How to Gain Your Freedom from Overprotective Parents
If you have overprotective parents, you'll be familiar with the fight that comes with wanting to go out of the house or hanging out with friends. Depending on how overprotective they are (there's definitely different levels), you may or may not be in for a real fight, even if you're just wanting to go out to see a movie with a bunch of friends.
For me, my mom was always super-protective-how-dare-you-want-to-go-out-you-must-hate-me, while my dad encouraged me to go out. When I was younger I couldn't stand against my mom, so I grew up never hanging out with friends or leaving the house. Throughout elementary school and middle school whenever someone asked if I wanted to do something with them, I would ask my mom and eventually be guilted into not going. After that, I stopped trying and my friends stopped asking if I could do something (as I never could).
Keep in Mind...
...the end goal in mind before confrontation. It will help you stand your ground.
Prepare Yourself and Your Resolve
If you've reached the point where you are tired of not being able to go out with friends, or you want more freedom for yourself, the first thing you need to do is ready your mind. This is crucial. The first time you make your stand against your parent(s), you'll have to fight against caving in.
For me, this didn't happen until my third year of college or so. Yes, I know that is a very, very long time. I regret not going to any of my high school dances. Although to be honest, I wasn't too interested in dancing and I was super self conscious and rarely said a word to anyone throughout high school. I did however, really want to go to the party after prom, but my mom somehow ended up guilt-ing me into not going. I ended up crying and just thinking "fine, I didn't want to go anyway."
Tips to Keep in Mind
- If you're parents know your friends/who you'll be hanging out with, they'll be more likely to say yes.
- Don't push too far, too fast. Take is slow.
- If they say no right away, try bartering with how good you're doing at school and how you'll be back before a certain time.
- Keep in touch with your parents and let them know you're okay when you're out. (It's annoying, but a small sacrifice)
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How to Make Your Stand
Before even confronting your parent(s), keep your end goal in mind. If it's to go out with friends to a movie, don't let them win right away. It's okay if you don't get what you want at first. Try to barter and keep it at a level that they will be comfortable with.
If your parents don't want you hanging around with the opposite sex (which is another issue, but relevant), assure them that there will be a lot of people going. If they don't like you being out past a certain hour, see a movie and be back before that time. After a while, you can start asking for more. They will get more comfortable with you leaving the house. Just give them what they want somewhat (like a text message when you get there) and don't push too far too quickly.
Honestly, it's a lot like taking baby steps. Don't expect them to be okay with you having a serious date and not coming home until 1am the first time you ask. Let them build their trust in you first and get comfortable before stretching their limits.
And really, it's not so much as "asking" as putting your foot down. This may be hard at first, but if you open yourself up to a "yes or no" question, they're going to automatically say no, because they said so. An example of this would be "I want to go to the movies this Friday with so and so. A lot of people will be there and I'll be home by xxx. I'll text you when I get there."
Depending on how they answer, you may end up having to barter and convince them. "I've been doing really well in school lately and I don't go out a lot. I'll be sure to be careful, xxx is driving." It also helps if your parents know who you are hanging out with. If you have to bring them by, go for it. Play video games, ask if they can come over for dinner, etc. If you're parents are comfortable with your choice in friends, they'll be less likely to say no.
Be Patient and Keep Trying
I can't stress how important it is to keep trying and pushing your boundaries. Depending on how overprotective and how hard it is for you to get your parents to agree to let you have your way, the longer it'll take to get them used to the idea.
One of the things my mom always complained about it that I was "given a little freedom and then I took advantage of it." Yeah, because I had been cooped up for years and years! But realistically, this made it harder to get her used to the idea of me going out. I probably should have taken it slower, but by that time I was 19 or 20 and I knew that she was being unreasonable.
Be prepared for "I'm not talking to you" and the silent treatment every once in a while. I luckily had my dad to help calm my mom down sometimes, but I would still come home and find that my mom wasn't speaking to me. Eventually though, she did finally get used to me leaving the house, having a job, hanging out with friends and having a boyfriend. It wasn't in any way easy for her to accept it, but I tried to make it easier by spending time with her.
I figure that one of her biggest fears was me not wanting to spend time with her, so I made sure to still watch tv and our shows together and keep in touch with her via texting when I could.
It's not easy, but if it's something that you want, keep trying. It's well worth the struggle and once you finally do gain your freedom and independence, you'll find that you don't feel as anxious, lonely and caged up as you used to.
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