How to Handle Over-Controlling Parents
As a young adult, independence is something you crave as you spend more time away from home and start looking towards higher education and job prospects. To live a healthy, balanced life you need social experience and knowledge which can only be cultivated when you are given the right freedoms.
However, some parents can helicopter our lives and take control, making us feel trapped in the family relationship and unable to connect with others and lead our own life. Often, parents act in this way from a place of love. They think they are doing it for our good when in reality they are only stifling our independence.
If you feel like your parents have too much control over your life, then read on for tips on how you can start to gain more independence in your life without hurting your parent’s feelings.
Sit Down and Talk to Them
Before you even try and consider different ways to tackle your parent’s control, you need to get them to acknowledge their actions. There’s no need to be nervous about having a conversation like this as being open and honest with your parents is the best decision. Sit down and talk to them about how their helicoptering actions are making you feel claustrophobic in the family sphere.
Providing examples of times you parents might have taken their control too far is a great way to help even the most stubborn people acknowledge their mistakes. While even then some parents might deny their actions are wrong, you have taken the first step into releasing yourself from their overbearing control by telling them how you feel. This can help them understand the changes you will make in the dynamics of your family relationship easier, making it less likely anyone ends up with hurt feelings.
Take Control of Your Life
Controlling parents who ‘helicopter’ can make finding your independence difficult. However, once you have told them of your intent to taste more freedom, you can start to spread your wings and take control of your own life. If you are at University, this becomes much easier as living away from home is the ultimate independence test, and you can prove to your parents you don’t need them around all the time.
Even if you still live at home, you have more hours away from the helicoptering to make new friends and be somewhere new which can help create circumstances like nights out where your parents have to relinquish control.
If you remain at home, start taking control back in your life by reminding your parents you aren’t a child anymore. You have your own key and phone and can go wherever you want. Promising to check in with them when you arrive at your destination will help ease the transition for your parents but is still a new freedom for someone who previously had a hard time leaving the house.
It Is Your Future
Controlling parents often might think they know what is best for your future. They might choose your University for you, taking away your chance to live in new places or take the courses you want to do. You might even want to go down a different path and take an apprenticeship or start your own business, but because your parents don’t see this as a ‘good choice’, they remove these options for you.
You need to remove your parents from decision making about your future if you want to feel accomplished and happy with your higher education or working life. Remind your parents you are at an age where these decisions are for you to make and not someone else. Even if the discussions go south, there are many ways you can still attend University without the help or support of your parents. Just hold your ground and tell your parents how you feel, at the end of the day it is your future these decisions impact, and therefore you should have the final choice.
Go to Therapy
Sometimes parents who helicopter can’t see the wrong in their actions and refuse to listen when you speak up. For whatever reasons they think they are acting with the best intentions and don’t want to change the way they parent you, even as you age. If this makes living your life more difficult or results in arguments at home, seeking out family therapy might be your best option.
Counsellors have experience working with families who are at loggerheads for whatever the reason, so your situation won’t be something entirely new. They can help your parents understand why you feel controlled in your relationship and help advise them on how they can let go more. At the same time, they can open your eyes to why your parents are helicoptering your life, making you aware of some undisclosed fears, emotions and experiences which drive their actions which you might have never been aware of.
Don’t let your fear of upsetting your parents stop you from talking to them about independence and control. If you think you need some help repairing the relationship and seeking more freedom, then contact me today for more information about my services.