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Coping with overbearing parents
by Storyteller. February 5th 2013, 11:56 AM

Coping with overbearing parents
By Sammi (Jellybean.)

As we go through our teenage years, our parents or guardians have a tendency to try to hold onto our childhood. For some, that means doing activities together to try and keep the close relationship they had when their child was growing up. For others, it could mean parents continuing to try to control their kids' lives and insert their opinions when they are not wanted. Some parents, however, take things to extreme levels. They can become so worried about their child's well-being and the influences of their peers that they begin to shelter their children, sometimes so much that it can feel to the child as if they are drowning. While sheltering kids isn't always bad (after all, there are some things that kids don't need to know right away), when it's preventing them from getting a broader understanding of the real world, it becomes a problem. It's not uncommon to have one or both parents act this way, but it doesn't have to remain that way. If you're living in a home with overbearing parents, try using some of the tips in this article.

Before bringing up anything regarding your feelings towards their behavior, try to assess their reasoning for being so over-protective. There's a good chance that they're concerned about whether or not they have done a good enough job raising you. If this is the case, they may not be convinced that you have been taught enough to make proper choices when faced with the peer pressure that often happens in during the pre-teen and teenage years. Another reason that your parents seem to be so over-protective may be because of their fear of losing you. Many parent-child relationships tend to change as the child gets older, which can sometimes be perceived as drifting or falling out by the parent. This is natural, no matter how close the relationship once was. You might notice that you'd rather go hang out with your friends or significant other rather than spend a night in with your family. While this is normal, it could raise concern for some parents, as they feel that they will lose you completely. This could lead them to become even more overprotective and involved in your life, to try to keep you as close as possible, for as long as possible.

Regardless of what you discover their reasoning to be, communicating with your parents is one of the most important things that you can do. They might not even realize that an issue is there, no matter how obvious it might seem to you. Try to arrange a time to sit down with your parents and talk about how you are feeling and the changes that you would like to make in order for everyone to feel at ease. If you can, plan a time and place where everyone will be able to give their full attention and be honest about their views on the situation.

If your parent's reasons for being so over-protective are closer to the first reason provided above, make the purpose of your conversation to show them that they did do a good job raising you and that you can be trusted to make good decisions in your life. You could illustrate this by reminding them about your good grades, the good circle of friends that you have surrounded yourself with, or the fact that you have kept to your responsibilities in life so far. You could also consider making a deal with them, so that both you and your parents will be satisfied. For example, you could ask them to provide you with more freedom, given that you are completely honest with them about where you are going and who you will be with. Come up with appropriate consequences if either of you fail to hold up your end of the agreement. If you show your parents that you're willing to respect their wishes and make mature choices with the freedom that they do grant you, they might be more lenient in the future.

If your parent's reasoning for being over-bearing fits into the second category (the fear of losing you), there is an entirely different conversation to be had. Let your parents know that you're aware of the fact that they want to hold onto your innocence and the relationship you once had. After all, you used to be the kid that needed them for everything. Again, a compromise could help you in this situation. Perhaps you could offer to spend one weekend a month with your parents only. Make a pact to avoid any outside influences, including those that come from TV, phones, and social networking sites like Facebook. Use that time to keep them up to date on your life and to re-connect. Take a break from your busy life and remind them that you're still happy to spend time with them. Also, make a point of reminding your parents that you do still need them. Ask for help with homework or dating advice. Let them know that you appreciate the little things that they do for you. The more they see that you don't want them out of your life completely, the greater the chance that they'll become more relaxed about letting you go.

Regardless of what happens, remember that your parents truly want the best for you. They're just doing the best that they can to raise you and make you a responsible young adult.
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