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Why are parents so over-protective? I'm about to be 17, I can't do nothing, go anywhere. I barly have friends. I just want to get out and enjoy my teenage life. I know how to be careful. Help me, please.

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megan-bright eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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"Can't do anything, can't go anywhere, and barely have friends" is certainly no way to live your teenage years. As someone mentioned earlier, try discussing some of these issues with your parents. See if you all can come up with some guidelines and compromises. You are about to be an adult very soon, and it's great to have some preparation and independence as you go into the world.

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dano7744 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Some parents may tend to be over protective. As far as why yours are, why don't you ask them? As a parent myself, I can say that the world holds many dangers to children. I trust my children but I do not trust the world. Parents want to keep their kids safe, happy, and healthy.

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wannam eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Parents are often over protective without realizing it.  They just want to protect their children.  They might even want to keep their children from making some of the same mistakes that they did.  As a teen, I always thought my parents were way to over-protective.  In some ways they were, but in many ways they really weren't as crazy as I thought they were.  I'm actually grateful for the protection they offered and the trouble they kept me out of.  If you feel that your parents are being unreasonable, try talking to them calmly about it.  Share you thoughts and listen to theirs.  It might not change their minds but at least you will have shared how you feel and taken a chance that they will come your way a little.

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Mike Walter eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Parents seem overly protective because they can imagine all kinds of horrible things happening to their kids that the kids never consider to be possible. Most of the time those horrible things (drug use, pregnancy, kidnapping, getting hit by cars in the road, etc) don't happen, but every once in a while they do. It's that "every once in a while that parents can't forget about.

It's true that parents are often overprotective, but it's equally true that kids often don't have a realistic sense of their own mortality and the dangers that surround them everyday.

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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There's no way to answer this well because we don't really know what exactly your parents will let you do and won't let you do.  I suppose what you need to do is to think of specific things you want to do and talk to your parents about those.  That way, you guys can talk about something specific and you can give reasons why you should be able to do that.  That's better than having to say to them "you never let me do anything..."

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Lorna Stowers eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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As a parent of a teenage girl, I can see where you are coming from. The answer I always give my daughter refers to the fact that it is not that I do not trust her; instead, I have a hard time trusting other people (especially those I do not know).

My job, as a parent, is to insure that my children are raised right (according to our family's morals), have the things that they need (food, shelter, clothing), and know about making good choices in life.

Essentially, a parent's job is to insure that his or her children are living safe lives. That being said, the world is a place where harm can lurk around every corner. Parents are just being careful--while it may seem to the child, that they are being far too over-protective.

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aimal | Student

 because they had same experiences of their life and do not want us to do the same mistakes which they did.. and of course the actual answer is in the question that they are parents... they love their child and so obviously be over protective for good concerning but we can understand them only when we ourself will become parents .. its in the instinct of parents

loraaa | Student

 Wow ... Mr.frizzy,,, you're a good preacher!!! o_O

etotheeyepi | Student

I remember having similar feelings about how I couldn't do anything. 

Intellectually I knew it was not true. I had lots to do. The problem was that I did not have any power over what I did. 

I wanted to be able to hang out with people who were not teachers, Christians, Republicans, or plastic-boobed women, who raise money for charity or politics.

So my situation was a bit different, but my solution might help you.

I decided to keep a diary.  I documented all the things I did. After some months I made pie charts that showed what I had done and how much I had decided to do for myself.

Looking back on it, I think that my cold intellectual approach might have been a little cruel. Maybe I should have whined a little bit like a normal teenager rather than hitting my mother with a list of statistics about her controlling nature.

However, she did decide that maybe I might be right. I gained the power to go to places with friends. Initially, it had to be at least four friends, even if some were neither Republican nor Christian, and at least half of us had to be female.

In reality, things have not changed much. I still do a lot of homework. I still play second base, and I still do many things with the church youth group, but I've slacked off on the fund raising, and I do more things with people my own age.

Since you have already tried the whining, can't-do-nothing approach, maybe you should try the intellectual approach.

frizzyperm | Student

They are protective because you are very young and they love you very much and life is sometimes dangerous.

Without more information about where you live and what your parents are doing, it is impossible it say whether they are being protective or over-protective.

The world is more difficult than you realise at this stage in your life. That is not your fault, but it is true.