When it comes to every aspect of your life, from school to career options and lifestyle choices, your parents or guardians have strong opinions. Here are tips on how to deal with parental pressure before you explode.
It isn’t uncommon or necessarily bad for our parents or guardians to have expectations, however too much pressure can make you feel frustrated and sad - especially if your opinions are being ignored. Here's how you can deal with the pressure:
Learn to communicate
Communication is one of the most difficult things for us to figure out. Unfortunately, most people (even those older than us) take it for granted, and often let their emotions get the best of them. Of course, as young people we are influenced by this as well, and we end up with some bad communication habits that create more problems than they fix.
Communication is a two-way street- you need to speak as well as listen. When speaking about a touchy issue, it helps if you really try to understand where your parents/guardians are coming from and why they feel the way they feel. You may not necessarily agree with them, but you need to put yourself in their shoes.
Don’t get aggressive, overly emotional or accusatory. Be sure to express your concerns in a calm, respectful way. If you make the effort to communicate in this way, chances are you’ll be able to get further with them because they won’t see you as argumentative or difficult.
Find common ground
If your parents/guardians are putting pressure on you to do well at school or in other aspects of your life, chances are they only want what’s best for you. They want you to get a good job and have the opportunity to live well as an adult. They may also feel the need to prepare you for life by advising you to do or not do certain things.
It is, however, also true that they aren’t perfect - and sometimes, their advice may be misguided or ill-informed. This is why it’s so important for you to find a middle ground between their point of view and yours. Chances are that you can both learn from each other, and balancing all of your ideas out is a great way to do this.
Show your maturity
Usually, those who are raising us might act overbearing because they believe we can’t make good decisions for ourselves. If you’re in this position, your parents/guardians are having trouble seeing you as a mature, well-informed person who can make healthy decisions in life. A good way to prove them wrong is to show you are mature and know what you’re speaking about. Show them that you’ve done your research and that you aren’t just recklessly making a decision out of the blue.
Don’t close yourself off
When you feel pressured and misunderstood, your first instinct may be to close yourself off and not share any information about your personal life with your parents/guardians. However, the more you do this, the more overbearing they’ll become. Instead, try speaking to them more often about your interests, hobbies and your life in general. You’ll be surprised how much they’ll appreciate your openness and honesty, and how they may even become more lenient once they see that you’re being open with them.
Whatever the outcome of your talk is, try to be patient and do what you need to do until such a time when you’re ready to leave the house and become self-reliant. Part of living with and being taken care of by your parents/guardians is respecting and following their rules. It can be really hard, we know- but be patient because before you know it, you’ll be an adult and you won’t have their guidance to help you out. Be grateful for it while you can, and try to see their guidance in a more positive way.
Feeling pressured is never nice, and it can affect you negatively if you don’t know how to deal with it in the right way. We hope you give these tips a try and find them useful when communicating with the adults in your life.