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How to let parents know it's time to let go


Replies to: How to let parents know it's time to let go

  • SOSConcernSOSConcern Registered User Posts: 3,835 Senior Member
    Can your brother lobby your father? It sounds like your mother has the major protection issue going on....

    Is there a way for you to get a summer job so you can get out?
  • calmomcalmom Registered User Posts: 20,519 Senior Member
    Is there any short-term fix???
    How would your parents feel if you got a summer job?

    I think part of the problem is your behavior and habits, not theirs. You wrote:
    I feel obligated to obtain their permission for every aspect of my life.
    So to start with, you have to break yourself of that habit. If you ask -- then you give the parents the opportunity to say no, and you are setting up a situation for an argument where their position will only be entrenched.

    If you had simply made arrangements to go to the concert with your brother, and then on day of the concert truthfully told hem that you were going to go out for the evening with your brother (without even mentioning "concert") -- you might have pulled it off. (Assuming big brother would cooperate with that plan).

    It's too late now because you've already had the discussion and know that your parents object to your going -- so if you were to go now, it would be seen as an act of disobedience.

    But start now to break yourself of the "asking permission" habit by simply going ahead and doing some things without asking first. Start small -- you could do things that are helpful to the house or family so they can't be angry when they find out. For example, you could drive or walk to the neighborhood store to pick up a few groceries -- or you can take on another household project such as gardening that requires you to go out of the house to pick up supplies. If your family owns a dog, take it for a walk. If you have younger siblings, offer to babysit and then take them out to an appropriate activity, such as a walk to a neighborhood playground.

    So you can gradually shift the pattern so that "asking permission" is replaced with simply letting them know after the fact what your have done - or not mentioning it all if it's trivial or become habitual. If your parents are likely to get upset if they can't find you immediately, then you can leave a note-- or as your confidence builds you will simply be able to announce where you are going as you walk out the door.
  • megpmommegpmom Registered User Posts: 3,114 Senior Member
    I realize that you are a teenager and, having raised several, I know that you are yearning for independence and emotions run high. But, please stop to consider the long-term. You want to be allowed to go away to college, so at this point you need to respect your parents and live by their rules. Try your best to avoid arguments this summer.

    If they do allow you to go to university in the fall, I would recommend communicating regularly with them - daily, if they want. But, also, try to live with some of the boundaries/values that your parents have raised you with. Not only will you not have to lie to them about your activities, but you will feel better yourself. You can still make friends, volunteer, have fun, etc without compromising your values.

    I have worked with many children of immigrants (and I'm married to one!). Remember, they only want the best for you and they are worry for your safety and reputation. I'm sure they are very proud of your acceptance to college and it is a HUGE step for them to allow you to go. Yes, the restrictions are hard right now - but they will not last forever. Once you get to school, you will be able to make more decisions for yourself and you will have more freedom. Relax and try to get through the summer with minimal conflict.
  • stressedoutttstressedouttt Registered User Posts: 4,111 Senior Member
    If your parents are letting you go away to college on your own, there must be a reason. They must trust you to be able to stay out of trouble, make the right decisions to stay out of trouble, and not have to call them every hour to walk across campus or something.

    .... Right?

    After you leave for school, I think they'll naturally start to let go, slowly but surely. I think it would be best if you eased off slowly as well. For example, there will be calls very often at first, but slowly reduce the frequency of calls as time goes by. I doubt that your parents are going to want to call you every hour for the next four years. After a while, even they'll find that annoying. Eventually, they'll start learning to adjust. Hopefully they'll start lowering the frequency of calls, but you should take some initiative in that too.

    Good luck!
  • megpmommegpmom Registered User Posts: 3,114 Senior Member
    My last word of advice: Do not sneak around, or lie to your parents. If you get caught doing this, they may re-consider their decision to let you go away to college. Let them know that they can trust you.
  • GranataGranata Registered User Posts: 44 Junior Member
    This reminds me of the movie Dead Poets Society, where the guy's parents are extremely strict.. And then what happens..

    But anyways, tell them how you feel. You are a grown adult now and have every right to do these things. Of course, they just want to protect you, but they should understand that you are intelligent enough to take care of yourself (unless you've already proven them otherwise).
  • collegevettingcollegevetting Registered User Posts: 1,175 Senior Member
    edited May 2014
    I honestly think your parents are making a serious judgment error. The only friends I had who went absolutely bonkers in college (to the point of dropping out) were those with parents so strict that freedom was like a drug to them once they got away. They had no experience to help them make judgment calls about where to draw the line for themselves.

    As for the summer, that is a tough one, since I have a hard time putting myself in your parents' mindset. I have always been convinced it is important to teach even children (which you no longer are) HOW to do things safely, rather than just prohibit it, wherever possible, so they learn judgment skills and just basic life skills. I wonder how your parents think you will be able to judge safe from unsafe people if you are not given any rope to try these skills out? I would think your brother would be the perfect set of training wheels to let you bridge to the college experience, and give you some 'backup' while you learn how to smoothly distance yourself from people you simply don't care to know. It is a skill like any other, and needs to be learned.

    I don't know if there is any way you can suggest the benefits of that to them.
This discussion has been closed.