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To Sam

Feeling trapped

I know my parents love me but I find it hard to live with them. I'm now 16 but I dont feel like I have any freedom and I find it hard to meet up with my friends and do what other 16 year olds do. My parents dont let me get a bus by myself or even go out of the house alone. This means I get very lonely when I'm home alone and also makes me feel trapped when I just need to have a break from the stress of my family. My brother is a year younger than me and although he isnt allowed on a bus by himself he has friends where we live and is allowed out with them until very late. Sometimes I feel like they dont trust me and I find it difficult to talk to them as they dont seem to treat me as a 16 year old.

What should I do?

Ask Sam


Hi there,

You’re at the age where you’re almost an adult so it’s normal for you to start to want more independence. This is something that comes naturally to you. Your parents, on the other hand, have to make a decision to give you more freedom - so this doesn’t always come naturally for them. This difference is where disagreements can come from.

The thing about maturity is that it’s not something you can convince someone of just by telling them. Actions speak louder than words. Often parents will give more freedom when they feel their child has shown they can handle it. Showing maturity means that you can think about the consequences of what you do and how it affects other people.

In this situation you could tell your parents that you’re going out, but that you know how much they worry when you’re out and so you will call them to let them know you’re okay. This will show them through your actions that you’ve thought about things from their point of view and are doing something about it. If they still feel uncomfortable you could ask what would make them feel better about you going out.

I hope that helps. You might also find it useful to talk with other young people on our message boards to see how they’ve handled their own freedom problems. As always you can also talk to one of our counsellors who are always there for you.

Take care,

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