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An Open Letter to the 'Sh*tty' Teens

What Rachel Canning is going through is something I went through too. A lot of adults did and honestly, I would bet that your parents went through it as well. It is called the "sh*tty teenage" stage.
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Dear Teenagers,

By now you have heard about Rachel Canning. You know, the 18-year-old girl who left home and then decided to sue her parents. Her parents gave her an ultimatum. Either live under their rules or leave. So she left. She then sued her parents to keep paying for her education and money to live on. Of course kids will side with Rachel and parents will side with the parents.

The news went viral and both sides look pretty bad.

What Rachel is going through is something I went through too. A lot of adults did and honestly, I would bet that your parents went through it as well.

It is called the "sh*tty teenage" stage.

I was a good kid. I always looked up to my parents and was very respectful. They provided for me and did the best they could with what they had. I always respected it.

Then around 17 something happened. Everything my parents said did not make sense. They seemed to lose touch with the world. When they would make a rule I would question it. When they would not give me something I wanted I would question it. I would look at all of my imperfections and blame my parents. I would look at their imperfections more than ever...

I became "sh*tty."

During this stage there is nothing anyone could have said to me. If a teacher would tell me I was doing something wrong I would look into his or her life and find things wrong. If my boss at my minimum wage job would ask me to do something I would find ways around it. If they threatened to fire me I would just laugh because there was no issue with me finding a job!

Honestly, if you are in the "sh*tty stage" right now, you are probably going to make comments about my appearance and my grammar.

I was a "sh*tty teenager."

Everything was owed to me. I knew more than anyone else. I knew what was best for me. I mean, I was a good student. I was already accepted to college. I was smarter than anyone else around. Curfews were for stupid people. I could hang out with whomever I wanted. If I wanted to drink then who gave a f...

I was very very "sh*tty."

Then, a couple years later, I realized life does not truly appreciate "sh*tty" teenagers. I realized my parents were right about a lot of things. I realized that my teachers were right. I learned it sucks when you get fired for talking back to your boss. I learned that most of the "cool" people I hung out with were not so cool.

The most important lesson I learned: I learned that life does not give you lemons. Life does not care if you do not.

The phase will pass. Very few people turn out to be truly "sh*tty" adults. Well, at least that is what I will tell you. You can judge for yourself.

All kids want to sue their parents at one point in their lives. Rachel did. Adults backed her in this against her parents. Of course there is more than what we read.

Maybe you support her. Maybe you think she deserves it.

Maybe not.

I will tell you what I think. I think she needs a curfew. I think she needs to ditch her boyfriend and I think she needs to understand that good grades do not always command respect. You have to give it to receive it.

Because 20 years ago I would have supported her. I was a "sh*tty" teenager...

Now I am just a parent.


Tony Posnanski