It’s the age-old problem: teenagers versus their parents. Battles over curfews, rules, grades and dating are the norm in most households with teens. Regardless of whether students are aware of it or not, every parent has a unique way of raising their children. According to Family Studies teacher Rebecca Caves, the two parenting methods most parents approach are permissive and authoritarian.
According to Caves, the permissive style is displayed when parents are tolerant and patient toward their children.
“[Parents who are permissive] generally give a lot of time and energy to a child, but have a hard time saying ‘No,’” Caves said.
On the other hand, the authoritarian style parents use a stricter approach.
“[The authoritarian style is] when the parents say ‘It’s my way or no way. Don’t ask why, you’re living under these rules as long as you’re in this household,’” Caves said.
Senior Kathy Nguyen’s parents follow the authoritarian parenting style. Tina Nguyen, Kathy’s mother, says the reason they are strict is because of their Vietnamese culture.
“It’s not a mean or personal strict,” Tina said. “It’s cultural. We are protecting her.”
Junior Izabella Williams’ parents are more permissive. Izabella’s mother, Kelly Williams, says her parenting is laid-back.
“They can come to me about anything,” Kelly said. “I am definitely laid-back and relaxed.”
According to Kelly, she expects her children to never be disrespectful. In addition to showing respect, Kelly thinks honesty and openness are vital.
“Never lie to me,” Kelly said. “That is a big one for me. If my kids tell me the truth, we can talk about things. But if they lie to me, heads will turn.”
Likewise, Tina believes the most important rule for her children is to always show respect.
“Show respect to everyone; elders, others and yourself,” Tina said.
When it comes to curfew, both parents have differing opinions.
Jokingly, Kelly said she likes her daughter to be home by sunrise. To clarify, Izabella says she is usually expected back home by midnight.
However, curfew for Kathy is stricter.
“She is allowed to have fun, but we like her to be home by dark,” Tina said. “Usually no later than 10 p.m. if we don’t know the group she is with. If we trust who she is with, she gets to stay out a little later.”
The hardest rule for Kathy to follow is the curfew.
“I have to be home whenever it gets dark,” Kathy said. “In the summer, it’s around 10 p.m., but in the winter it’s like 6 p.m.”
Tina has high expectations for Kathy’s grades and education as well.
“We talk about her grades every single day,” Tina said. “[Grades are] very, very important.”
Laughing, Kelly also mentioned how she prefers that her children get good grades.
“Good grades would be preferable with us,” Kelly said. “My husband and I plan on retiring soon and hope that the kids can start paying our bills. We have high standards; McDonald’s wages won’t pay our mortgage.”
The punishments for when Kathy disobeys are clear cut: no car, no phone, no friends.
“I pretty much don’t have a life when I’m grounded,” Kathy said.
For Kelly, as long as Izabella is honest with her, there is nothing for her to get in trouble for.
“I don’t really have any rules,” Izabella said. “As long as I listen to my mom, I can do anything.”
Caves explains that with strict parents, some kids don’t understand why rules are important, which can lead the child to rebel.
“[If there is a misunderstanding with rules], the child can act negatively to discipline,” Caves said.
As Kathy has gotten older, she has become more aware of why all of the rules are in place.
“When I was younger, I had no clue why they were so strict,” Kathy said. “But as I’ve gotten older, I’m more understanding.”
Both the permissive and authoritarian parenting styles come with positives and negatives.
Some positives about the permissive style are the support of parents and unconditional love. On the negative side, children are sometimes not aware of where their boundaries lie.
“Being too much of a friend can be a detriment to the child,” Caves said. “[Parents] can’t say no, [and] they are not giving their kid proper directions.”
On the other hand, Kelly and Izabella think that their family is so close is because of their open relationship with each other.
“I guess they are still my parents, but with how open we are, I see them as my best friends too,” Izabella said.
According to Caves, the positive aspect that comes out of strict parenting is that the parents have their “own standards and values and want their kids to do the same.”
The negative would be that even if the child does not agree with their values, they can feel pressured to follow in their parents’ footsteps.
Despite this, Kathy likes her parents’ strict style.
“I like the fact that they are a little strict,” Kathy said. “They keep me in line. It’s a good thing. I am going to be strict with my kids too.”
Although Caves recognizes the different parenting styles, she thinks parents should adapt theirs as their kids mature.
“Parents have to see their child as a constantly growing individual,” Caves said. “And their expectations [should] change based on that as well.”
On Thursday, Sept. 1, the girls tennis team took on De Soto High School. They started off by playing doubles and the varsity team went 3-1. On court one, senior Kelli Rutherford and senior Lauren Shurley lost their match 6-1. On court two, junior Sarah Wetzel and junior JoyLynn Kennedy won their match 6-4. Senior Hillary Rupp and senior Courtney Minter came out on top on their 6-4 one set match. Then junior Eleanor English and junior Mallory Baska played together and won their match, 6-4.
For Baska this was her first varsity match. Baska had only just showed up to watch and it turned out De Soto had an extra player to play doubles. When Baska got offered to play she immediatley went and got her racquet and got onto the court. Baska was nervous when she stepped on the court.
”Yes, (I was nervous) because this is my first year to play tennis, and I wasn’t expecting to play, just watch. I didn’t play my best but pretty well, because I won.” said Baska.
Baska was happy to win her first match.
“I don’t know it felt good, I was happy because I thought I was going to lose.” said Baska.
The meet then went to singles where Mill Valley High School went 3-4 against the tough De Soto team.
Wetzel vs. Paige Williams lost 8-1
Rutherford vs. Gabriella Becerra lost 8-3
Shurley vs. Crissy Ryun lost 6-2
Rupp vs. Cassie Zoller won 6-2
Minter vs. Lauren Darter lost 6-0
English vs. Olivia Cline won 8-7
Baska vs. Jordan Fisher won 8-5
In the end, the girls tennis team won seven overall matches and lost five matches.
“It lowered my self-esteem in a way until I didn’t know who I was anymore,” he said. “We’re only here for seven to eight hours a day so why do they have to make it miserable for me?”
But it didn’t stop at the cruel words and verbal attacks in the halls. Eventually students began badgering him in class as well as the halls. He says the school never tried to help.
“Last year it got so bad that I began crying in class,” he said. “The school never did anything about it.”
But the bullying has exceeded the school’s walls. Whether it was walking down the street or driving home, the bullying followed him. He says he was once rammed off of the road.
“I was driving in Woodsonia and a big car that was driven by [a person who] I never got along was behind me,” he said. “He started tailgating me, then he came up next to me and rammed me into the ditch.”
The bullying crept into his life and eventually reached a point where he considered suicide.
“Long nights of crying and bad cases of anxiety set in,” he said. “I was about to kill myself. I was going off the edge and they made the world feel against me and suicide, in my mind, was a way out.”
He persevered through the tough times and today he offers his advice to those being bullied whether gay or not.
“Stay true to yourself,” he said. “In the end you’re who has to live with you.”
“It wasn’t just my opinion anymore. They were attacking me,” Williams said. “The worst part was that the teacher didn’t do anything. She didn’t send anyone out of class and wasn’t really taking a stand. I left the room crying and since I was new to the school I didn’t really know how to handle what happened.”
After this incident happened, Williams said the administration didn’t do anything about it until her dad came up to the school to talk to the principal. She felt like the administration didn’t take a stand.
Later in the year, after the election, Williams was getting ready for Black History Month. The Diversity Club had put up signs with quotes on them and she said someone had written the n-word on a few of them.
“I felt like views and opinions of myself aren’t respected around here,” Williams said.
The words written on the signs and the incidents that happened in the classroom affected William’s views of the school and are reflected in her outlook of the students.
“They expect me to act the stereotypical way and question why I don’t act that way,” Williams said. “I feel like western Shawnee kids are so sheltered that they don’t realize that stereotypes aren’t the only way people act in real life.”
“I was at a football game and me and another girl got into a fight because she thought I was involved with her ex-boyfriend,” Vorbeck said. “The fight started verbal and ended physical but was stopped by a parent.”
Bullying had a lasting affect on her high school experience. Vorbeck says she was worried more about the rumors than her education.
“School was, in my mind, going to be ruined,” Vorbeck said. “Both my educational and social experiences in school led me not to do well because I was more focused on what people said.”
She became afraid, not only of what people were saying, but also for her safety. Vorbeck says it wasn’t her classmates but upperclassmen.
“I think it was because I went to school with them and there was a lot of rumors occuring,” Vorbeck said. “For the people who saw me everyday they knew it wasn’t true.”
Three years later she described her situation as if it never happened. Vorbeck says if bullying is occuring,- find someone to confide in.
“Don’t let it get to you,” Vorbeck said. “Go to your parents or someone who can help you take immediate action.”
“I see the people who are actually retarded and, how it is used today, you are calling your friend retarded,” Schmitt said. “But your friend can help it, and the people who actually are handicapped can’t.”
Special needs people cannot defend themselves and they cannot control the way they are so it makes them easier targets, according to sophomore Alec Santaularia. Santaularia has a younger brother born with Down Syndrome and takes offense to the loose usage of the word “retarded.” Santaularia believes it’s not said in ignorance, but to make the person saying it feel better.“I truly think it is because people aren’t comfortable with themselves,” Santaularia said. “They feel like they have to make fun of others to feel better about themselves [as a person]. ”
Bullying of the special needs people is a problem in the eyes of Santaularia and Schmitt. Schmitt says it is immoral to make fun of those with special needs.
“They can’t help it, it’s morally wrong to make fun of someone when they can’t help it,” Schmitt said. “When I see them in the hallways my heart has a special place and love for them because people have no idea what’s going on with the actual handicapped people.
Changes happening Homecoming seem to be the talk of the school.
The assembly and parade were moved from Wednesday to Friday, to boost school spirit for the game. The bonfire was Wednesday. Candidates were voted on Thursday.
There wasn’t a carnival this year. The issue with the carnival was that the student body has gotten too large to maintain.
“When students first heard there wasn’t going to be carnival they were upset,” Crist said. “Now they are starting to realize that if you’re building a float you can still participate.”
Not everyone is enthusiastic about not having the carnival.
“I think it’s ridiculous,” senior Alexis Williams said. “I don’t think it’s fair that they took away all the traditions in one year.”
Some think that canceling the carnival isn’t a bad thing.
“Kids that want to be involved are involved so they still get to participate,” English teacher Lindsey Prewitt said.