I am an avid Criminal Minds watcher. A few seasons ago, James Van der beek was one a few episodes as the guest criminal and he said something that really hit me: “At what age is it ok to disrespect one’s parents?” Probably not the exact words, but close enough.
That got me thinking – at what age IS it ok to start disrespecting one’s parents? Maybe disrespecting isn’t the right word that I’m looking for here, maybe more along the lines of purposeful disappointment.
Take this morning for example: I’m awake super early so I don’t upset my sleep schedule for the rest of the week. Sure it’s Sunday so I technically could sleep in, but if I do then I’m up late and tomorrow’s alarm is going to be a horrible banshee call ripping me from my nice warm bed at 6:30. So I’m up, and my parents are getting ready for church. Normally I’d be going as well since I have nothing else to do, but since February I haven’t been going. I like the time to myself and decided that I need to be excited to go to church or else I’m just sitting there being grumpy that I could be at home instead.
Now my parents don’t really like this idea. I have been raised in a Christian home and have been going to church since I was 2. I’ve had a few chunks of time where I haven’t gone for one reason or another, and I don’t feel the difference in my life. My mom comments on it almost every week, but I just kind of side-step the comment which would lead to an argument and move on. This is important to my parents, but I am purposely disappointing them on this front.
Another disappointment would be my life choices. They aren’t horrible ones. I’ve decided to be a teacher which rocks (just not in Ontario) and after teacher’s college I moved back home to save money and get into a school board. Well that was two years ago and I’m kicking myself for doing it now. The board is small out here, and living with my parents is driving me insane some days. I’ve decided to go overseas to South Korea to teach. This is my second time going over, once before teacher’s college, and once again I know that this is a major disappointment to them. I know they don’t want me to go but I was happy there and right now I need to focus on being happy in my own life.
If my mom had her way, I would be married with a house and at least one baby by now. Again – disappointment.
So I guess the question still stands: at what age is it ok to start this spiral of purposeful disappointment/disobedience? I am purposely making choices that I know will make them upset, but will make me happy. Is that the same as disrespecting one’s parents? I’m sure that the serial killer James played would think my life completely unworthy.