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Coping With Strict Parents

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 6 Jul 2020 | 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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Before I reached puberty, my parents treated me very well, just like many parents do to their only child. Being my social partners and guardians from my rotten primary school teachers. Then once I reached fourteen, everything turns to the opposite. Good thing the high school teachers are nice, but my parents are, I know it's offensive to my race, total CHINNNKS!!!! They always blame problems on me, annoy me with their stupid long babbling and not only they control everything, but they also control my habits. None of the methods are working. I felt like I lost hope and have to deal with it for the rest of my teenhood.
Ian - 25-Jun-20 @ 5:20 AM
That is sad I can relate to every single one of you...I'm not gonna write about it because I would take up to like 2 pages...but anyways my parents are just so outta pocket with everything I do...it really sucks...
BarbieAri - 24-Jun-20 @ 3:33 AM
My parents don’t let me hang out with anyone. When I ask why they get mad at me and say “because we don’t want you to”. I can’t leave my house at night bc we have alarms on our doors. I feel trapped like I’m inside of a prison with no way out. I have to pretend I’m happy when I’m in my house but when I’m not in my house I feel so free and happy and I don’t have to pretend anymore. But at the end of the day when I’m sent home and can’t have a sleepover or see my friends, I feel so empty like I’m completely alone.
Charlie - 21-Jun-20 @ 3:50 AM
16 years old, nearly a junior in high school and I can hardly do anything. I cant sleep with my phone in my room, have a screen time limit on my computer, am unable to come out, cant be in my room for more than 10 minutes, cant spend my own money, must get A's or B's (anything below or any missing assignments result in punishment), my opinion doesn't matter, etc. Sure, others have it worse but its still not easy and lately ive felt myself falling into a depression, worse than I ever have before. I'm so overwhelmed and I don't know what to do
hh - 18-Jun-20 @ 7:14 AM
Hey, I am fifteen years old. I have lived with my Grandparents since I was about a month old, my mother is a drunk as my father is never home. I have never gotten along with my grandmother at all. And it seems like since my Grandfather passed away a few years ago that we've just been at each other's throats. I'm not allowed to go to my friend's house. Or have them come over, I'm only allowed to wear skirts and long-sleeved shirts and I have absolutely no privacy. I've never been allowed to wear makeup and so much more. I honestly just feel lost because I know that it's for my own safety but my brother always has everything handed to him and he's a married 21-year-old. Even when he lived here be was the precious chi!d who could never do anything wrong. I always got along with our grandfather but now it's only his wife and myself and I'm allowed literally nothing. Only time j leave the house was for school and when she takes me to the store. I will say that I have had a horrible attitude with her and I try so hard but she just always finds how to get under my skin and we always end up yelling and screaming. I honestly just don't know what to do anymore
Evee - 4-Jun-20 @ 4:33 PM
for all of you out there that seem to have it pretty bad , like for example getting emotionally abused because of bad grades and stuff like that I would like to say "MOVE OUT ONCE YOU ARE 18" some of y'all are kids in this comment section y'all matter as well but some of you are being childish and It bothers me that you think you have it worse than everybody but sweetheart you are 12 and still a kid , not a teenager when you get to be a teenager and have to go through stuff like this you will feel like its a never ending cycle so just deal with it don't loose sleep over something silly like a phone , whenever it starts affecting your image like when you can't be on time for something important because you took 3h of crying and begging your mother or drive you there thats when its really a rough patch for you . And for all the 17 16 and even 15 year olds I feel you like I can never get my nails done because I'm not allowed out, never been to a highschool game and always reject people when they ask me out and I have rejected real nice offers like for example Disney or stuff like that and all I have to help me with my situation is God and this phrase "This too shall pass" and I'm a couple hundred days from moving out which i still need the money for because I am not allowed to work but thats all the reassurance I need so far , cry if needed I know you need it sometimes but won't admit it so just take a cold shower with tears rolling down your eyes and feel better because remember this too shall pass (and if you can't cry because your eyes get puffy and Your ~family~ members will be all up in your a$$ then stay in the bathroom for a little after crying so your eyes dry and it seems normal ((and if you can't be in the bathroom for too long then find an outlet because that's what you need)))
111 - 3-Jun-20 @ 4:28 AM
i’m 12 and i’ve had a phone since i was about 8 and my mum doesn’t care about what i wear and i wear makeup every day and have never had a screen time or owt and stay up all night but the thing is, i aren’t allowed any where, i’m allowed to walk too and from school by my self and that’s it even though there’s a coop just around the corner and a corner shop at the bottom of the road but i can’t go to either unless my mums there and she’s really embarrassing as well and it’s just not fair ya know cos all my friends can go to the cinema together and go shopping but i don’t even bother asking cos my mum jsut screams at me and then if i bring it up another day she’ll say “we’ve talked about this” but we haven’t talked about it at all she’s jsut shouted at me and my mental healths really bad at the minute and i just want time by myself but i can’t get any cos my mum will insist on being there or i aren’t going and it’s just not fair
scarlett - 28-May-20 @ 5:00 AM
I feel like my mother hates me. The only person I love is my older sister 11 years old.
Micky - 14-May-20 @ 5:53 PM
Well my problem isn't as bad as some of these that are on here but ever since I have had a phone, my stepdad and mum have some sort of way to control it. it started with our pact junior and then apple introduced the screen time thing. They set constant limits for it and refuse to let me restrict myself on my phone. They don't give me a chance to learn how to go on my phone as much. i'm worried that when I move out in a few months my screen time is going to be crazy and that they aren't helping me, they just do it for me. They also check my phone whenever they want. They check my bank records and have a go at me for buying food even though when I was at school all I had was a sandwich and wasn't allowed to buy anything from the canteen so I would go to Tesco and buy food to eat. They'll search my room for things which gives me constant anxiety because they find stuff that I don't even remember having. If I go downstairs I'm constantly anxious they'll go in my room and I feel sick.
hiya - 5-May-20 @ 11:13 AM
Well my problem isn't as bad as some of these that are on here but ever since I have had a phone, my stepdad and mum have some sort of way to control it. it started with our pact junior and then apple introduced the screen time thing. They set constant limits for it and refuse to let me restrict myself on my phone. They don't give me a chance to learn how to go on my phone as much. i'm worried that when I move out in a few months my screen time is going to be crazy and that they aren't helping me, they just do it for me. They also check my phone whenever they want. They check my bank records and have a go at me for buying food even though when I was at school all I had was a sandwich and wasn't allowed to buy anything from the canteen so I would go to Tesco and buy food to eat. They'll search my room for things which gives me constant anxiety because they find stuff that I don't even remember having. If I go downstairs I'm constantly anxious they'll go in my room and I feel sick.
hiya - 5-May-20 @ 11:13 AM
Well my problem isn't as bad as some of these that are on here but ever since I have had a phone, my stepdad and mum have some sort of way to control it. it started with our pact junior and then apple introduced the screen time thing. They set constant limits for it and refuse to let me restrict myself on my phone. They don't give me a chance to learn how to go on my phone as much. i'm worried that when I move out in a few months my screen time is going to be crazy and that they aren't helping me, they just do it for me. They also check my phone whenever they want. They check my bank records and have a go at me for buying food even though when I was at school all I had was a sandwich and wasn't allowed to buy anything from the canteen so I would go to Tesco and buy food to eat. They'll search my room for things which gives me constant anxiety because they find stuff that I don't even remember having. If I go downstairs I'm constantly anxious they'll go in my room and I feel sick.
hiya - 5-May-20 @ 11:13 AM
Hmm you just try have an Asian parent You say 1 little thing not even a curse like you just say "shut up" and they go bezekes and start saying random stuff like you have no respect or you should leave the house there Boomers X999 in strictness and old school they give no freedom at all.
AsianSR_kid - 10-Apr-20 @ 7:52 PM
You think that's hard try have a aisan parent where they are soo strict broo. They don't give any freedom like no freedom at all they make dissisions for You.
AsianSaif - 10-Apr-20 @ 7:49 PM
I’m 14 my dad is really strict he doesn’t like me going out because he thinks I’ll get raped or assaulted by someone. he doesn’t like me being friends with boys and the idea of a boyfriend to him is outrageous. all of this because I’m a girl. since I’ve turned 14 he’s stopped allowing me to sleepover at some friends houses if they have an older brother. I’m so sick of it I just want to be able to live a normal teenage life like most people. him putting ‘rules’ like this up causes me to lie to him about where I’m going. if he just lets me he’ll at least know where I am, who I’m with
idk - 23-Mar-20 @ 2:10 PM
My parents are way too strict and its so embarrassing the way I get treated like a 10 year old when I am 15.It seems like I forever over my Dads knee getting my bottom smacked really hard,and its for petty things like coming home 15 minutes late on Saturday night.The morning after he called me into the living room and put me over his knee with my nightie pulled up and he smacked my bottom repeatedly really hard which made me cry
Abby - 9-Mar-20 @ 11:14 AM
My parents are really strict. I never get any money and I basically cannot go out with friends anywhere. I am pressured to get perfect grades or else I get emotionally abused. I can't do the normal teen things like going shopping and wearing makeup and stuff like that. Even my sister who's way older than me can't wear makeup and stuff. I'm scared of the future with them. They constantly crush my dreams. For example, when I wanted to be an actress , they kept telling me that I'm doing it for money and fame( definitely not true) and that I'm not talented enough. They keep pressuring me to go to like a top college but don't they know how hard that is? I feel like I'm trapped and I'm not good enough for anyone.
Claire.Benton - 5-Feb-20 @ 7:55 PM
My dad is also very strict. Very stereotypical I know. I am a straight a student and a sophomore in high school. My older sister is a junior. And neither of us have phones. We also can’t watch TV. No we are not Amish, my parents are just crazy strict. They also have punishments such as not letting me eat, and they also cut 12 inches of my hair off. My dad is constantly screaming at me for not being the best softball player on the field. The love they have for me I measured by how I preform on the field. Many people talk to me about how I’m doing but I never know how to respond because once I went to the therapist and talked to them about it and it just got worse at home. I don’t know what to do and if I go to extreme measures such as the police it will ruin this perfect image that my family has and potentially make my life worse. What do I do??
Maddie - 19-Nov-19 @ 1:35 AM
I'm over18 anda male but my parents still treat me like I'm5 yearsold....my father is the major problem because he doesn't let me to do anythingof my choice. All Ido is follow the path of a good boy as he wants me to..he stillthreatensto beatme up wheni express myself. To him I'mstill a kid untili getapartment..I spend most of my days emotional,indoors,feeling depressed while wishing my parents understoodhow their rules are messing with my mentalhealth.
Prince - 6-Oct-19 @ 11:35 PM
My parents are way too overprotective. I didn't really notice this because I went to a boarding school. Now I'm in my first year of university and they treat me like a 5 year old. I have never ever gone out with a friend like ever. I can't even go to the junction by myself. They don't let me do anything.. I wanted to get a job to help the house and my mum overreacted. I really don't know how to handle this. I feel so caged. I'm always home by myself ( my siblings are in boarding schools) . I thought that when I entered school it would change but it didn't because if I want to go anywhere the fear that my parents would be disappointed attacks me.. I really don't want to live like this anymore. My parents will feel I'm rude and will ignore me if I try to give them a compromise. Please I need help.
Ify - 25-Jul-19 @ 4:58 PM
So I am almost 18, and I have a really strict dad. He does a lot of things to me and my younger brother, but mostly holds me back. I was playing three sports when i was about to go into high school. He made me pick a sport out of the three. I picked cheerleading over soccer and Volleyball. Which he is still mad about. I had to give up a regular high school, so he could bring up how I am in high school and college at the same time. He keeps mad at me about my grades all the time. He let me have insta and snap, but now he says he never said I could have it. He will not let my date, which he said when I was 13 i could when i was 16. But it is also his way your the highway. So i am not allowed to ask to change the rules. I can not hang out with my friends at their house or at mine. I can not text guys, even if it is for school. I am only now being able to watch PG 13 movies on my own. I am not allowed to drive any where but school and back. I have to be in his line of sight at all times. How can I make my dad see I growing up and need rules that allowed me to do things. Any .would be great. Thank y
MK - 11-Jul-19 @ 5:33 PM
I have a 2 and a half month summer vacation. In England, after you do your GCSEs (a very important exam like SATs in America), you get an extra long break. So after studying hard and relentlessly for the past couple of months, I thought this summer would be my chance to go out with my friends and just enjoy life. However, following a small argument with my mother, my dad decided that I was too disrespectful to my mom even though all I did was to tell her to stop commenting and insulting me because it hurt my feelings. My dad concluded that as a consequence, I am not allowed to go out AT ALL and see my friends over the next 2 months!! I am trapped in my house like a slave, who has to obey their commands and cannot express my opinion at all. I plan to move schools after this summer so I might not see my some of my friends again which makes me even more sad and depressed that I cannot go out at all. I don't know what to do. I tried to explain to them a compromise I could make and how this might affect me long term (having no friends as I won't be able to go out with them), but my dad would not understand my point at all and blatantly ignored me. I don't know what to do. Please someone help.
abeerkapoor01 - 21-Jun-19 @ 10:26 AM
I have a 2 and a half month summer vacation. In England, after you do your GCSEs (a very important exam like SATs in America), you get an extra long break. So after studying hard and relentlessly for the past couple of months, I thought this summer would be my chance to go out with my friends and just enjoy life. However, following a small argument with my mother, my dad decided that I was too disrespectful to my mom even though all I did was to tell her to stop commenting and insulting me because it hurt my feelings. My dad concluded that as a consequence, I am not allowed to go out AT ALL and see my friends over the next 2 months!! I am trapped in my house like a slave, who has to obey their commands and cannot express my opinion at all. I plan to move schools after this summer so I might not see my some of my friends again which makes me even more sad and depressed that I cannot go out at all. I don't know what to do. I tried to explain to them a compromise I could make and how this might affect me long term (having no friends as I won't be able to go out with them), but my dad would not understand my point at all and blatantly ignored me. I don't know what to do. Please someone help.
abeerkapoor01 - 20-Jun-19 @ 11:24 PM
Ok so my mother, everybody loves her.Every body would naturally want to side withher in an argument. But, she thinks that what she does s perfection. Her expectations are to high. My entire family has really bad ADHD, aand my dad and brother have autism ( both are verbal) . So she blamesme for everything, because we cant geget my brother in trouble because he will start screaming and hitting, I have to clean up messes my brother makes, and then if I groan if my mom tells me to clean up his mess, she always says that " You dont do a lick of work here", and then will proceed to take away my phone . Like i mentioned, with myy ADHD i dont pay attention, and i have a habit of leaving stfff out. s0 she is pulling everything out of my room and selling it.P.S, i am 12. and my life is officially over. I am sad most of the time, just because nobody cares., and i have talked to her about it, butshe doesnt care
pk - 27-May-19 @ 4:14 PM
My parents are really strick I can't hang with freainds in there house or meet up with them and if I at party they go follow me and every time freainds come over my freainds oh her freainds or family my mom and dad got show off be more strick and bossy and if I have bf I can't go on date unless they both really got get know them even if they get know them she probably make me stay in my house or walk in my street and also I can't walk to the park and my park is small and they judge them by look and my mom and my dad argue and let it out on me and I can't have sleep over in other people house and I can't have freainds earlyer then 6 or 3 and they force me to go karate and I don't want go cuz it take most my time be a teen also if I try to explain what I feel they just yell at me and call me rude name and some how they got hurt me,they hurt my felling and hit me.
Natasha - 1-Sep-17 @ 1:30 AM
@Blobbfish - if you speak to your friends, you'll find that most teenagers feel this way. There's not much you can do until you're age 18. They are obviously over-protective and you are wanting to spread your wings before you go into adulthood. It's a tricky time and one that I don't want to go through again. I feel for you. Talking to them is the only way to get them to see.
Han - 7-Aug-17 @ 2:32 PM
My parents are strict AF. Its mostly my dad who's the issue .They don't let me keep or charge my phone in my room cuz they think i'll watch porn (yeah right..) .They don't let me go out anywhere alone or with my friends because I might get kidnapped or raped or my friends are some racist weirdos tryna kill me (this includes sleepovers and camping school trips) If I get one bad grade then I am officially "not their daughter" if I express my feelings they lash out at me and usually they say if I have anything wrong with me I should come to them. I lie almost on a weekly basis because I am quite scared of what they do sometimes I am trapped at home most of the time and if I do something wrong then they emotionally abuse me and make me feel like I'm worthless and treat me like I'm dumb. I feel like I'm crying 24/7 There is a lot more that I wont go into detail in because it just makes me want to cry when I talk about this stuff but how do I get them to change? if they wont trust me till I'm 18? (I'm 13) I really want to get out but if I try to reason with them, any evidence is useless.... Someone help me.........
Blobbfish - 5-Aug-17 @ 8:55 PM
Okay, so I'm 18, but my parents still treats me as if i'm 15. I tried applying for summer jobs because its summer, and when I told them they went crazy. I don't know how to live with them any longer and not go crazy. I feel isolated and alone, and its awful because they should be the people who are supposed to make me feel the opposite and i don saya thing because I never do. Ever.
Not a white girl - 28-Apr-17 @ 10:28 AM
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
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