Blog by: Anonymous
As tradition calls for once a year, I visited the ranch and spent a blazing hot weekend kicking back by the pool while the dogs chased chickens, the horses grazed and my dad manned the grill. The more family members who come, the more we start story-telling, laughing and reminiscing. We may have broken a record for our family this year.
Likely being the most opposite from the rest of the bunch, the conversation usually ends up coming ’round to me a few times. What am I doing with my life, am I still dating that strange character from last year and oh, remember when you almost did that ONE STUPID THING?!
When it came time for the latter subject, I responded differently than I normally would. Instead of shrugging and laughing with them, I admitted a few things they never really knew the truth about.
Yes, it was me who toilet-papered the neighbor’s house when I was 14.
And yep, I was the one who had the epic party of junior year in high school.
Oh and also, I know I said that my best friend made me sneak out of the house with her that one night to see the concert…but it was totally my idea.
Enough time has passed that I was far beyond risking any parental punishment. Everyone got a laugh out of it, though I was surprised to realize that I was actually a bit nervous to fess up to my parents some 20 years later.
I couldn’t help but wonder why I did the things I did, and why was I so afraid to tell them when I was young? Was I a bad kid? Did I lead my life down the wrong path, destined for failure? Of course not. In fact, I think I turned out to be pretty darn “well-adjusted” if I do say so myself.
Like most teenagers, I simply lied when I became to realize that I didn’t need my parents as much as I used to. As Dr. Thomas Gordon says: “Teenagers don’t rebel against their parents; they rebel against their parents’ power.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
And along with my “bad behavior” of age came punishment of all sorts. Restriction, time-outs, you name it. Did these punishments stop me from doing the things that my parents didn’t want me to do? Of course not! I simply became more clever. (Sorry, parents.)
It’s not that I didn’t love and respect my parents – I did, and do. I suppose it was just that my need for freedom became much too strong in relation to the severe limits, punishments and fear that was created in my relationship with them. If only they knew then (about P.E.T) what I know now….sigh….
My final thought here is this (as previously posted on our P.E.T. Fanpage): “What punishment teaches is how to avoid punishment.” Think about it.
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