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Terra's Past Letters


"I hate that I can't go anywhere without my parents."

Hey Terra,

My parents won't let me do a lot of stuff other kids in my grade do. I'm 13 and not allowed to go anywhere (almost) without them, which effects my bf and our relationship. I already told him that I can't date until high school. He understands, but I don't want to tell him I can't go anywhere without my parents! Besides, even if does understand, it would make me uncomfortable to have my parents following me, him and my friends around like we were 6 years old.

Old Enough


Dear Old Enough,

I understand that it's embarrassing and frustrating for you to have your parents set these limits for you. As a 13 year old, it's normal for you to want more independence than you had when you were 6. And you probably do get to do more things than you did when you were 6. But I hear you saying that you want more independence than you have to come and go freely.

Your parents love you. And one way they show their love is by trying to keep you safe and protected. That's an important part of their job as parents even though you may not always like the restrictions. Another part of their job is to prepare you for being out in the world on your own someday. That requires increasing the opportunities for you to make good choices and to show them that you have been paying attention to everything they've been teaching you for the past 13 years.

If you talk to them (calmly and respectfully) about how you feel, there may be some room for compromise. Make sure that you are honest with them and very specific about what you'd like permission to do. Perhaps they will give you more independence under certain circumstances... If that happens and you have a chance to spend some time with your bf, make sure you FOLLOW THEIR RULES. Be where you say you're going. Call to check in when you say you will. Be home when they say to be home. That way you can show them that you are becoming more mature and more responsible.

If they are unwilling to compromise, and continue to say "no dating until high school," then that's the way it's going to be. Your parents make the rules in your family.

I hope you are honest with your bf. Tell him the truth. It will be a whole lot better than making up lame excuses for why you can't do certain things. Also, a healthy relationship (the only kind worth having) must have honesty, trust, and respect.

I hope this helps.

In friendship,


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