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Coping With Strict Parents

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 1 Mar 2017 | comments*Discuss
Strict Parents Rules Parental Rules

Sometimes parents set rules because they fear for their children’s safety, because they don’t think that their children can do it for themselves or even to stay in control or to bring about a desired outcome or simply because they can. Regardless of why parents set rules teens must learn to live within these guidelines. But what happens if parents are overly strict?

Meet in the Middle

Often teenagers don’t recognise that they have strict parents until they brush up against a rule that they don’t like. If this is the case for you, don’t bother yelling and screaming about the unfairness of it all because chances are your parents will ignore you until you yell yourself hoarse. Instead, meet your parents in the middle. Ask them to sit down with you to discuss:
  • Every rule under which you operate.
  • The rules that you understand and respect.
  • The rules that you feel are unfair.
  • The reasons why you feel that these rules are unfair.
  • The reasons why your parents feel that the disputed rules are necessary.
  • Possible compromises regarding rules that could be relaxed.

Show that You are Serious

If your past behaviour leaves your parents rolling their eyes at your level of responsibility, offer to show that you are serious about the compromises that you have suggested. Don’t just give them empty promises, but rather let your parents see your intentions in your actions. Consider:

  • Drawing up a contract that you are willing to sign regarding the compromise rules.

  • Suggesting appropriate punishments in the event that a compromise rule is broken.

  • Offering to take on extra responsibilities at home in order to compromise on some of the household rules – or better yet, just start taking them on.

  • Detailing, in writing, exactly why you should be rewarded with compromise rules and what you will learn from the changes.

Stay Calm and Collected

In order to succeed in coping with strict parents you’ll need to not only show that you are serious about changes in their rules, but that you can be a serious teen as well. Stay calm and collected at all times when discussing your parents’ rules, and avoid:

  • Raising your voice.
  • Interrupting others.
  • Whining.
  • Running away.
  • Throwing/kicking/hitting things.
  • Slamming doors.

Ask for Help

If, despite your best efforts, your parents refuse to budge regarding the rules of their regime then you may need to ask for help from other adults. Remember, you’ll need to be totally committed and truly believe that your parents’ rules are outrageous or you’ll run the risk of looking immature and/or insincere. If you remain committed to change, then enlist the aid of:

  • A relative or family friend.
  • A teacher or guidance counsellor.
  • A member of the clergy close to your family.
  • A private or family therapist.
  • A trained mediator.

Most parents make rules in the best interest of their children, but sometimes they go a little overboard. If you are coping with strict parents, do your best to speak with them seriously about their rules and the effect that they are having on your life. Show your parents that you are committed to compromising and you might be pleased with the results. But if things don’t go your way and you truly believe that your strict parents are affecting your life, then consider asking for help from another trusted adult. Whatever you do, be ready to commit fully to any compromises that your parents offer and don’t ever make them regret their decision. Remember, regaining lost trust will be harder than it was to bring about a compromise in the first place.

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[Add a Comment]
Teresa Ramirez - Your Question:
My parents don't even let me go to school.they homeschool me?!I don't have any friends and getting really depressed. I'm almost 17 yrs old and I've never been to a party, can't have social media, not allowed to sleep over, my parents won't let me watch pg13 movies without researching them? What do you recomend for my parents? I'm really struggling.

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. It is difficult to advise as you don't mention the reasons why your parents are strict and whether you have spoken to them or not. In addition to any advice in the article, you could perhaps sit down and try to have a conversation about your situation and how it is making you unhappy. You could start with saying; 'do you know in so many months I'll be 18 and then I am free to make my own decisions about what I do in life'. You could then go on to say; 'All of my life you have sheltered me from the world, but when I am 18 I want to start properly living, can you help me prepare for this?' If you approach it in this manner and ask for their help, then you are passing your parents the responsibility and it could be a process of working together to integrate you into the outside world. If they still refuse, then you have some decisions to make when you are 18 - as then you will be no longer legally under their control and you will be able to decide what level of autonomy you wish to have. I hope this helps and good luck.
TeenIssues - 2-Mar-17 @ 10:22 AM
My parents don't even let me go to school.they homeschool me?!I don't have any friends and getting really depressed. I'm almost 17 yrs old and I've never been to a party, can't have social media, not allowed to sleep over, my parents won't let me watch pg13 movies without researching them? What do you recomend for my parents? I'm really struggling.
Teresa - 1-Mar-17 @ 11:19 AM
The best way to defeat parents is to adopt my mentality, if they punish you for acting out of line even when you did nothing wrong by taking stuff away you have less to lose, keep at it until 1 of 2 things happen, they give in and throw the towel away, or they break the law, if they do the latter tell them they are in for it now with the law, if they don't listen, well you've just gotten rid of the problem
Jack - 11-Jan-17 @ 11:20 PM
Hello! I am 15 and I have very strict dad. I am a straight A student, but because he pressures me to be one. Recently I got a C in a math exam and he went all mad on me. I want to tell him some stuff, but because he is short-tempered he will be mad at me. I do want to fix my grade, and even though he knows that I will, he yells at me all the time. I wouldn't call myself disrespectful, I'm just tired of him yelling at me all the time. How do I tell him I don't want to be a perfectionist? How do I tell him that I think a bad grade is ok as long as you try and fix it?
Addison25 - 2-Dec-16 @ 10:41 AM
I'm officially 16 and I've finished school and my gcse's. My dad has a reputation for having a short temper. when someone disagrees with something he said he can get agressive and angry etc. For a treat for doing well this year they took me to zizis. it was a good night my parents said they would get me deadpool on dvd and we will watch it together we got home and watched the film. Deadpool is one of these films you never watch with parents and it's not your typical marvel film. my mum went to bed by the end because she was tired and my dad said the film was "dribble". But I injoyed the film. The next day witch was fathers day I woke up and noticed the film was gone? I than relised they took it onpurpose I searched the house and found the film in my dad's overnight bag I asked them wy it was in there. They got angry that I was snooping around there stuff witch is understandable. Then we got onto the question at hand my mum said the film was inopropiate degrading and unsuitable even tho it is rated 15 and I'm 16 my parents said it should of been a higher rateing and they didnt want me to be exposed to things like this. (even tho ive seen worse). I completely respected there opinion. But they were still angry about the snooping and still overacting about the movie I said "jesus it's just a film" my dad got offended because he's religious my dad said he would "rip my head off" if I said anything like that again. I got quite upset because my dad and his temper and most of all the threat i can take things personally because of my Autism.my mum said it was simply the heat of the moment. I'm still upset because it's common when someone does something that is in upsetting in the present memories of the past of similar actions start to appear in my mind some I still haven't moved on from. my mum said I would get the film back by the end of the summer and I quote shrek "like that's going to happen" so there you go just shows how things can escalate. Furthermore fathers day was normalish and my dad was ok and my parents still have deadpool. what do I do to prevent this from happening also how do I sort this out
-P - 19-Jun-16 @ 7:56 PM
Hello! My name is Naomi, I'm 18 years old in June and it's almost 2 years I'm together with my boyfriend. I come from italy but now I live in a boarding school and at the end of term it's going to be 7 weeks that I don't see him. He asked me to ho on holiday with him & some friends of ours for just 2 days in Barcelona and I really want to go. I am responsible and independent now and this is thanks a lot to the fact that I live here on my own and trust me it's not easy. The point is that my dad firstly he was almost going to say yes but then he decided no to. I really want to find a way to convince him and make him understand that he can't trap me forever in the house just because he is jealous. So please, can someone help me to make him change his mind? Please. Thank you so much! Naomi Ferrari
Naomi6 - 3-Dec-12 @ 11:25 PM
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