Protective Parents or a Question of Safety?

Some parents can be over protective – and think that you might be too young to get into a serious relationship – thinking that it might be a distraction – and hoping you will focus on your exams.

To be fair to your folks – they are right! Relationships are a huge distraction, and a nice body and a bit of kissing can take the focus off your text books… however, this is a natural part of being a teenager.

However much your parents want to protect your from all that nonsense – they are fighting a losing battle – and it is much better that you are in a relationship with their support than trying to sneak around behind their back.

Talk to them and be honest. Explain that you understand their concerns and that you know that they are only trying to look out for you. But also explain that they can’t keep tabs on you 24-7 and that you would much rather them be part of your relationship so you can talk to them (ok, you might not want to tell them all the juicy details – but it is nice to have the option), ask them questions and have their support than be sneaking around behind their back and lying to them. Offer them the compromise that if it starts to affect your school work you will revaluate your relationship – with any luck they will be impressed by your honesty and think that it shows a lot of responsibility and maturity… fingers crossed!

A question of safety – not all families will protect you

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for everyone – some families would and do react very badly – violently even if they find out that one of their children were in a relationship that they did not agree with for whatever reason. Some young people might be disowned and abandoned whilst others safety could be put at risk.

If you are in a situation you know your family better than we do. You need to make a decision, is it safe for you to continue your relationship – or would it be best to wait until you leave home and have more freedom?

Whatever you decide – please speak to someone. There are many agencies that will support young people who haven’t come out yet or that have difficult families. Talk to a friend or a more understanding family member that you can trust. However, if you are continuing in your relationship, make sure you have someone you can talk to and will support you.

Relationships are tough at the best of times, but doing it all on your own with no one to share the ups and downs or to ask questions of, whilst keeping everything a secret is truly hard work. You don’t have to do it all on your own. So, speak to someone – even if it is just to let them know where you really are.

© Going off the Rails 2014. Adapted from ‘Playing Downstairs’ by Jonny Hunt

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