . .they, the heavy-laden teens, would suddenly feel better about themselves and life around them.

The following is just a small compiling of . . .

“What Teenagers of My Generation Hated About Their Parents”

It's Ludacris how some teens are treated by their parents

"Gahhh, ma! You are so not cool!"

"Talk to me. Not your text friends."

  • Electronically-eavesdropping on teenagers’ phone calls via secret wiretaps.
  • Planting electronic-“bugs” in their teenagers’ rooms in hopes to find them in cahoots with people of a bad influence.
  • Following, or “Tailing” the teenagers when they left home with friends or in the family car or a car of their own to find proof of youthful transgressions the parents could use against them when their punishment was dished-out.
  • Paying adults (whom the teenagers did not know) to “watch” what the teens did while out and out and report back to the parents.
  • Demanding the teenagers’ friends come inside the parents’ homes, sit and discuss what they were going to do (in detail) that night and the parents “acting” like they were cool and understanding.
  • Embarrassing the teenagers in front of their friends so their friends would go home. This was accomplished by turning the outside light on the house on and off several times. It would do what it was supposed to do: Embarrass the young people whose friends laughed at first, then felt pity for the teenage prisoners in their own homes. (Note: this one happened to me occasionally. Kenneth)
  • Telling the teenagers’ friends, the ones who did pay respect to the parents to ask them if their son or daughter could go get some dinner, “Afraid not. He has chores to do. Maybe sometime later,” was what my dad would say to any of my friends who would ask him if I could go get a burger with them. My mom suffered a lot of years to see her husband act as if he were working for The Third Reich and I was of a Jewish bloodline. (Note: one time this happened to me at 7:30 p.m., night time. I asked my dad when my friends he humiliated, had left, “What chores do I have to do?” “Don’t give me any back talk, or you will not see town for months,” he would bark and order me inside the house. And me 18 years old and had signed-up for the Draft. Ludacris, was the only thing I could think.)
  • Belittling or criticizing the teenagers’ choice of music. Sure it wasn’t their parents’ music. It was their music. And even if the songs did not instigate rioting, killing cops or taking drugs, they were still way below the parents’ standards. I know this too from experience.
  • Forcing the teenager to call the parents at strategic times when they “were” allowed to have a glimpse of a social life, to tell the parents where they were and what they were doing. Yes, this happened to me also.
  • If the teens were at home, and a friend were to call them, the mom or dad saying to the teen’s friend, “They are busy right now. I will tell them that you called.” This was courteous, but nothing but a lie. Many times the teens were sitting in the living room watching television or in their room listening to “wild” music.
  • Answering for the teenager who another friend had asked them to go somewhere with them. Dad: “I do not think ‘Charles,’ can join you. He and I are going camping on that night.” After the teen’s friend leaves, the son would look at his dad stunned and say, “You hate camping, dad.” Then get more punishment for being rebellious.
  • One of the teenagers’ parents, mostly their dad, inviting himself to go with the son and his buddies to see a movie. Yes, you are seeing a true atrocity enacted by a dad. Mine. To this day, I have yet to understand why he did this on a certain summer night when me and my friends, James and Glenn Childers, two of three brothers who lived near us, planned to see the debut of “The Love Bug,” and when my dad got into the front seat and I went to pick-up my friends, the look of “What the . . .” was written all-over their faces. And yes, I heard an earful the next week. My mother was also ashamed of his act. But I knew if I asked my dad in a discrete manner why he did this, I would get punished for being insolent.

And you who know me well (on HubPages) wonder at why I turned out like I did?

Did your parents treat you like any of the ways listed in this story?

See results

"Name all of your friends right now!"


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    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hey, teaches12345,

      Thanks for the nice comment. I had an older sister who must have been the ideal child, for when I was born, my parents were really tough on me--especially my dad. Even after I registered for the Draft.

      I just could not get out from underneath my sister's shadow. And yes, when I was a parent from 1976 until 2000, it was tough at times, but my daughter turned out okay. A little outspoken, but that is far better than a criminal record or a hurtful attitude toward others.

      Have a safe week, my dear friend.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      4 years ago

      My parents were strict with my older siblings but grew quite relaxed by the time I came around. They should have probably intervened more often with me on some areas. It is hard being a parent these days!

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      Oh, my stars, dear friend. 4:30 in winter? That is so sad. I am so sorry this happened to you. And like me you were not allowed to go anywhere? Again, so sad.

      But "we" are here now. That is something to be grateful for.

      Thank you so much for the comment.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dear lupine,

      Thank you so much, my dear friend, for your supportive comments. You have a great idea here in me helping others with this information. I will think about this so I sincerely thank you.

      I need you to send me YOUR email address that has an Attachment feature so I can email you a photo of me if that doesn't sound so egotistical.

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I just wasn't allowed to go anywhere. I had to be inside by the time it was dark, and as you know, during the winter that was 4:30.

    • lupine profile image


      4 years ago from Southern California (USA)

      Kenneth, Sorry for all your tough times. Teen years can be hard and parents may not know how to react. Raising your child in a more positive, loving, less-yelling way, could bring about a better relationship between parents and teens, and as they become adults. Your hub may help others going through this now. You are great as far as I'm concerned, my friend.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, dear sheilamyers,

      I loved your comment about "if" you and your brothers thought about doing something sneaky, by the time you got home, your mom was standing arms crossed and patting her foot--a dead give-away that you were busted.

      That sums it up best.

      I was never that trusted. I was given a "third degree," from my dad each time I arrived home, even the times I was early and NO hot lights burning over me. LOL.

      Happy Labor Day.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Dear abby,

      Thank you from my heart, for your sincere comment. I am sure that you did great with your children. And I pray that they never write a hub like this.

      And you are a wonderful, sensitive friend too. Thank you for stopping by and have a safe Labor Day.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dear Kiss and Tales,

      I agree with your thinking on this situation. Yes, the two examples are right. But the too-controlling example is what I had to face everyday of my teenage life.

      Even my friends were accused of everything from being a thief to a drunkard. My dad did not like ANY of my friends and my mother could never get him to tell her why.

      The other example, using God's wisdom and help, works, but not without that certain rebellious time all or most teens grow into and out of with time.

      Thanks for being such a great friend and follower.

      Happy Labor Day.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hey, Eric,

      What a wonderful comment. I wager that you are/were the ideal dad. And they do not know about drive-in's? What a great idea for a hub. Go for it, Eric. Thanks for the visit.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Sallybea,

      You are very astute in your analogy about my dad. And I can confirm that you are right. His dad WAS like this, probably worse when my dad was young, but even when my dad was told (through love0 by other adults to let-up on me, he would tell them he would, but when they were gone, he resorted back to his iron-fist raising of me.

      Do not get me wrong. I loved him and my mom. I hate it that they are gone from my life. I know they are with the Lord. I just wish I had been allowed to live.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Amen, vkwok!

      You are so true in your statement.

      I caught myself early-on trying to control my daughter when she was a teenager, then it hit me. This senseless stuff has to stop. And praise God, I opened my eyes.

      She turned out fine.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 

      4 years ago from Hawaii

      Teenage years are always the most messed up years.

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Dr Abby Campbell 

      4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I saw myself in your hub so many times, Ken. Thankfully, I knew not what to do with my children as they grew up. I never wanted my girls to feel the way I did. LOL. Have a wonderful weekend, my wonderful friend! :-)

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      My parents never did any of those things. Well, one was close. They never paid anyone to spy on me, but the way it was when I was growing up, every adult who knew me and/or my parents was an unpaid spy. Me and my brothers would do something thinking we were being sneaky. When we got home, mom would be standing on the front porch with her arms crossed and tapping her foot and we knew we'd been caught by someone.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Excellent. Parents at drive in movies was just dead wrong. Mine never did it and my four do not know what one is. Oh well.

    • Kiss andTales profile image

      Kiss andTales 

      4 years ago

      A another great hub on what does go on in families with children, sometimes I believe we have two examples , mostly all perants believe they are doing it right ,if it was right for them and they are decent it is right for mine, yet you have parents that it was not right for them and so they do totally the opposite of the way they were raised. And some times that causes an extreme reverse action ,like disaplenning ,some will and some will not, which can cause unwanted chain of events, perants only have their child for the most 20 -22 years for they are on their own ,there are rare case that they stay home longer, but what is the best way has veriations ,because humans are as different as a fingerprint , we can not class every human alike. But we can stand by the principles of right and wrong ,We can give them a find foundation of good morals, love, and responsibilities to one self and their environment of fellow humans.

      But as mention earlier I have seen two ways one with God one with out him, in family life, and what I see is like a baby with out a mother, lost and helpless crying for attention.

      People grow up in this stage also because they leave the greatest parent of the Universe out. And the try to ride life on their own and they crash many times not ever being happy the right way. So they fill their lives with material things ,and people relationship, that soon changes by age and unforeseen occurrences , The point is I have learned that we have a purpose and that we all are loved individually by the greatest parent of the Universe, we did not create this bound ,this bound was created when we came into this world. So how we make dicisions may effect our life course also how we raise our children in such a small time frame will show it own work, you are their first foundation. We have power in our hands to build on the future with our children ,I believe we can succeed doing it God's way that will lead to lasting happiness.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      4 years ago from Norfolk

      Perhaps your father was treated in much the same way or worse. I wonder if he needed to do be like that in order to feel in control. I don't envy anyone bringing up children in this day and age. It is a job so many people are ill equipped to do and yet so many people take on the task with little or no training at all.

      It makes you think.


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