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Dear Amy,

I'm 17 years old, responsible and a straight-A student. Now that it is summer, I am bored out of my mind. My mom works at night and has to sleep during the day, and my dad works during the day, so my siblings and I are left to ourselves. Naturally, we can't go anywhere while my mom is asleep.

Lately I've been feeling like I have very little trust from my parents, even though I know they do, in fact, trust my judgment. Even though I have my driver's license and have been driving for over a year, I am not allowed to drive anywhere. They also won't let me get a job this summer, for reasons I am unsure about. I am left to sit at home all day babysitting my younger siblings, knowing that my friends are getting together without me and making money at their jobs.

Amy, help! I'm starting my senior year in high school and thinking about college. How can I let my parents know that I'm old enough to be shown a little independence?

Bored to Tears



I think that you should just start taking some initiative and show them what you are capable of.

Of course, this means that you will have to be twice as responsible. You can't simply "tell them" that you are responsible, but rather start doing things, like saying “I am going to go out for an hour with my friends”, and I will be back in exactly an hour. Or “I want to get a job after I am done taking care of my siblings” and then pursue that. Or inquire about a job and then tell them that you have this prospect. I think that you need to take the steps, not wait for them. Of course, you have to do this respectfully or you could end up in an even worse scenario.

Also, you really should focus on college since that will be a defining moment for you. You seem to really want and deserve it, and make sure that it is going to happen: start getting the applications, researching about financial aid, etc. I hope those suggestions get you thinking. Good luck,