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dear parents: please understand that your baby girl is growing up and sometimes she’ll make a mistake that will leave scars on the inside of her wrists, please understand that it hurts her more than it hurts you. she will not need a parent telling her what she’s doing is wrong, believe me, she knows. give her love, give her hope, give her a friend she can lean on when she is too weak to stand up from the bathroom floor.

dear parents: your little girl won’t stay little forever. you cannot keep her in a cage within your brick house and expect her to stay the same size. she is an artist and you need to give her paintbrushes and a canvas, not starve her of all the color in her world. give her a brush and send on her way, and when she comes home with a smile on her face and paint in her hair, listen to her ramble about her day and don’t think about how you might lose her one day. because she has found her way home every day since you let her walk to school alone for the first time when she was eight and she will always come back home.

dear parents: please remember you were once a teenager before. remember that you went through a time of confusion, trying to figure out who you were and what that made you. remember that teenagers are not animals to be scolded and trained, they just need a little push to help them find the right path. remember that they are their own person, so yes, maybe they are acting very different than you did as a teenager, but they are very different than you, even if they walk around with a part of you. remember that times have changed since you were young like them, but remember that teenagers today are just as responsible and just as human.

dear parents: I am begging you, when your baby comes home as empty bones and scars, sit with them on the couch and help them clean themselves up, not because they need you to glue their pieces together, but because you are where they began, you are their foundation and they can’t stand for eighty years if you broke them in the first twenty.
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