Cover

WHAT TO DO IF...

SPEAKING OUT

KEN MACQUEEN March 1 2004
Cover

WHAT TO DO IF...

SPEAKING OUT

KEN MACQUEEN March 1 2004

WHAT TO DO IF...

SPEAKING OUT

KEN MACQUEEN

Invidious comparisons

VANCOUVERITE CONNIE GUO, 17, is an A student in Grade 12. She’s an only child who lives with her mother, desktop publisher Alice Lian, 41. Her father, Benjamin Guo, 44, travels frequently to Ottawa where he works for the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency. Born in Nanjing, China, Connie moved to Canada with her parents when she was six. She once considered a career as an artist, but her parents urged her to aspire to something more “practical.” Connie now plans to study commerce and then go into law, which she hopes will feed her interest in international issues.

“I’m trying to find a middle between what I want to do and what my parents want me to do. We used to fight a lot when I was younger, going through my rebellious early teens. Thirteen is the most horrible age ever. You try to fit in and you try to act like somebody else. You look back now and you think how stupid you were. I think parents should kind of let it go. I don’t think every little rebellion needs to be addressed. We do learn. Contrary to what everyone says, we do grow up. We do realize what we did before may have been stupid and wrong, but I think it’s better when you come to the realization yourself.

“I don’t know if you’ve noticed but in a lot of Asian families, the kids have to do well in school. There’s always an instrument [they play], there’s always an amazing high grade average, there’s always numerous tutors. I’m against tutors. In grades eight, nine and 10 even I had a lot of arguments with my mom about that. I would hate it when her friends’ kids were so perfect and she would talk about it. I don’t think any parent has the right to compare their child with another. That would be my advice to parents: don’t compare your kids. We hate it. Oh my God we hate it. We hate it above everything else.

" Teenagersespecially young adolescentsfirmly believe in the four I's: they’re infallible, invulnerable, invincible and infertile - SACKS

25of teens have had sexual intercourse by age 14 -HEALTH CANADA

“I think we came to an understanding, that I’m myself, I’m not going to change. I’m not going to bend. I think my mom respects me and she’s really proud of me now, of who I am individually.”