1. People & Relationships

Why Do Parents Always Tell You What to Do?

How Can You Get Your Parents to Relax and Let You Make Your Own Choices?


Few things are as frustrating as having your parents try to run your life. As a teen you are trying hard to find your own place in the world. Making decisions for yourself, be those choices good ones or bad, is something that helps you do that.

Your parents have been teens, they know that you often need to make mistakes to learn from them. So why can’t they sit back and just let you live your life?

Why Your Parents Interfere

Your parents can’t sit back and watch you make mistakes because they love you. It’s hard to understand when you don’t have children yourself but parents find it physically distressing to know that their children are up to things that could do them harm.

If your parents think that you are hiding things from them in order to do things they wouldn’t approve of they can get anxious. Their anxiety makes them act more strictly toward you. It is a vicious circle. When your parents fear for you nothing else matters as much as keeping you safe. If they fear that you will suffer physical or emotional harm from your choices they will try to run interference. It’s in their parental nature.

Getting Your Parents to Relax

What can you do to get your parents to relax and let you make your own choices and mistakes? There really is only one thing you have to do; you have to foster trust. You must behave in an open and honest manner with your parents at all times. You need to give them an idea of how you think and behave when they aren’t around.

You can help them to trust you by showing them that you have listened to the things they have taught you and that you appreciate the values they have worked hard to instill in you. This means that there will be times when you will have to do exactly as they have asked regardless of how much you disagree.

Doing what they ask of you when you don’t like it or when it means sacrifice on your part demonstrates respect for your parents. Showing respect is an important part of building trust. By showing them they can trust you even when you disagree with them they will relax about the way you live your life. This will benefit everybody, most of all you.

How to Build Trust

Trust isn’t a one way street. You have to give trust to get it. This means that there will be times when you will need to trust your parents’ judgment even if you don’t like it and even if you don’t understand where they are coming from. Your parents will be much more likely to trust you if you show that you trust them.

All relationships take compromise to be successful and parent-child relationships are no exception. When trust is established there will still be times when you will have to compromise and do what your parents ask of you. In return your parents will be much more comfortable compromising and letting you get your way from time to time.

Getting Your Parents to Compromise

How do you get your parents to trust you and be willing to be the ones to make compromises? You show your parents that you are listening to them. Let them know that you accept that they have the benefit of life experience and that there are times when you are willing to defer to their judgment. Do this and you will strengthen your position when you really feel strongly about doing something they don’t like.

Your parents will listen to you because you have listened to them. They will trust what you tell them because you have shown them through your behavior that you can be trusted. By doing what they ask of you even when you don’t like it you show them that when they make the compromise you won’t let them down. Furthermore, they will trust you to be honest about your intentions and the outcomes of your choices.

When your parents can trust you to tell them exactly what you are doing, and when they know that you will come to them if something goes wrong, they will relax. By building trust you will get to do what you want more often. The secret to getting your parents to relax their safety hold on you is that simple.

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