‘Hello! I’m Lucas and I’m 12 years old. I have a brother, Tobias. He is three years older than me. My problem is my parents. They think I’m a baby! My brother has much more freedom1 than I do. He can stay out longer and he can buy things he likes, not what Mum and Dad choose for him. I always have to answer like a million questions before I go out. Dad usually comes to pick me up when I’m at my friend’s place. It’s not cool at all! I mean, I know I’m younger but Tobias could do more things than me when he was my age. It’s not fair!’

Well, there are a lot of younger siblings that feel the same. They think parents control their lives more than they need to. They would like to have more freedom.

It is true parents sometimes feel that younger children in the family need more help and assistance. After all, they are the ‘babies’ of the family. If you are in that position and you are fed up2, there are some things you can do to change the situation.

  1. Prove3 that you are responsible. As we grow older, we get more and more responsibilities. If you are not able to do what is necessary, your parents will always think you are a small child. Make sure you do what they expect you to do. Tidy your room. Take out the garbage. Do your homework. When you are out with friends, don’t come home late. All these things can make your parents feel that you are not a baby anymore and that they can trust4 You may think that your older brothers and sisters don’t have to do all this to win their freedom and that isn’t fair. However, they also have a thing or two that makes them unhappy. Being the older one isn’t always fun!
  2. Prove that you are independent. You may also try to surprise your parents by doing something they think you can’t. Does your Mum always make you snacks to school? Try to make one yourself. Do you need new shoes? Don’t wait until your parents take you to the shoe shop. Go and choose what you like and then YOU take THEM to the shop to show them what you want. It means they can see you are able to decide5 what is good for you and that you care. However, be careful and don’t try anything dangerous. It would just prove you don’t know what is safe and what is not.
  3. Talk to your parents. Sometimes it is nice to sit down and talk. Don’t argue6. Just explain what you feel and what you would like to change. Ask what you should do to make them understand you are not a baby. Listen to what they say and don’t get mad7. Friendly communication is also important when you want to make your parents trust you more.

Good luck!

  • Are you the older or the younger in the family?
  • Do you feel you need more freedom?
  • What can you do to help the situation in your family?

Miroslava Dubanová

Vocabulary: 1[ˈfriːdəm] – sloboda/ svoboda; 2[fed ap] – otrávený; 3[pru:v] – dokázať/ dokázat; 4[trast] – dôverovať/ důvěřovat; 5[diˈsaid] – rozhodnúť/ rozhodnout; 6[ˈaːɡjuː] – hádať sa/ hádat se; 7[dəunt get mæd] – nenaštvi sa/ nenaštvi se