Some kids know just how to turn a scary situation to their advantage. Just take the mom who found this note from her daughter.
“Dear Mom,” said the letter. “It is with great regret and sorrow that I’m writing you. I had to elope with my new boyfriend because I wanted to avoid a scene with Dad and you. I’ve been finding real passion with Ahmed and he is so nice-even with all his piercings, tattoos, beard, and his motorcycle clothes.”
The letter quickly escalated into every parent’s worst nightmare.
The daughter went on to assure her mother that she and her new boyfriend have great plans in store. She casually drops some big news: There’s a grandchild on the way. But her parents shouldn’t worry, because they have a trailer in the woods and will support themselves by growing marijuana and trading it for some harder stuff.
And they shouldn’t concern themselves about that pesky STD, either. After all, at 15; she’s old enough to know what she wants.
The real kicker comes at the very end.
“Mom, none of the above is true. I’m over at the neighbor’s house. I just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than my report card that’s in my desk center drawer. I love you! Call when it is safe for me to come home.”
It’s a gutsy move on behalf of a teenager who knew how to make the best of her situation. Hopefully, her parents laughed at her clever handling and didn’t give her too much grief over the report card.
She knew exactly how to hit her parents where it hurts.
The sassy teen expertly targeted those classic parent fears: that their kids will get pregnant, experiment with drugs, or fall into “bad company.” It’s no wonder. Being a parent means worrying about your kids all the time. From the moment you know a baby is on the way (however they arrive), you’re going to start worrying.
The worry starts from the very beginning.
Pregnant women are known for being complete worrywarts. Pregnancy means there are tons of things to keep track of, from taking prenatal vitamins to doing kick counts.
Movies might portray pregnancy as a time of happily decorating the nursery, having baby showers, and arguing over baby names. That’s not completely accurate.
The reality for most women is worrying constantly about their baby’s health and safety. It can be agonizing not to be able to check in on that growing baby. Nowadays, it’s common to see mothers-to-be anxiously scrolling through internet search results to find out if they’ve poisoned their growing baby with that third cup of coffee.
Unfortunately, the worry doesn’t end when the baby arrives. There are so many things to think about that have never crossed your mind before. It seems almost unbelievable that they’ll actually make it through babyhood without falling out of a window, getting smothered by a blanket, or being electrocuted by an outlet.
If you think it ends when they get older, think again.
The worry develops in new ways as kids grow up and learn to be independent. Every new milestone seems to cause stress.
Parents have normal worries, like whether their child will be able to make friends at school or whether they will be bullied (statistics say 28 percent of children in grades 6 to 12 experience bullying). They also have some less realistic worries, like whether their child will be kidnapped (only 0.0000000001417 percent of children are).
In fact, parents report still worrying about their adult children. When they are little, they worry about them getting along with friends or falling down stairs. When kids are grown up, however, parents find themselves just as invested as ever.
“They forge their way, all just outside of your helping reach,” Susan Engel wrote in The New York Times. “Then, when bad things happen, they need you like crazy, but you discover that the kind of help you’ve spent 25 years learning how to give is no longer helpful.”
Let’s hope the story of the teen who wrote that note ended in laughter and not house arrest.
Knowing all of this, it is pretty clever how a 15-year-old girl took advantage of her parents’ natural concern for her. She saw her opportunity in a bad report card (which many parents also worry about) and decided to go big or go home.
With any luck, her snarky letter reminded her parents just how lucky they are to have a daughter who isn’t making bad choices … but needs to pay better attention in class.
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