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How to Deal with Pressure From Parents

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 27 Mar 2017 | 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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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
lolo03 - Your Question:
My parents expect too much of me. They're always comparing me to them and making me feel like I'm not good enough. It's really stressing me out and every time I try to talk to them they keep on telling me to stop being silly and start shouting. They never give me positive feedback in anything, only negative. There is no do your best with my parents, its do the best.All this pressure is starting to really stress me out, causes me to have mini panick attacks and has lowered my self esteem alot.I'm only 13 and yet they make me feel like im having to do my GCSES.PLEASE HELP

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this is causing you to have panic attacks. As specified in the article, do you have an understanding relative such as an aunt, uncle or teacher you can confide in who may speak with your parents on your behalf? Sometimes when it comes via another person, it may force your parents to sit up and take notice. You can also see more, or speak with someone if you need via the Childline link here. I hope this helps.
TeenIssues - 13-Dec-16 @ 11:57 AM
My parents expect too much of me. They're always comparing me to them and making me feel like i'm not good enough. It's really stressing me out and every time i try to talk to them they keep on telling me to stop being silly and start shouting. They never give me positive feedback in anything, only negative. There is no do your best with my parents, its do the best. All this pressure is starting to really stress me out, causes me to have mini panick attacks and has lowered my self esteem alot. I'm only 13 and yet they make me feel like im having to do my GCSES. PLEASE HELP
lolo03 - 12-Dec-16 @ 9:42 PM
@Andy - you need to tell your parents straight that you cannot do it, and that they are putting too much pressure on you! Speak to a teacher if you can't speak to your parents, your teacher may help. Aid.
AidyB** - 16-Nov-16 @ 11:11 AM
My parents always pressurize me to study though I study 6 hrs a day but they tell me to study more. Sometimes I want to run away. Help me!
Andy - 15-Nov-16 @ 1:07 PM
AzaFemella01 - Your Question:
So me and my boyfriend really like each other but our parents don't like the fact that we're dating? He has pressure from his mom and his friends. What should we do?

Our Response:
You don't say how old you are and the reasons your parents don't like you dating, therefore it makes it difficult to advise. The article: Negotiating Greater Independence, here may help you more.
TeenIssues - 10-Oct-16 @ 2:19 PM
so me and my boyfriend really like each other but our parents don't like the fact that we're dating? He has pressure from his mom and his friends. What should we do?
AzaFemella01 - 10-Oct-16 @ 1:50 AM
shady- Your Question:
I am a 20yrs old girl who is dating a 32yrs old man.he's a worker.so along the line I got pregnant.I told him n hr agreed n talked to my parents that he wants the baby and me.to which my mum n dad agreed.later on my mom told my sister who is married for 4 yrs without a child or any sign of pregnancy.and the only thing she could tell me is to abort the child because am too young to have a child n right now she has convinced my mom to put some kind of pressure on me to agree to what they want.Could this be a good advice from my mother and sister?Please I need your advice

Our Response:
I'm afraid we cannot give such advice as it really is up to you. Regardless of what your mum or sister says, you really have to ask yourself what you really want to do here. You have to weigh up your relationship with the father and whether you see it lasting and how you will support yourself if it doesn't. Plus, the most important question is, do you want this child and/or could/would you actually consider going through with a termination? Having a child will certainly change the direction of your life - but it doesn't have to be for the worse. It is up to you, as an adult to make this decision based upon your own feelings and sentiments rather than anyone else's.
TeenIssues - 28-Sep-16 @ 2:33 PM
I am a 20yrs old girl who is dating a 32yrs old man.he's a worker.so along the line i got pregnant.I told him n hr agreed n talked to my parents that he wants the baby and me.to which my mum n dad agreed.later on my mom told my sister who is married for 4 yrs without a child or any sign of pregnancy.and the only thing she could tell me is to abort the child because am too young to have a child n right now she has convinced my mom to put some kind of pressure on me to agree to what they want. Could this be a good advice from my mother and sister? Please I need your advice
shady - 27-Sep-16 @ 4:28 PM
@da - you are 19 and an adult. You can make your own decisions if you wish. You don't have to be restricted by your parents if you don't want to be. You could move out if you wanted! Zel.
HelenB - 7-Sep-16 @ 2:45 PM
I am 19 years old. My parents always blame specially my mother. My father loves me but he too always take the side of my brother. I do not have any freedom. They refrain me from watching television, films, songs. Even if they give me opportunity i can only watch children films. I have warned not to make relationship with a boy. But i do love a boy they do not know it. I feel guilty about myself because of my relationship. I feel unloved and isolated. So i used to chat with my boyfriend eith my phone hidden. I education also have shattered. The relationship with my boyfriend is also confusing because i do not know feelings of youth. I am tired of my life. I want overcome these problems.
da - 7-Sep-16 @ 4:46 AM
Mags- Your Question:
I am in year 10 at the moment and have suffered through major anxiety issues throughout my high school years and my parents have been extremely supportive. Although, my mum right now is putting so much pressure on my that I've thought about living at my Dad's house. Whenever I'm with her, all she talks to me about is school and how she thinks I'm not trying my best and how I'm and A and B student when I'm not. Her doing this is stressing me out more than usual and just makes me so upset that I can't think. I've tried telling her by saying "Mum maybe I'm not an A and B student. I'm not so smart like my friends and whenever you ask me, have you done your homework every time you see me it stresses me out and I can't think". She just answers with "You are! I don't want to have this conversation, you don't want to be stuck in your part time job for the rest of your life. I can't do this anymore.

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear you are having such issues with your mum. Of course from your mum's point of view she obviously wants the best for you and in her eyes and is trying to help you think towards your future. However, anxiety can be extremely mentally and physically debilitating and can have an effect on your schoolwork, both in and out of school (especially if your anxiety overtakes your general thought processes). Perhaps you could have a chat to your mum and say that you are doing your very best both with coping with your anxiety on a day-to-day basis and trying to negotiate your schoolwork as well. You could also mention that while you may be an A-grade student in her eyes, your anxiety disorder and the pressure you are experiencing is not helping you reach these grades. If your dad and mum are still on good terms you may ask your dad to have a chat with your mum too on your behalf. If your mum has been supportive so far, pointing her to the connection between schoolwork and your anxiety may be a better way of getting her to understand. Good luck.
TeenIssues - 15-Aug-16 @ 11:11 AM
I am in year 10 at the moment and have suffered through major anxiety issues throughout my high school years and my parents have been extremely supportive. Although, my mum right now is putting so much pressure on my that I've thought about living at my Dad's house. Whenever I'm with her, all she talks to me about is school and how she thinks I'm not trying my best and how I'm and A and B student when I'm not. Her doing this is stressing me out more than usual and just makes me so upset that I can't think. I've tried telling her by saying "Mum maybe I'm not an A and B student. I'm not so smart like my friends and whenever you ask me, have you done your homework every time you see me it stresses me out and I can't think". She just answers with "You are! I don't want to have this conversation, you don't want to be stuck in your part time job for the rest of your life. I can't do this anymore.
Mags - 14-Aug-16 @ 9:04 AM
asdf - Your Question:
My dad and step-mum have been pressuring me a lot lately in regards to school. I'm 14 and halfway through year 8. My grades have been gradually lowering, though I believe that it was because I was an early bloomer so to speak. Last semester, I brought back a report with mainly A's, one or two B's and a C. They were furious because to them I had lost motivation to do any work at all. The truth is that while I try to strive at school, I'm also juggling a social and sporting life, as I play sport both in and out of school regularly. My best friend took home a similar report and her parents, both in high paying jobs and very intelligent people, were happy, while mine reacted as though they had just caught me smoking weed. I'm lacking a lot of sleep due to the pressure they are now putting on me and always feel sick, sore or tired. I feel like I make every around me miserable when I complain a bit. I want to say something to my parents, but I am driven by the need to not disappoint them after having years of them ingrained the thought that I must be the best academically in order to even slightly succeed in life later on. I know they are just trying to help, but I rarely have any downtime and find myself wishing that they would ease up. I believe that they both think that they are helping, however, they are stressing me out more than I already was and it's making my grades drop further. I also have to choose my electives soon and they are pushing for entirely academic based subjects like finance and computers. While I like computers and am likely to choose the subject regardless of their thoughts, I want to do subjects like food tech or sewing, which I enjoy. I don't know what to do as I don't want to disappoint them but also don't want to suffer because of them.

Our Response:
You should really sit down and talk to your parents in the way you have in this comment to us. Or even show them your comment and the advice the article gives. Sometimes, parents are blinded by the pressure they put their children under because they want them to succeed. However, your parents may also be setting themselves up for a backlash, especially if you come to the end of your patience because you are being pushed to the limit. The secret is, as always, communication and finding the right way to put your frustrations into words by telling your parents exactly how you feel. Good luck.
TeenIssues - 9-Aug-16 @ 10:33 AM
My dad and step-mum have been pressuring me a lot lately in regards to school. I'm 14 and halfway through year 8. My grades have been gradually lowering, though I believe that it was because I was an early bloomer so to speak. Last semester, I brought back a report with mainly A's, one or two B's and a C. They were furious because to them I had lost motivation to do any work at all. The truth is that while I try to strive at school, I'm also juggling a social and sporting life, as I play sport both in and out of school regularly. My best friend took home a similar report and her parents, both in high paying jobs and very intelligent people, were happy, while mine reacted as though they had just caught me smoking weed. I'm lacking a lot of sleep due to the pressure they are now putting on meand always feel sick, sore or tired. I feel like I make every around me miserable when I complain a bit. I want to say something to my parents, but I am driven by the need to not disappoint them after having years of them ingrained the thought that I must be the best academically in order to even slightly succeed in life later on. I know they are just trying to help, but I rarely have any downtime and find myself wishing that they would ease up. I believe that they both think that they are helping, however, they are stressing me out more than I already was and it's making my grades drop further. I also have to choose my electives soon and they are pushing for entirely academic based subjects like finance and computers. While I like computers and am likely to choose the subject regardless of their thoughts, I want to do subjects like food tech or sewing, which I enjoy. I don't know what to do as I don't want to disappoint them but also don't want to suffer because of them.
asdf - 8-Aug-16 @ 12:16 PM
sonu - Your Question:
I have a huge stress my parents always scold me for my short mistakes they dont even get satisfied they always blame me as a girl and always compare me with others and my all friends have mobiles and I am 16 ,10 pass they dont even give me phonei always get frustrated sometimes thinks to commit suicide

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. You are not on your own feeling that others are treated better than you and you are always getting the blame. This is a natural part of growing up and of asserting yourself as you approach adulthood. This phase will pass and you will look back and wonder what all the worry and fretting was about. However, if you have serious suicidal thoughts, then you may want to make an appointment to talk to your GP who will be able to help you.
TeenIssues - 13-May-16 @ 12:14 PM
i have a huge stress my parents always scold me for my short mistakes they dont even get satisfied they always blame me as a girl and always compare me with others and my all friends have mobiles and i am 16 ,10 pass they dont even give me phone i always get frustrated sometimes thinks to commit suicide
sonu - 12-May-16 @ 4:44 PM
So I'm in year 9 (8th grade I think) and for my year group there are "more able and talented" lessons for intelligent children. I was asked to attend in September but I found it extremely stressful and stopped going around January without telling my parents. My mum found my exercise book from the lessons and found out I haven't been going and now my parents aren't speaking to me and calling me a disappointment, all because she's making me compete against my best friend and her mum to see who's more intelligent. I'm so stressed out about this and I've started having panic attacks because of it. I've tried talking to my parents but they won't listen and my life is a living hell.
Isabella - 29-Mar-16 @ 5:44 PM
I m studying in 11 grade and approaching towards 12 grade my mom dad are putting a lot pressure on me for studies as im a science studentbut when i sit for study my mim then tell that"now you have got time for study" but im very busy whole day in tution and college and I have experienced this pressure In 10 grade boards exam this has made me hiper and voilet so pls help I need a help
Rohit - 11-Feb-16 @ 6:53 PM
Hamster - Your Question:
I am extremely stressed. I am in eighth grade, going into highschool in a few months. My parents have really high expectations, even a B is not good enough for them. Then when I'm really trying, they can't even recognize it. All they can think about is how bad I am in school. They keep pressuring me more and more, and my grades keep going lower, then they pressure me more, start checkig with the teacher, etc., my grades fall again. You can assume what follows. I'm really nervous about talking about it, because they'll likely say something along the lines of "we're not pressuring you, you're just not hardworking enough." I really need help on how to talk to them!!!

Our Response:
The best advice I can give is to speak to someone a trusted family member, or perhaps a teacher that you can confide in, or a school's counsellor who can give you advice and/or speak to your parents on your behalf. If you think you'd prefer to speak to your parents yourself, as specified in the article, keep calm and make sure that you know your argument and can present it in a convincing manner. You could say something along the lines of: 'The amount of pressure and stress you put upon me over exams makes my performance worse. I would like you to ease off and then maybe my marks will begin to improve. But until you do ease off, you will see my marks fall.'
TeenIssues - 26-Jan-16 @ 2:02 PM
I am extremely stressed. I am in eighth grade, going into highschool in a few months. My parents have really high expectations, even a B is not good enough for them. Then when I'm really trying, they can't even recognize it. All they can think about is how bad I am in school. They keep pressuring me more and more, and my grades keep going lower, then they pressure me more, start checkig with the teacher, etc., my grades fall again. You can assume what follows. I'm really nervous about talking about it, because they'll likely say something along the lines of "we're not pressuring you, you're just not hardworking enough." I really need help on how to talk to them!!!
Hamster - 26-Jan-16 @ 3:23 AM
Gv - Your Question:
Not me but my best friend is going through some parental pressure. He's in 12th grade persuing PCB, aiming for medical basically. Both his parents are doctors. He was free to choose his career course but the trouble comes in during exams. He's a smart kid (scores above 90) and studies for almost 6-8 hours daily. Yet its not satisfactory for his parents, according to him, they are behind his back to make him study. He says he has confronted them about this numerous times and still it doesn't get better. I suggested him ways like giving a formal presentation with statistics and facts and maybe going to a family councellor but most of times he's just complaining about this situation and its getting worse, it affects his behavior, he's getting more angry and violent. Please suggest something so I can help him out of this

Our Response:
I can only sugegst he speaks to someone from his school about this such as a teacher he can confide in. The school may approach his parents if they agree he is under too much pressure and it is affecting his general wellbeing.
TeenIssues - 21-Jan-16 @ 10:46 AM
Not me but my best friend is going through some parental pressure. He's in 12th grade persuing PCB, aiming for medical basically. Both his parents are doctors. He was free to choose his career course but the trouble comes in during exams. He's a smart kid (scores above 90) and studies for almost 6-8 hours daily. Yet its not satisfactory for his parents, according to him, they are behind his back to make him study. He says he has confronted them about this numerous times and still it doesn't get better. I suggested him ways like giving a formal presentation with statistics and facts and maybe going to a family councellor but most of times he's just complaining about this situation and its getting worse, it affects his behavior, he's getting more angry and violent. Please suggest something so i can help him out of this
Gv - 20-Jan-16 @ 4:42 PM
My parents are stressing me about writing an IGCSE exam and my Mocks. I come home everyday, to lectures and fights. Some times I want to kill myself, because it feels like they don't understand my tension and pressure. I make it a point to work very hard, but my efforts go into vain. I have tried to keep my calm but sometimes I just get so worked up from school and extra classes that I say things. And in return, I am told about how much of a failure I am and how I am not worth their money. I am already stressed about normal school work and exams, and on top of that I come home to find my mum and dad always yelling at me, about how I don't study enough or about I dont do as well as the other kids do. I don't eat during the week in order to study more in my free time. If I am evening taking a little me time, my mum goes crazy about how much i am lazy and I am wasting her money. Sometimes I want to kill myself. I feel it would help me immensely. Pls I need advice on how to tackle all of this stress and extra pressure. Please help me.
StressNdepressed - 14-Jan-16 @ 9:07 PM
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