Latin Customs Cause Problems for Teenage Girls in the U.S.

by Emma Garcia

A situation that many teenage girls who are from other countries are experiencing each day is disagreements with their parents. This is common for all teenagers, but it especially for teenagers from Latin countries. Often their parents still have their old country customs.

In many cultures, especially Latin countries, girls are not allowed to go out without an older sister or a brother older than them. Sometimes girls can go out with friends but it cannot be a male, it has to be a girl and she has to tell her parents where she is going to be and what time she is going to be back.

Karina Torres a senior in Montgomery Blair H.S. said, "My parents don't let me go out if my brother doesn't go with me."

A native English speaking student, Tomeka Robinson who is an eleventh grade student in Montgomery Blair H.S. said, "My parents let me go out by my self but I have to tell them what time I am going to be back. If I am not coming at that time, I have to call them to let them know. My parents let me date boys as long as they meet them," Tomeka added.

In many Latin countries girls are not supposed to date boys until the age of fifteen years old and up but still some girls do date boys behind their parents' back.

The reasons for parents to keep their customs are because they want to keep their daughters safe from danger. Also parents are afraid that boy might take advantage of them. "It depends on how old the girl is, " said Miss Lourdes Ceide, a counselor at Blair.

Miss Ceide gives advice to teenage girls who want to go out with friends and also have a boy friend. Miss Ceide said, "Let your parents meet your friend and maybe your friend's parents.

Miss Ceide also suggested that teenage girls should give their parents the chance to change their old customs. "When you want to go out, let your parents know ahead of time and give them facts about the place where you want to go and also who you are going to be with."

Copyright © 1998, Silver International, Montgomery Blair H.S., Silver Spring, MD USA

return to main page