Was talking with D about the idea of taboo and rebellion, particularly in teenagers. Also about parenting styles and choices, and the idea of not being too stricts or making things taboo so your kids won't rebel too badly...
Dave never put himself in harms way to spite his parents, neither did I, and yet we both had very strict parents.
I did get pregnant at 16 years of age, not to spite my parents, rather in the search of love and affection. I started smoking at 12, not to spite my parents, but because I thought the other kids looked cool smoking. I binge drank at 19, at which time I was legally an adult. And I smoked pot for a month when I was 22, because I lived in share accommodation with other pot smokers and I want to do the social thing. In the end, I moved out after 4 weeks because smoking pot all day seemed like a really stupid thing to do...
Dave's teenhood and young adulthood was even tamer than mine.
And yet, I keep hearing, "If you make it taboo, they'll be more likely to rebel". I just don't know if that holds water.
My friends who grew up in households where they were allowed to drink alcohol with dinner from childhood ended up binge drinking more and much younger than I did, so how did introducing them early and casually at home work as a preventative there?
My friends who were allowed to hang out at the mall, or go to parties on the weekend (which I wasn't allowed to do), did more drugs and from a much younger age than I did.
Maybe rebellion is genetic?
Maybe that means because I wasn't particularly rebellious and Dave wasn't particularly rebellious, then our kids aren't likely to be particularly rebellious?
I don't know.
Maybe, it's got to do with consistently. A rule was a rule was a rule in our house, and same with Dave's. There wasn't any negotiation, but the very firm boundary. Our parents were the parents and we were the kids. There was no pretense of peer oriented friendship. My parents didn't care if we thought it was unfair, and neither did Dave's parents.
That said, when we were adults, we truly were adults. We provided for ourselves, we moved out of home. We became autonomous. Both Dave's parents (who always lived in one house from when he was 11 and who were happily married for 57 years) and my parents (who moved house with use dozens of times and were accrimoniously divorced after 13 years), were there for us as adults when we needed a place to live while getting back on our feet after a difficult patch, but we were also expected to GET BACK ON OUR FEET and become self-sufficient again.
I guess I'm thinking, when we were children, we KNEW we were the children, and then when we grew up we KNEW we'd grown up... So, maybe we never needed to show prove to our parents that they weren't the boss of us???
And we never put ourselves in harm's way to spite them, because we understood that when they made rules or choices we didn't like, not only were they non-negotiable, but they were to keep us safe.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
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