How I’m Dealing with Overprotective Parents – What if aliens kidnapped you? What if you fell into a black hole? Your parents have a lot of scary thoughts while you’re out with your friends having fun. Hence the constant buzzing coming from your phone. Sound familiar? Then you might have overprotective parents. Have no idea how to change the situation? Listen up!
1. Keep calm.
I know you really wanted to go to that party and now you’re heartbroken because your parents put their foot down and you’ve missed a cool opportunity to hang out with your friends. That’s a pretty solid reason to get angry and frustrated. But if you vent all that frustration out, your parents won’t be impressed. You can cry, argue and slam your door forever; still, it won’t make the situation any better.
If you keep acting like a spoiled kid who throws tantrums every time things aren’t going the way you wanted, your parents will treat you accordingly. Wanting more freedom is natural, but you have to learn how to express your negative feelings in a more productive and mature way.
2. Understand why they act like that.
No, your parents aren’t evil creatures who set a plan to make your life miserable, trust me. Chances are, they’re genuinely worried about your well-being and simply want you to avoid circumstances that can get you into trouble. Realizing why they feel the need to keep tabs on you is the first step to fixing the problem without arguing.
Another reason why they might be way too controlling is fear. But not the fear of something bad happening to you. Some parents can’t come to terms with the fact that their kids are growing up, simply because they’re scared their kids won’t need them anymore. I mean, just yesterday you were a baby, and then – bam! – you want to have friends, hobbies and explore the world on your own.
But try not to forget that your parents want some interaction too. For example, if your parents don’t let you go to the gym because you might hurt yourself using those complicated machines, ask them to go with you and explain how to use them. They won’t feel pushed aside, and you’ll have it your way.
3. Prove they can trust you.
I bet that whenever your parents won’t let you do something or go somewhere, you feel like they don’t trust you enough. In this situation, your task is to show them you’re able to be responsible and make good choices. Do your homework and chores without prompting, offer your help when it’s needed, always stick to your promises, and don’t forget to give them a heads-up if you’re going to be late.
Most likely, your parents will feel less anxious about giving you more freedom since they can clearly see you’re trustworthy. And if you keep getting low grades, not prioritizing your studies, being unreliable and stubborn about following their rules, of course they’ll assume that you’d misbehave without their supervision. But, hey, you can still change that attitude if you act more mature.
4. Be more independent.
I know that sounds silly, because it’s actually your main goal and your parents are pushing back against it. But just hear me out. I’m talking about things you take for granted, thinking they’re really your parents’responsibility. For example, your allowance. No big deal if you get it from your mom and dad.
But if you’re a teen, there’re definitely ways for you to earn your own money. You can mow your neighbors’ lawn, babysit their kids, or even get a real part-time job if circumstances allow. I’m sure your parents will be amazed if, at some point, you tell them you don’t need an allowance since you have your own cash.
This way, your parents will see that you know how to take care of yourself and your needs,plus you’ll learn how to manage finances, which is a great thing for your future. Hey, what’s the one unexpected thing you’ve done that impressed your parents the most, and earned their respect? Let me know down in the comments!
5. Meet parents half-way.
Changing your relationship with parents won’t magically happen overnight, no matter how hard you try. If they never let you go out with friends alone, the chances they’ll allow you togo on a weekend hike with a group are pretty slim. You should keep in mind that it’s all about taking little steps and making subtle changes to help your parents adjust.
If, let’s say, your curfew is 8 pm, ask for just 15 extra minutes. Or if they call you every hour while you’re not at home, ask them to text you. Replying to a text is easier than explaining over the phone that you’re ok in front of your friends all the time. And don’t forget to thank them for giving in to your small but meaningful requests.
6. Keep them informed.
Giving your parents as many details as possible is a great way to make them stop breathing down your neck. Going with friends to the movies? Great, tell your parents which movie theatre you chose, who’s gonna drive, and all that stuff. Offering up this information willingly, before they ask for it, points to your maturity and understanding.
You don’t want them to worry about you. If, for some reason, your parents are apprehensive about the friends you want to spend time with,invite them to your home. The more your parents know about your circle of friends, the better, because it’ll put all their fears to rest. After that, your parents won’t be against the idea of you all hanging out together in public places, or at someone else’s house for a sleepover.
7. Talk about your emotions.
Talking about your emotions is probably the most effective thing you can do to make any relationship better. There are high chances that your parents are simply unaware of how their controlling actions affect you. So, let them know, but in a healthy way. What I mean is, don’t try to blame them or manipulate. Just state the facts.
The best way to start the talk is with “I feel…”. It may sound like this “Mom and dad, I feel stressed when you call me all the time when I’m out”, or “I feel lonely when you don’t let me spend time with my friends”. This will help your parents understand why you need the change.
8. Negotiate new rules.
After you’ve talked about your feelings, it’s a perfect time to try and ask for some changes in their strict rules. But make sure to choose the right setting for that. If your parents work a lot, and come home tired, doing it right after they’ve stepped inside the door isn’t your best idea. Pick a moment when they’re relaxed and calm.
You can start with reminding them how good you’ve been lately, or what you’ve achieved. No matter how small that achievement might seem to you, as your parents, they’re gonna love to hear about it (even if they already know). After that, tell them that you respect their rules, but you want some small changes. And, of course, you should already have a clear plan of those changes.
Just make sure you’re not asking too much. I doubt your parents will give you the green light to fly overseas for a week, hoping to stalk your favorite singer. If they’re unwilling to budge in any way, then you can try to bring another trustful adult into the conversion. For example, your granny or uncle.
9. Be patient and stay positive.
Here comes the toughest part. If you tried all the tips I’ve mentioned earlier to no avail, then the best you can do is to put up with the fact that things are the way they are. I know that’s not cool, but obviously your parents need more time to realize you’ve actually grown up. The situation might still be the same but, trust me, your behavior and candid conversation won’t go in vain. I bet your parents will replay your talk in their heads, and sooner or later you’ll see some positive results. Give it a shot.