In life, your parents have a great and special place. Why? They normally want to take great care of everything for you.
For instance, they do your dirty laundry. They will pack your lunch. They exercise their rights over you to give you curfews. They will scold your friends and try to stand up for you each opportunity they get. They even want to choose your dates. There are many other things they do for you to ensure you’re comfortable. They wipe your chin and fix your hair and will tell you what your wardrobe ought to look like. This is quite endearing, isn’t it?
Well, the only issue here is that you are ten years and over being a teenager. You have become an adult, to the eyes of the world. However, your parents will not just see this. So, you have a problem on how to convince your parents you are an adult.
As a teenager, probably you could not wait till you reached adulthood. This is the magical time that you would be able to ride off into the sunset of independence and freedom.
This is a fact. To your parents, you’re always their little child. Therefore, you can just imagine how it causes complications concerning convincing them to take you seriously, and provide that space you need to make your own critical choices in life. It’s not always easy.
Communication is the key…
How then can you deal with such a situation? One thing you’re going to realise is that the key is communication. With your parents, this is the best way you can deal with any kind of situation.
So you want to convince your parents that you’re an adult? Know this: How you react to them is very vital. Do not expect that a long screaming session is going to solve anything. On the contrary, this might just further convince your parents you should be under strict surveillance, or even be admitted into a rehab. What you need to get your parents to loosen their grip on you is going to need lots of patience, and on several instances some gentle confrontation. But first…
1. You should accept responsibility.
You might not normally like it when your parents “over-parent” you as an adult. However, in some cases, this is quite convenient. For example, where finances are concerned, when they need to pay everything for you, why not? But when, as an adult, they want to know where, and with whom, you’re with at all times — that’s another different thing. They just cannot do that. Correct?
When you are dependent financially on your parents, you should and cannot be surprised when they want to control you or be concerned with your life. For them to seriously take you as a responsible adult, you need to be a responsible adult capable of taking care of yourself. This includes your finances. By the way, this is what grownups do.
You now have a job and responsibilities. You should plan out your budget. Allocate your finances as well as monthly maintenance. Communicate to them that you’re going to take care of responsibility that month. Go on living within your means without bothering or relying on them. Surely, they are also not going to bother with your life if you show them this degree of responsibility.
2. Be open.
Do not try quarrelling with your parents over an issue. On the other hand, simply do not admit to things that you are uncomfortable with. You should tell them gently, and firmly when something bothers or offends you. It’d be easier for them to stop and listen when you honestly approach the situation, while you still maintain a level of respect. Right?
3. Establish boundaries.
Yes. Don’t provide your parents total control over your life. Tell them respectfully when you feel they have overstepped the boundary. When they criticise you, instead of agreeing with them or lashing out at them, you should make them be aware you’re comfortable with your action or choice and would appreciate it when they understand or accept that. Let them be aware that you know the consequence of your actions.
4. Empathise with them.
This might be hard. But you should try putting yourself in their shoes. It is not you they are really attacking. They are attacking their own insecurities! It is not unusual for parents to show attached and over-affectionate behaviour toward their children. Don’t completely alienate them. Establish that boundary while still maintaining a healthy relationship with them.
You should be sensitive toward their feelings. Do not, in order to suit your arguments, bring out their own shortcomings. You are an adult now, and you should behave like one.
Your parents may feel rejected by your need to be independent. However, this comes from the realisation you no longer need them.
5. Move out.
While you are still living under your parents’ roof, you are going to play by their rules. This is how it has been always. There might be several variables as to why you are still living at home as an adult. This might as well be because of their firm hold on you. They might be convincing you into staying, crying out aloud how selfish it would be for you to leave. They might encourage you to leave, while at the same time pointing out all possible reasons why that might be a bad move.
As you mature, your need for privacy and personal space increase. There’s great value that you can derive by simply moving out, even when it’s for a short while.
When you are ready to move out, sit down with them to discuss your plans. You can assure them either with a time frame (maybe you’ll be away for a year), or through letting them know you’ll be visiting them at least once each month. Staying in touch is going to help ease their worries.
It can be quite frustrating and difficult dealing with overbearing parents. However, do not forget that you need to accept the responsibility of perpetuating the cordial relationship you have with them.
You don’t have to totally accept their behaviour towards you. You should be mature and respectful while being assertive and honest while communicating with your requirement for independence.
It’s the true mark of adulthood. And with time, they are going to see that you are capable of being your own person, and making responsible choices in life.