Girl who thinks she's abused gets scolded by fellow teens
Yesterday I printed letters from adults in response to a letter from "Emotionally Abused in California" (Nov. 2), the 15-year-old who felt her mother was treating her unfairly. Today we'll hear from teenage readers:
I'm a 14-year-old girl. My mom showed me the letter from "Emotionally Abused" and I almost died! Her mom sounds just like mine. I am not allowed to wear clothing that shows too much skin or get into a car with a teenage boy. I don't have cable TV. I have to do my own laundry, clean my room, cook dinner and hem my own jeans.
Every night our entire family sits down for dinner. My parents always know my plans when I'm out with my friends, and I go to church every Sunday -- with the occasional groan. I'm not the perfect daughter, but I'm glad I'm being raised with integrity, responsibility and a whole lot of chores. -- COOPERATING TEEN IN NEW JERSEY
From one teen to another: I have heard your same story from friends a thousand times. You're not being treated like a criminal. Your mom is doing you a huge favor. She's preparing you for the real world by making you pay for your own things. She's got high expectations if she thinks you can get through college.
And about your friends, she just wants to know who they are. She's not telling you no, right? She's a single mom, and she's trying to protect you.
You need to be easier on her and try to see things through her eyes. Not everything she does is an attack on you -- in fact, it's the opposite. -- FELLOW CALIFORNIA TEEN
I'm an 18-year-old girl and I have never been in trouble. I attend a private school where modesty is the dress code policy. To pay for tuition to this school, I work every afternoon during the school year and full-time during the summer. I'm expected to pay for my own clothes, cellphone bill and haircuts out of my allowance. If I can't afford something, I don't buy it.
As long as I live with my parents, I will abide by their rules. My parents love me very much and have my best interests at heart. "Emotionally Abused" should have respect for her mother and be thankful for the many things she has. -- MONTANA TEEN
I'm also a 15-year-old Catholic girl. "Emotionally Abused" should be grateful she can attend church because it means we have religious freedom in our country. She is going to private school, which means her mother loves her enough to put her daughter's needs ahead of her own. She needs to rethink who is being unreasonable. -- TEEN IN FLORIDA
After we read the letter from "Emotionally Abused," my brother and I were laughing to the point of tears! I would like to say the following to her: Our mom makes my brother (who's also 15) and me go to church every Sunday and Wednesday. Mom home-schools us, thus making her teacher, principal and mother all in one. I'll be 17 in January and I still can't date.
Mom checks my computer regularly, and I'm not allowed to go to chat rooms. My brother and I have to set the table and eat with her every night. As for visiting Dad, I wish we could see ours every week. Unfortunately, he's deployed overseas.
In conclusion: Deal with it! Your mom isn't being unreasonable; she's looking out for you. Mothers like yours are few and far between. What hurts you, hurts her. If she didn't love you, she wouldn't act the way she does. Abby's right when she says one day you'll look back and thank her. My brother and I already thank ours. -- LAUGHING SIBS IN NORTH CAROLINA
I go to church every Sunday and attend a private school, too. The reason our moms do this is because they want us to obtain a quality education and establish our faith. Wearing a uniform isn't as bad as it seems, partly because we don't have to take extra time trying to impress others with the latest fashion trends.
Like "Emotionally Abused," I have clothing restrictions, but I accept and respect them. I know my mom isn't out to get me, but rather she wants me to blossom into a respectable and reliable adult. She really has my best interests at heart, and so does yours. -- EMOTIONALLY HAPPY IN OHIO
I'm 16 and have the same "strict" household as "Emotionally Abused." However, I don't think my family is strict at all. Many teens don't have a parent who cares enough to put any restrictions at all on their teen's life.
Many teens, myself included, do not even have a computer. What is your problem? You should feel happy to have one! And you know what else? Many teens rarely get the chance to even leave the state, let alone go to Europe.
Consider yourself lucky that someone loves you enough to show you that she cares. Lots of kids our age don't have parents who care that much. And no, I don't think your mother is unreasonable. She cares! -- LUCKY GIRL IN INDIANA
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)
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