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How to Deal with Pressure From Parents

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 27 Jan 2018 | comments*Discuss
Parent Pressure Pressure From Parents

Most parents just want what is best for their children, but when their ideas of what is best for you don't quite match your own, frustration and anger can run riot. To try to help you see things their way, parents may resort to pressuring you without even realising it. If you feel that one, or both, of your parents is pressuring you to act or think a certain way, use this handy how-to guide to dealing with parent pressure.

Remain Calm

Even if it is the tenth time this hour that your mother has told you to stop slouching/watch your mouth/put away your laundry, remain calm. Getting into a screaming match may help you blow of some steam, but if you want your parents to listen to what you have to say, make sure that you say it in a reasonable tone. Remaining calm and speaking seriously will convey to your parents that you:

  • Have given your topic serious thought
  • Can speak about your topic in a reasonable manner
  • Are mature enough to have a discussion, not an argument
  • Will be willing to listen to their opinions during this discussion

Know Your Argument

Of course by the time your parents realise that you are willing to have a discussion with them, you really must be ready to have this discussion. Make sure that you know your argument and can present it in a convincing manner. It doesn't matter if you are trying to make them understand your desire to dye your hair, defer university or sell your younger brother; the aspects of a convincing argument remain the same:

  • Know your own mind and be clear about your main points - remind them that you only want to experiment with dying your hair blonde, not pink or purple, and that you are perfectly willing to use only semi-permanent dye
  • Research evidence or, even better, statistics - if you can tell your parents that you understand their desire for you to go to university, but you would prefer to be one of the 88% (or whatever you discover it really is) that defer to take a gap year, they will be more likely to listen to you as you explain why
  • Present an alternative plan - explain your reasons for wanting to sell your younger brother, but if your parents don't seem convinced offer an alternative such as sending him to boarding school to show that you understand their hesitations

Enlist the Aid of an Expert

It's highly unlikely that you will be able to bring in Sir Alex Ferguson to explain to your father why he must give up his dreams of you one day playing for Manchester United, but it is feasible that you can find another kind of expert - an expert on your father. Think of family and friends who are used to the way your parents' minds work and may have seen them put pressure on you. Options include:

  • Your aunts and uncles (your parents' brothers and sisters).
  • Your grandparents (your parents' own mother and father).
  • Family friends (look for someone who has known your parents for decades).
  • Your older siblings (they've probably endured similar pressure and have survived).
  • A favourite teacher or coach (if they know you have a talent, they will help you fight for it and if they know that you don't have a talent, they may be able to explain this to your parents).
  • School counsellor (they are wicked at getting parents to see the big picture).

Be Willing to Compromise

Life's not fair; no doubt you know that already, so expecting to get your way all of the time is unrealistic. When you parents pressure you, they do so because they are passionate about the subject and it is unlikely that they will back off completely. Show your parents that you understand at least some of their passion by being willing to compromise. Try to find a middle ground - you'll study French for an hour every night, but not with the silly tutor they found, you'll consider babysitting your cousins regularly if they'll consider subsidising your mobile phone bills - and hopefully you'll find something you can agree upon.

Parent pressure can make your home life a living hell, but following these handy hints should help lessen the pressure and let you all meet in the middle. If, however, your parents are pressuring you to the point that you feel endangered either physically or mentally, contact a trusted adult such as a family friend, teacher, doctor or policeman immediately. Otherwise, hold tight because this too shall pass!

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my parents have always pressurized me into doing things I don't really like. I am in the IB and havelot of homework everyday, and on top of that they want me to go to gym, play a sport, learn a musical instrument. I'm honestly done with life. In order to fit all of this stuff i am forced to leave my hobbies behind. And now that the college apps are going to be done I need my ACT/ SAT scores. My first attempt at ACT and i got a 22, my parents were extremely disappointed and now i have to give act again along with SAT. The best part is im not even sure whether ill apply to the US cause my mother is adamant that i apply to the UK. My life is literally a joke. Also when i show her colleges i like, she always rejects them by telling me that they are not good enough. I seriously have no social life left. Nonetheless IB has already given me enough BS that my mind is about to explode. AND how can i forget all the screaming and beating i have to undergo everyday.
cats - 27-Jan-18 @ 11:04 AM
hi. I live in an apartment with only my mum. Even though I bring home A's and B's, she yells at me. She barely acknowledges anything i've worked for, yet yells at me for hours if i make a mistake. i'm barely allowed to have a social life at the moment. i'm 16 and I'm not allowed to go out of the house by myself. I can't even be left home alone. though I have a passion for music and dancing, my mom says I have to be a doctor or i'll fail her. She yells at me every single day for doing anything "un-christian" and constantly compares me to relatives. help??
rinny - 17-Nov-17 @ 1:36 AM
i got a grade 7 (A) in my science mock a few days ago and all my mum said to me was, “why didn’t you get an 8 (a*)
Charlie Twell - 14-Nov-17 @ 10:23 PM
@Harishma - I don't think you are alone though. So many generations have been through this and will go through it. It seems it is all part of growing up. Your mum really just wants the best for you and it sounds as though she realises that she is being unfair later. Parents can show their love sometimes in very unlikely ways, but it is only because she loves and cares about your future <3
HeidiH - 20-Oct-17 @ 11:10 AM
I got my English test and my maths test back on the same day and I got 43 out of 50 and in my English I got a 16 out of 30 and I told my mum my maths and she says well done but when I told my English she got really mad at me and she didn't care about what I done well and cared about what I done bad and it's been always like that and at the end she says I won't shout or do this again but she does and she expects me to a get 100% in all tests. I told her this and she shouted at me and said I won't care and your studies anymore and carried on shouting. She always compares me to other people and the girl she normally compares me to got 9 out of 30 and when I said I got better than her she was like she doesn't care. She then shouted that I should study and I said that I read the book and bought a study guide and workbook and done all of it and she screamed that I'm rubbish at English and that I'm going to leave the school. She then went downstairs and after a while she called me and talked as if she was talking normally and said I will never ever care about your studies anymore. She doesn't understand how much pressure us teenagers are put through.
Harishma - 19-Oct-17 @ 3:48 PM
At my school, the grading system is based on the overall work done. I got an F on a project that didn't change my grade and my mom grounds me for a month even though my grade is still a B+. Also, she seems to not care about any achievements I have, she only cares about the bad things. I work hard every day trying my best but that apparently isn't good enough for her.
znicolas6 - 11-Oct-17 @ 3:47 AM
I feel so pressured to do well.. I am so afraid to mess up and get in trouble. I just sometimes wish that my parents would be more understanding.. :(
Tumblr_queen - 2-Oct-17 @ 1:09 AM
@Coco - do you have time to even sleep. This is really unfair too. You should go on strike until your mum will negotiate new terms :)
Mouse - 14-Sep-17 @ 10:04 AM
@Comrade Eric - I can understand your parents not letting you out until your homework is done. But not letting you go to yoru friends' houses to have some down time is unfair :(
Mouse - 14-Sep-17 @ 10:02 AM
My mom makes me play piano 1hr a day plus 1 hr lessons every week, 1 hr Chinese classes every day and 3 hr Chinese school every Sunday, study math for 45 mins a day, watch my baby brother 1 hour a day, clean, read, do sports and expects strait As!!! I told her once that she was putting to much pressure on me and she just got really pissed off and screamed in my face. Idk what to do. She also said I i don't do what she tells me then she'll take away my phone and iPad. Hopeless
Coco - 13-Sep-17 @ 1:02 AM
Im in IB so I always have homework. Which in itself is fine but my parents dont understand why my homework is never "all done" and wont let me do anything unless it is. Also they dont trust me at all and I cant even go to a friends house. I am 16 already. This is ridiculous.
Comrade Eric - 13-Sep-17 @ 1:02 AM
@Liv - stick to your guns and do what YOU want to do. You need to be happy in life.
Amy - 11-Sep-17 @ 3:10 PM
Guys wait listen to me Just wait Nobody like nobody who has got success in life has got it from pressure from somebody else We do need a push sometimes(parental pressure) BUT WAIT TILL YOU DON'T GIVE YOUR HEART IN THAT WORK ONLY MIND AND WILL POWER ARE NOT AT ALL SUFFICIENT TO MAKE YOU ANY GOOD IN ANYTHING ITS the HEART Till you don't put your heart in it (in the work you are doing) ITS NOT GOING TO GET ANY GOOD AND IF IT STILL DOES, THEN REMEMBER YOU CAN DO FAR BETTER THAN THIS. NOW WHAT TO DO? HOW TO DO THIS WHEN YOU ARE GETTING SO MUCH UNNECESSARY AND USELESS PRESSURE? Self talk to yourself See for yourself and understand that if I do this wholeheartedly then I can do this better and you will realize that your work was never that hard as much you considered it to be.
Adarsh - 11-Sep-17 @ 10:22 AM
I would really like to do something medical with my career such as medicine and stuff like that but my mom really wants me to do law which I don't really like. I'm also going l joining my school's air cadets but my mom wants me to join a different one. I love her, but I also feel quite pressured
Liv - 9-Sep-17 @ 9:46 AM
my parents think im too bad. and that i need some psychology help. They dont get that i do everything to socialise and get better friends. Im pretty less in colour so im trying toincrease my popularity in social accounts.
shenayaa - 21-Jul-17 @ 4:05 PM
Abby - Your Question:
Hi I am in the eight grade and my mom pressures me too Much to get good grades just because I got like one f in two of my classes and really yells at me when I don't do the work and also keeps me up at night because she is on her phone or doing anything loud and I can't sleep and now because of so much pressure from her I have to do summer school and she is mad and said that I can't do anything fun and always makes me feel bad and says that I will be old studying but it's not that I don't want to study its just I get bullied at school and also it is hard to concentrate she does not get that she thinks I don't want to study but I do but it's hard and I am so stressed and secretly self harmand also cry a lot I really do not know what to do.

Our Response:
Is there anyone you can speak to in your school, or a relation or family friend? Have you talked to you mum directly? Try to sit her down and tell her what your issues are (don't shout as arguments get us nowhere). Talking is the best option. Childline is also there if you need to talk to someone you don't know - please see link here. However, on another note, you never know, summer school might be fun.
TeenIssues - 20-Jun-17 @ 3:50 PM
Hi I am in the eight grade and my mom pressures me too Much to get good grades just because I got like one f in two of my classes and really yells at me when I don't do the work and also keeps me up at night because she is on her phone or doing anything loud and I can't sleep and now because of so much pressure from her I have to do summer school and she is mad and said that I can't do anything fun and always makes me feel bad and says that I will be old studying but it's not that I don't want to study itsjust I get bullied at school and also it is hard to concentrate she does not get that she thinks I don't want to study but I do but it's hard and I am so stressed and secretly self harmand also cry a lot I really do not know what to do.
Abby - 17-Jun-17 @ 8:58 PM
@sai - I know you don't want to - but you need to speal to your teachers again. They will help - they are there to continue to ensure you are safe and well cared for. Beth.
BR - 22-May-17 @ 11:40 AM
I have faced the problem in my 12 grade by my parents, he hurt me by kicking me. My New Year 2017 was spoiled by them. They made me. Have a bad n lot worse New Year. They says that cutting cake is off the culture. N they gave me a lots of rules, when I decided to quit life without freedom. But when.i shared with htis to my friend ,he advised me to counsel this with the teachers. I just cried before her n explained my life without freedom n living a life of slave. She saved me by advising my parents. But now they still annoying me like hell. I got the same feeling now. But I don't think it will be appropriate if I counsel with my teachers again. So I think I need some helps, my parents threaten everyday n that is bad nay end bad. So I felt like I need help. Before I die.
sai - 21-May-17 @ 3:57 PM
hi im so and so.dont go with my intro..i just need an advice sir/miss i belong to lower mid family some how i complete my graduation,and now i want to further study or do any govt job. my parents they dont support me..the place where im staying or you can say i born it is not our land but the love i got from here il never get if i go with my parents to the native place..as they saying me now is that i should go there and settle\\and that particular place is completely unknown for me.. please help me out..im dying with this dipression.. thank you
alex - 7-May-17 @ 3:52 PM
Hello sir, My parents hav a lot of problem from Me ,they don't trust me,they keep on commenting badly and com pairing me with other people's child,i m getting pressurized for each and every seconds ,for the way i live ,my dad slapped me for my hair's, and started demolishing me by saying if i die he don't care Sir i m really feeling very unhelpful...i don't think so he loves me and my mom tooo.both of them think with out my good marks i can't do anything Plz help me wat should i do
deep - 12-Apr-17 @ 4:21 PM
@Harry - if you've finished your exams then your family might want you to bring some income into the house. Many people start work at 16 and it will get you into the groove as in a few years you will be responsible for earning your own living. Lots of us don't want to work - but most of us have to (if we want to keep a roof over our heads). Besides you might enjoy it!
Mumstheword - 3-Apr-17 @ 1:58 PM
I hv finished my examsanc now my parents are pressuring me to do a part-time job at my uncles shop.but I don't want to do it .they r not listening to me .they just want me to do what they want. I don't want to work at this age (16). I just want to do something else like drawing, reading ,painting and making something . Actually I am quite an indoor type of person so doing part time job is not my cup of tea
Harry - 2-Apr-17 @ 4:49 PM
I'm 17..currently dealing with my grade 12. Well as I browsed through all the comments here,majority of them were about parentall pressures due to ACADEMICS. My case is a little different. Above all the academic pressures that I receive,I'm going through a very rough time. My parentshave some trust issues with me and they think I'll turn the world upside down once they hand me a responsibility. Recently I asked my parents to let me walk by my tuition centre with a bunch of my friends. But since it involved crossing the road,they denied ignoring my outburst. If there is any hangout organised,again they have the fear of me being kidnapped. I have no siblings and no BEST FRIENDS in particular with whom I can share all the stories. Dad and mom always remain busy on their laptops or TV and never really bother to listen to me. All they want is me being locked up in my plain bedroom the whole day. Since we lack our own car, it's been years since we have actually gone on a holiday (the last time I went was when I was 7). People have even stopped inviting us anywhere due that reason. I really feel I cannot hold it and longer but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't end up doing something stupid. Moreover my parents are the stict ones who talks to my teachers if my marks are below "their" expectations. I'm done with crying my eyes out everyday. Please give me a few tips on how to tackle these stressful situations.
Ari - 27-Mar-17 @ 5:06 PM
@aleena123 - can't you speak to your parents or write them a letter outlining your unhappiness, they might take notice of this. Also talk to a school councellor or teacher who will be able to help. You can't go on bottling this sort of stuff up. I bottled similar stuff up and it didn't do me any good - I felt much better when I had talked to someone about my issues. Just getting my issues off my chest helped so, so much. A
Angel** - 1-Mar-17 @ 11:39 AM
hello sir or ma'am . i get good grades( not a topper though).my parents pressurize me and compare me with other kids .they are working and i used to feel very lonely but now i am used to it.They never have loved me i gues ..al they do is come back from office ,sit in front of phones ..we never had a family time where we could share our problems.i have friends but i am not very comfortable in sharing my problems with them.whenever i try to tell my problems all she asks me is concentrate on my studies and says to not mind all the nonsense.because of them i come into depression and have cut my hand like for thrice .they all want is that i study and study.recently my parents in front of my grandparents agreed that they would buy me a dog (even though they were forced to agree) and they act as if they are trying their best to find a dog..iknow they will do this till my grandparents go and eventually would end up not buying one.they also know the reason for me forcing them to buy a dog i.e i feelvery lonely (did'nt tell that they were reason behind for me being lonely and depressed) i just feel sucidal
aleena123 - 28-Feb-17 @ 3:16 PM
my parents expect me to be perfect in every way by being socially, academically, and physically perfect. They also expect me to be a leader in everything I do. I take honors and have ok grades, A's and like 2 B+'s, but they get mad at me. If i try to say something to them they would tell me I'm wrong and get mad. It is like they want me to be the perfect child. please help.
anonymous - 22-Feb-17 @ 4:36 AM
I am 18.Yesterday I got my results. I have worked really hard for it. unfortunately i didn't got the results i was expecting but i am quite happy with the results. but my mom is not happy at all. before having my results, i already went to enquire about the courses which the university is offering.i am really interested and i know i can do my best in the subject. the fees are really costly. when i got my results yesterday,my mother told me to forget about that university as she is not willing to spend this much on me. ( but when i told her about this university,before having my results, she had agreed to send me there). she has offered me 2 choices, either repeat my HSC(high school certificate(Cambridge)) or go to another university and do another course. i am not happy at all.i am feeling really pressurized and i cant stop crying. i don't know how to convince her how to send me to that university itself,where i will be happy. please help.. :(
Vinee - 4-Feb-17 @ 12:52 PM
Sir, my mom dad and brother are all pressurizing me for studying. I am 22 years old and i was supposed to be graduate which i did. But still they think i cannot do anything and basically my lifes remote control is in their hands. I dont want to end up like this. Plz help plz.
Rats - 8-Jan-17 @ 4:54 AM
Hi, I'm a great student and get good grades as well, but my parents pressure me to do things for my college app. I am good at sports and music but do not necessarily pursue it. They think that other than grades I've accomplished nothing in my life and keep reprimanding me for it. I don't know what to do, please help.
bunny - 3-Jan-17 @ 7:34 AM
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