Why Don’t We Listen To Our Parents?

Pretty much every week I find myself lecturing Luca when we’re doing battle over his reading and homework .. ‘Reading is like riding a bike Luca, do you remember how hard it was when you first tried to ride one but now it’s easy and it’s something you’ll never forget how to do?’ ... Anyway I know he’s not listening because as I’m saying this to him he’s busy trying to stick his baby finger into the electric pencil sharpener.

fingers in ears

Why is it that kids have so much trouble listening to their Mums when they offer advice?

My parents offered me so much good advice when I was a teenager. Advice that I should have taken but didn’t because I was an arrogant bratty teenager and thought my parents knew nothing.

On my fifteenth birthday I started my first job at McDonalds. I only earned about $3 an hour and my Mum used to say to me ‘just put $10 a week aside and one day you’ll have enough for a deposit for a flat’ and I vividly remember thinking ‘why the hell would I want a flat?’.

Can you imagine if I’d done that? I wouldn’t have had to sell my bedroom for a start. But to a fifteen year old time is so long. When you’ve only been alive for fifteen years a year is a huge chunk of your life so the ability to see into adulthood is impossible.

When I was studying for my HSC school finals we had the most enormous fights about me wanting to go out rather than study and she’d say ‘In ten or twenty years time you won’t even remember these nights out, but you’ll always be grateful if you know you put in 100%’. I don’t really even want to go here because even though my Mum lives on the other side of the planet I can almost hear her reading this and saying ‘I TOLD YOU SO!’

When my first serious boyfriend and I broke up I was devastated, absolutely shattered. My Mum cuddled me and said ‘this won’t be the last time this happens to you, it probably won’t even be the second last or even the third last time. You just need to ride it out and the pain goes away’. I thought she was being really heartless and cruel but I soooo wish I’d listened to her and saved myself the embarrassment of knowing I sat outside his house for nights on end stalking him and sending him love songs on a cassette tape (it probably had Milli Vanilli on it) in an attempt to win him back. Oh my God twenty something years later and I cringe just thinking about it.

Or the advice about going in the sun. ‘When you are forty, Stephanie, you will be so glad you looked after your skin. I know all your friends are sunbathing all the time and that they look lovely and brown but I promise you if you stay out of the sun you’ll thank me some day’. Well I would love to say I’m forever thanking my Mum for the forty year old porcelain unblemished skin I’m now sporting, but alas I am not because I totally ignored her, baked myself stupid and now spend a small fortune on expensive wrinkle creams that are a crock of shit and don’t work.

However amongst all this there was one bit of advice I took from her for which I am grateful. She said ‘whoever you choose to marry is fine by me as long as you choose someone who brings out the best in you’. So I did. And he’s currently in first place as the golden boy of the family.

Therefore, you know those annoying words you used to hear dozens of times as a child ..


Well you should. She’s usually right.


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