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Knowing my rights

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Parents’ rights

We always refer to the rights of children and adolescents. Worldwide there are organizations, associations and movements that support children; and rightly so.

However, there are the parents too, a mother and a father, who also have rights. Usually, parents are trying to fulfill their obligations towards their children in the best possible way. They are so engrossed in nurturing and fulfilling the wishes of their children that, sometimes, they neglect their own needs. However they also have rights. They are humans who have needs, wishes and dreams. Therefore you need to give your parents some space. You need to understand that your mother also needs some free time for herself. She is also a woman who asks to be understood; to be taken care of; to have some fresh air to breathe. Being a parent doesn’t mean being your children’s servant. And this needs to be acknowledged by adolescents. Parents of course must be able to explain that as simply and mildly as they can, without prefixing that: “we are doing the best we can for you and you don’t appreciate it”.

Indeed, parents are doing everything for their children, but there need to be some boundaries. Without boundaries the situation becomes uncontrolled. Only love should not have boundaries. Anything else, even the time devoted to children or discussions with teenagers, need to have boundaries. Parents are not children’s best friends. A mother is not the adolescent’s best friend. Their role is important and definite. Their role is that of the parent, of the mother. When there are boundaries and roles are clear, then rights come naturally and adolescents don’t complain because their parents are going away for a weekend or because they are asked to help their mother with housework. Defining boundaries is important in a small society such as family. Many small societies like this one constitute and define a town, a country.

Whoever has rights, also has obligations and vice versa.

This is therefore important to remember because sometimes, due to the impulsivity that comes with your age, you may find yourself getting into a conflict with your parents, while claiming your rights. You should have in mind that your parents also have the right to live. Try to understand their right to worry. Everything is new for you but so is for them.

In collaboration with:

Georgia Vrettou

Ecology & Environment Advisor of the Greek Society of Adolescent Medicine

Artemis Tsitsika

Ass. Professor of Pediatrics - Adolescent Medicine, Scientific Coordinator of the Program "PROLEPSIS» ran by the Greek Society of Adolescent Medicine

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