Author Topic: problem with parents and friends  (Read 4149 times)

Offline Zach

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problem with parents and friends
« on: May 17, 2010, 08:43:19 PM »
There's been a bit of tension between me, my parents, and my friends. they don't really approve of me practicing parkour, even though I've been training for a year now. I really enjoy parkour, it has changed my life completely and is still changing me, but my "friends" always use me as a joke, they say "jump over this" or "do a flip", when I do something just to make them be quiet they say that I'm no good at it. I know that they're just joking and don't mean it, but they just won't stop, I wouldn't hang around with them except that they're part of a church youth group my parents make me be a part of. my parents on the other hand think that I take my training too seriously and might get hurt, and should practice something "worthwhile" like sports or martial arts. I've been thinking of telling them that I quite my training but continue it in secret. I made up a short list of the good and bad side of it.
Good:
1. it will reduce tension
2. they will no longer worry about me getting hurt
3. I'll be able to enjoy myself more with my friends
4. I'll "start" a new hobby and have another skill besides parkour
Bad:
1. I will no longer be able to train in the gym since my brother who also practices parkour, only not so seriously also goes there.
2. I won't be able to talk about my progressions with anyone except other traceurs.
3. I'd have to be careful not to be caught watching parkour videos on youtube or visiting this site
4. If I got hurt, my parents will be made at me for lying to them.
What do you guys think I should do. I need some advice here. I've tried talking to them but it doesn't work.

Offline DevintheNinja

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Re: problem with parents and friends
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2010, 08:54:31 PM »
I say keep practicing and not keep it a secret
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Offline Zach

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Re: problem with parents and friends
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2010, 08:57:20 PM »
I wish it was that simple but I just can't take the stress anymore. I can get pretty angry sometimes and I'm afraid that one day I'll just burst

Offline DevintheNinja

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Re: problem with parents and friends
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2010, 09:28:13 PM »
I think you need to have a serious face to face talk with them about it. If parkour is something your passionate about they should respect it and not make fun of you for it.
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WoodlandGhillie

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Re: problem with parents and friends
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2010, 03:14:26 AM »
If your friends make fun of you, DECK THEM, and DITCH THEM.

As for parents. Force them to talk to you about it seriously. Don't let them leave the room :P If you ARE serious about it, you'll make it known.

Offline Chris Seaton

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Re: problem with parents and friends
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2010, 06:41:02 AM »
Zach, first off--and this is going to sound difficult in application--ditch the friends that are holding you down.  Seriously, there's little good to be had from being around a group of people who will make fun of you for the positive behaviors and attitudes you're attempting to develop.  Beyond that, there's just no accounting for the rudeness of some people, and if you're in an age bracket where "image is everything" (as it is with most young people), it's going to be difficult to change their perceptions. 

Stay true to yourself.  The people that are out there making fun of your training are the ones that will end up in dead-end jobs, addicted to various substances because they wanted to "go along with the crowd," and eventually leave this world with a great deal of pain and regret in their lives.  You will find other, more supportive friends.  It may take some time, but it will happen. 

There's a quote that comes to mind here from "Chicken Soup for the Soul".  I may be getting part of this wrong, but I'm going off memory so forgive me:  "Our criticisms of others come from internal reflection of ourselves.  Everything we see in another as positive or negative is something we see as positive or negative within us."  As applied to your situation, it means several things.  The people making fun of you could be simply jealous that they can't do the things you're doing.  They may want to learn how to do what you're doing, but they're held back by their own fears of gaining a negative image.  It could be a million different reasons.  Next time someone makes fun of your training, I challenge you to take that quote to heart and simply move on.  Don't call them out on it, don't attempt to change their views...just keep on going in security that you're the better person for it. 

Now comes the issue with your parents.  This is a bit more difficult to tackle because of two reasons.  First, your parents still hold some measure of authority over you.  Second--and it may not seem like it right now--your parents really do care about you.  They want to make sure you stay healthy, out of trouble, and succeed in life.  Given that what we do as traceurs/freerunners isn't exactly as "time-tested" in adult minds as the organized sports or disciplines (good night, how many times have I heard horror stories of kids being bullied by parents into football or basketball in my area because it "builds character") Parkour may seem like an alien and dangerous concept to them.  It's not exactly helped by groups of people *coughcoughMTVcough* that make our activities out to be "dangerous stunts" performed by "thrillseekers" or "adrenaline junkies."   

I would not recommend continuing your training in secret.  Do not lie to your parents.  It's only going to make them more angry when they find out you've deceived them (and trust me, they will find out).  If Parkour really has changed your life, though, and you're dedicated to the discipline, you need to talk with them about it and as Evan said, force them to talk to you about it.  That's going to be hard to do on your own, though, so I'm going to suggest a bit sneakier of an approach. 

You say that you're being made to attend functions with a church youth group and that you're under a great deal of stress and anger over the situation.  The next time you go to your church's youth group, ask to speak to one of the ministers directly--or a youth group leader.  Sit down with them and vent.  Let out your frustration over not being able to train.  Tell him or her about how Parkour has made a positive change in your life.  Share your concerns.  Then ask if the minister or adult would be comfortable with acting as a sort of "neutral" or "facilitator" in a discussion about training with your parents.  Most ministers are trained in some form of conflict resolution and counseling; it's often a requirement for ordination.  If you approach the discussion with a somewhat sympathetic adult there who's been trained to listen, can help you voice your opinion, and make the discussion go a lot easier, you might find your parents a bit more receptive. 

Plus, you're making the minister/adult feel more useful in the youth group setting, you show your parents that you're really taking this issue seriously, you demonstrate your respect for those who are really trying to look out for your best interests, and you're being HONEST.  It's a win-win for all involved.

Best of luck.  I know it's not going to be an easy road, but you can get through this.

Posts by Mr. Seaton should be interpreted as simply for either informational purposes or his own pure amusement, and are never to be construed as providing legal advice or forming an attorney-client relationship.

Offline Zach

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Re: problem with parents and friends
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2010, 11:30:08 AM »
Thanks for all the advice guys, Chris, I'm going to do what you suggested, and try to talk to them about it. the only problem with talking to the pastor is that he's my dad lol. I'm also going to just view this as another obstacle to overcome. Btw I'm so glad that I can come here and ask for help and recieve so much advice and encouragement.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2010, 11:32:20 AM by Zach Reinhold »

Offline Hazim Salem

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Re: problem with parents and friends
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2010, 12:12:23 PM »
my 50 cents:

How are martial arts any different from Parkour?

-They both teach you discipline (with parkour being not so popular and hasn't got a bandwagon around your area, it needs even MORE discipline).
-They are both methods to improve your physical capabilities.
-Parkour requires only yourself and only your body.
-Parkour requires you to keep in shape even more than MAs. (Think of the sensai with the belly)
-Parkour isn't anymore dangerous than MAs (the danger and risk level is up to you to decide).

Your parents and friends are just being ignorant, no offense. They should know more about where Parkour is from and how it should be practiced.

My advice: Keep it on just a little more, and ignore them. If you don't want to ditch your friends, don't feed them. If they keep nagging for a flip/move, ignore them and keep moving. If they don't stop, If I were you I wouldn't hesitate to punch/pressure-grab them.

This is the point in life where you decide: Be yourself, or let others decide for you. I'm not talking rebellion, I'm talking confidence and willpower. :) Be tough.

WoodlandGhillie

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Re: problem with parents and friends
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2010, 12:20:49 PM »

Offline Zach

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Re: problem with parents and friends
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2010, 12:23:23 PM »
my 50 cents:

How are martial arts any different from Parkour?

-They both teach you discipline (with parkour being not so popular and hasn't got a bandwagon around your area, it needs even MORE discipline).
-They are both methods to improve your physical capabilities.
-Parkour requires only yourself and only your body.
-Parkour requires you to keep in shape even more than MAs. (Think of the sensai with the belly)
-Parkour isn't anymore dangerous than MAs (the danger and risk level is up to you to decide).

Your parents and friends are just being ignorant, no offense. They should know more about where Parkour is from and how it should be practiced.

My advice: Keep it on just a little more, and ignore them. If you don't want to ditch your friends, don't feed them. If they keep nagging for a flip/move, ignore them and keep moving. If they don't stop, If I were you I wouldn't hesitate to punch/pressure-grab them.

This is the point in life where you decide: Be yourself, or let others decide for you. I'm not talking rebellion, I'm talking confidence and willpower. :) Be tough.

The difference is that one is better known then the other lol, and actually there are about 30 people in this city who train parkour, (cuernavaca morelos, Mexico) I think that the reason why my friends target me so much, is because I'm an American living in Mexico and I kind of stand out if you know what I mean lol

Offline Hazim Salem

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Re: problem with parents and friends
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2010, 12:29:06 PM »
The difference is that one is better known then the other lol, and actually there are about 30 people in this city who train parkour, (cuernavaca morelos, Mexico) I think that the reason why my friends target me so much, is because I'm an American living in Mexico and I kind of stand out if you know what I mean lol

Oh, that's interesting. I bet your friends will shut up if you showed them a vid of Kat from Monos Urbanos.
And yes, it's because it's not so popular and known yet. Stick with it and you'll be the cool one in no time. :)

Offline Zach

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Re: problem with parents and friends
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2010, 12:36:34 PM »
one of the problems I have with my friends is that they've seen too many videos of damien walters, I have no idea where they found out from but they did. they say to stop doing parkour until I'm as good as him, and I'm like that doesn't even make sense. they just don't realize that damien walters doesn't even seem human lol

Offline Hazim Salem

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Re: problem with parents and friends
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2010, 12:43:31 PM »
one of the problems I have with my friends is that they've seen too many videos of damien walters, I have no idea where they found out from but they did. they say to stop doing parkour until I'm as good as him, and I'm like that doesn't even make sense. they just don't realize that damien walters doesn't even seem human lol

That's like them saying to stop practicing Martial Arts until you're as good as Bruce Lee. Indeed, doesn't make sense. Just ignore them and go on your way. Your training and how good you are is not their business.

Offline JD.

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Re: problem with parents and friends
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2010, 12:47:06 PM »
I hate parents like this. First they force their beliefs on you. Then the tell you that you cannot do some thing that you enjoy. Don't worry my friend, when you get older you do not have these worries. For now though, be intellectual in your arguments. Do not get heated and yell. That will just make you look like a fool.

Offline Jacob Werner

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Re: problem with parents and friends
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2010, 09:07:52 PM »
I hate parents like this. First they force their beliefs on you. Then the tell you that you cannot do some thing that you enjoy. Don't worry my friend, when you get older you do not have these worries. For now though, be intellectual in your arguments. Do not get heated and yell. That will just make you look like a fool.
Ah, but it's tempting, I've got a problem simmiler to this. Stupid Mom's got nothing to back up her argument but 'mother's intuition'!

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Offline Josh Boggs

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Re: problem with parents and friends
« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2010, 09:51:21 PM »
Ah, but it's tempting, I've got a problem simmiler to this. Stupid Mom's got nothing to back up her argument but 'mother's intuition'!
Lmfao, mothers intuition my  :-X

Anyways, when my parents told me they didn't like the idea of me doing it, I just said "whatever, you can't really stop me from doing this. -laughs-". Then they eventually got over it. Now, they just don't like the idea of "trespassing", because once, before I started parkour, I snuck into some "federally restricted area" and got sent home in the back of a cop car.
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Offline Dan Elric

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Re: problem with parents and friends
« Reply #16 on: December 25, 2010, 10:36:26 PM »
I hate parents like this. First they force their beliefs on you. Then the tell you that you cannot do some thing that you enjoy. Don't worry my friend, when you get older you do not have these worries. For now though, be intellectual in your arguments. Do not get heated and yell. That will just make you look like a fool.

Take it from their point of view.  You're probably (as most teenagers do) pushing your parents away every time they pry into your personal life.  Try connecting to them a little more and letting them know what's up.  Take them out sometime and show them what you're doing and break it down for them Sports Center style.  They go to work all day, and then come home and have to deal with their kid telling them they're jumping off of things.  How do you think they'll respond?

When I showed my mother parkour I went through all of the safety steps (checking the area, making sure things were stable, running through different parts of the move, etc.) and made sure she understood what I was doing was legal.

Offline NOS - from Parkour Mumbai

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Re: problem with parents and friends
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2010, 02:24:23 AM »
Chris Seaton's and Dan MacLeod's posts on this thread = Epic Win.
Well said guys. I'm bookmarking this thread because of your insight on the matter of dealing with parents.

Offline John George 'JG'

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Re: problem with parents and friends
« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2010, 12:04:12 PM »
--------------------------
--------------------------
If you insist on saying such things,
then please humor me a moment.

Imagine your favorite past-time;

a discipline you have been practicing for years
and to which you have dedicated your life.
This could be a martial art, a sport,
or your local sewing circle.
I care not.

Now imagine somebody standing in your face
and saying that it is worthless;
that is has no meaning.

The discipline for which you have developed a deep and personal philosophy
has just been defiled, belittled, and mindlessly cast aside for naught.

How does that make you feel?
-----------------------------
-----------------------------
Parkour Endure founder - parkourendure.com
Lehigh Valley Parkour (member)
Level 1 ADAPT qualified instructor

Offline Haydn Jones

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Re: problem with parents and friends
« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2010, 03:04:57 PM »
For your friends i would say that you should learn to flip so you could entertain yourself all you want. BUT DONT talk about how parkour is not about doing flips to impress people it is about... because they will think you are retarded. As for your parents ask them if you could play hockey or play football and if they say yes tell them that they think that taking a stick and tripping people with it and slamming people into walls and making them bleed or tackling someone and giving them a cuncusion because they have a ball is any more dangerous than climbing onto a wall or jumping over tables and railings.   
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