As parents, we find often find ourselves in a situation where we have to put our feet down and completely disagree with our teenage wards. It could be due to their late-night habits, rude retorts or simply avoiding daily chores. Have you ever wondered what your teenage daughter would choose if she was presented with the options to stay with you, or be emancipated?
Ariel Winter, an American actress and voice actress, popularly known for her role as Alex Dunphy in the comedy series Modern Family, earned her legal right to emancipation at 17, in 2015. As stories of her emancipation due to a complicated and somewhat strained relationship with her mother swarmed the media, it was sure to give mothers a great cause for concern.
Teenagers had a new weapon, they could threaten to file for emancipation and get away with mischief; Many parents wondered if they were getting it right with their teens; What I’m I doing wrong? I wish she would talk to me and not a stranger; some thought their daughter would choose to be emancipated if presented with that option.
In this article, Lauren Paige Kennedy Journalist and author of Keeping Mum: On Mothers & Mortality, tries to allay the fears of these mums with tips on 10 Things to Say to Your Teenage Daughter Who Wants to Be Emancipated. She writes:
We moms can’t help but recognize the all-but-universal dynamic between freedom-chasing teenagers and harried parents. Generations consistently clash over the obvious and mostly mundane: broken curfews, obnoxious boyfriends, snarky attitudes and that hidden stash of weed beneath the bed.
Still, you know what they say: God made teenagers so mothers would want to cut the apron strings – joke. Here’s how to answer your darling high school senior when she threatens to walk. (Try to restrain yourself from telling her to run.)
- You realize you’ll be doing your own laundry now, right? No more Mom to help sort, wash, dry and fold. So there, welcome to running out of clean underwear. Get used to it.
– Make her understand walking away means taking absolute responsibility for her wellbeing and giving up all that she is dependent on you for. Mummy cannot be all that bad, and chances are, she doesn’t have Ariel’s unlimited resources.
- Bills are not boys with the full name ‘William’. Guess what sweetie; those totally chic open-toed boots you love? The ones we remortgaged the house for? How ’bout those oversized nerd glasses that come in cherry red? Yeah. Guess what; they cost money. A credit card statement arrives each month. And someone’s got to pay it. That someone is now you.
– Now this may sound a bit exaggerated, Lauren is simply saying, refer her to the bills. Money does not fall from trees, it is earned.
- Just because you can write a check does not mean you can write a check. Yes, you do have hundreds of blank checks! No, this is not the same thing as having money in the bank!
– So, she thinks she has an unlimited supply of blank checks, she needs to know the money is drawn from someone income, and those blank checks ae sure cease when she becomes emancipated.
- Who will you scream at when I’m not around? Do I really need to elaborate on this one?
– Mum’s may sometimes seem like a neurotic bunch who just love to get on their nerves, but truth be told? They will miss you if they left.
- No, you can’t take the car. See No. 4. Ditto.
– They do borrow your car, jewelry and Gucci purse, let them know they can’t do that when they are gone. You are an adult, get yours.
- Sorry, I’ve got nothing in my wallet. Your allowance days are over, kid. You’re an emancipated adult now, remember? This means you must do every necessary task for yourself—for free.
– Again, let her know they days of extras from mum’s pocket are over.
- Does this mean I can finally turn your room into an office? I hate to say it, but I’ve been eyeing your corner bedroom for years now. The western exposure in the afternoons is to die for!
– Throw that in her face, you have other use for that corner room.
- The contents of the refrigerator cannot go with you. Oh! Wait. I take that back. You can have the Frescas.
- If you honestly believe managing Forever 21 at the mall is a better career move than going to college, by all means, suit yourself. I know. You’re almost 18. Almost old enough to vote, and certainly old enough to have a say in your own future. Yes, those amazing discounts you’ll soon get on lacy cami rompers and southwestern-style jumpsuits will help your bottom line, for sure. And it’s true, parking is free at the Galleria. I think you might soon grow bored earning minimum wage and eating Cinnabon every day for lunch, but what do I know? I’m only 30 years older than you, and your mother.
– This is very important, direction is the word; remind her who she wants to be, right now, she probably thinks being free of you would make her happy, paint a mental picture and ensure she understands it.
- Oh! Wait! You weren’t serious, were you? Sweetheart, don’t go. I only have a year or so of you before you really walk away and toward adulthood. And even when you roll your eyes at me and sigh heavily in my direction, please know this: You’re my favorite teenager in the world. And that’s really saying something because you’re 17 right now.
– Finally, do not forget to remind her, that you love her, and even when you do not agree, she is special and will always be. Let her understand that discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.
Lauren passes the message in a rather snacky way, but I bet the message is clear. “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going” – Helen Keller