Home > Family Life > Negotiating Greater Independence

Negotiating Greater Independence

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 25 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
Teens parents household Rules rules

Even if you and your parents have sat down and hammered out compromises regarding the house rules once there will come a time in the following weeks, months or even years when it becomes obvious that you need greater independence. Unfortunately, this time will probably not arrive as soon as you want it to. The key to negotiating greater independence from your parents is to wait until you need it, not just want it, and to prove that you are ready for it. When you are certain of these two things, ask your parents to sit down with you again and revise the house rules. This may seem like a hassle, but only if you all agree to these revisions can you be sure that you have negotiated greater independence with everyone’s blessing.

Determine that You Need Greater Independence

It can be hard to know when your desire for greater independence becomes an actual need. It might seem like you need to be at a party on Friday night, but short of your social life taking a hit, your life will probably not be worse off if you miss it. However, if you are starring in the school play and can’t attend night time rehearsals because of your curfew then this could have serious repercussions not just to your social life but to your personal aspirations, commitment to the cast and crew as well as university plans or even your CV.

While the first example is clearly an example of a desire for greater independence, the second is much more representative of a need for greater independence. As a general rule of thumb, when you are unable to take part in activities that enhance your personal life, education or career prospects because of household rules then you are probably at a point where you can argue that you need greater independence.

Prove that You are Ready for Greater Independence

Of course determining that you need greater independence does not mean that you can simply walk out of the house and ignore the rules that you find inhibiting. Instead, you need to prove to your parents that you can be trusted with greater independence and thus that relaxing the household rules is both safe and in your best interest. The best way to do this is two fold:
  • Follow existing household rules. This proves that you are trustworthy as well as respectful of your parents’ wishes.
  • Design a new set of household rules that addresses the needs for greater independence that you have identified. Show your parents how your solutions will work to fulfil the needs, and how the new rules will continue to keep you safe.

Convene to Revise the Household Rules

Just as you sat down to discuss the existing household rules, ask your parents to sit down to discuss the possibility of revising these rules due to your need for greater independence. When everyone is calmly assembled, begin your presentation as you would for a school project. If you take this meeting seriously then the chances of your parents taking you seriously will rise.

You don’t have to go so far as to prepare charts or graphs, but do have your main points organised and do try to remain professional during your meeting. Don’t scream, yell, whine or cry, and certainly don’t run away, slam doors or throw things if it looks like you won’t get your way.

If your parents do not decide to grant you greater independence, ask them why they feel this way. Once you know their objections you can begin to overcome them and build a record of acting in a manner that they see as responsible and deserving of greater independence. With this new record under your belt, you’ll be able to sit down again in no time to re-negotiate the house rules.

Don’t be put off if it seems like this is a slow process – in fact it is one that you will engage in over and over again throughout your teen years so the more you work at it the more persuasive you’ll become!

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopfully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • TeenIssues
    Re: Coping with a Crush
    flushedNblushed - Your Question:So I have a crush on a guy the same age as me (or thereabouts, he's nearly 18 I am 18) and I just got out of a…
    19 January 2017
  • flushedNblushed
    Re: Coping with a Crush
    so I have a crush on a guy the same age as me (or thereabouts, he's nearly 18 I am 18) and I just got out of a relationship. i know a lot of…
    19 January 2017
  • TeenIssues
    Re: Coping with a Crush
    ariellab - Your Question:Hi, I hope you or anyone sees this and helps me, cause I really need some guidance. So my crush is a girl, and I'm a…
    18 January 2017
  • ariellab
    Re: Coping with a Crush
    Hi, i hope you or anyone sees this and helps me, cause i really need some guidance. So my crush is a girl, and I'm a girl too, but I know for…
    17 January 2017
  • TeenIssues
    Re: Treatments for Self Harming
    AmyPink6 - Your Question:I would like some advise pleaseI have turrets syndrome and OCD so I am always stressed and I feel like I…
    16 January 2017
  • AmyPink6
    Re: Treatments for Self Harming
    I would like some advise please I have turrets syndrome and OCD so I am always stressed and I feel like I keep on messing up…
    15 January 2017
  • MaryLouJane
    Re: All about Abortion
    I'm nearly 16 and have been in a relationship for two months. I have had unprotected sex 4 or 5 times. I've been in the situation before last…
    13 January 2017
  • Jack
    Re: Coping With Strict Parents
    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…
    11 January 2017
  • Seriously
    Re: Coping with a Crush
    Dear CherryCrush, He probably wants to be friends but maybe some thing more. Maybe there's an awkward pause or something because he wants to…
    9 January 2017
  • Seriously
    Re: Coping with a Crush
    Hey ElizaD, How old are you? If you're around 12 then he could want to be friends and nothing more. From a boys perspective, if your around…
    9 January 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the TeenIssues website. Please read our Disclaimer.