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How to Deal with Pressure From Parents

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 17 Mar 2020 | 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've tried all of these methods before. I told my dad he puts too much pressure on me, and I told him that that is why I do so well in class, but the moment it comes to writing my finals, I mess up, because I keep thinking about what my dad would say if I didn't get 100%, or how he is going to be embarrassed. He said, "You don't need to feel pressure, because I am not putting pressure on you. But I will always be proud of you." But he never shows it and it always gets me thinking whether he actually meant it, or was it just a way to shut me up, because he was annoyed at me crying. I also told my dad that I wanted to go towards engineering. But the truth is, even though I may be good at studies, I never had the interest in it, and everyone is always telling me, "Do what you like." But it makes it impossible for me to do what I like, especially when my parents keep telling me to choose a "good career". How do I even tell them that I want to become a basketball player, or a musician. How do I tell them that I want to sign up for the state basketball team? The last time I told my dad that, he said it was a waste of time, and that I should concentrate on my studies.
dk - 17-Mar-20 @ 7:26 AM
I've tried all of these methods before. I told my dad he puts too much pressure on me, and I told him that that is why I do so well in class, but the moment it comes to writing my finals, I mess up, because I keep thinking about what my dad would say if I didn't get 100%, or how he is going to be embarrassed. He said, "You don't need to feel pressure, because I am not putting pressure on you. But I will always be proud of you." But he never shows it and it always gets me thinking whether he actually meant it, or was it just a way to shut me up, because he was annoyed at me crying. I also told my dad that I wanted to go towards engineering. But the truth is, even though I may be good at studies, I never had the interest in it, and everyone is always telling me, "Do what you like." But it makes it impossible for me to do what I like, especially when my parents keep telling me to choose a "good career". How do I even tell them that I want to become a basketball player, or a musician. How do I tell them that I want to sign up for the state basketball team? The last time I told my dad that, he said it was a waste of time, and that I should concentrate on my studies.
dk - 16-Mar-20 @ 1:50 PM
I've tried all of these methods before. I told my dad he puts too much pressure on me, and I told him that that is why I do so well in class, but the moment it comes to writing my finals, I mess up, because I keep thinking about what my dad would say if I didn't get 100%, or how he is going to be embarrassed. He said, "You don't need to feel pressure, because I am not putting pressure on you. But I will always be proud of you." But he never shows it and it always gets me thinking whether he actually meant it, or was it just a way to shut me up, because he was annoyed at me crying. I also told my dad that I wanted to go towards engineering. But the truth is, even though I may be good at studies, I never had the interest in it, and everyone is always telling me, "Do what you like." But it makes it impossible for me to do what I like, especially when my parents keep telling me to choose a "good career". How do I even tell them that I want to become a basketball player, or a musician. How do I tell them that I want to sign up for the state basketball team? The last time I told my dad that, he said it was a waste of time, and that I should concentrate on my studies.
dk - 16-Mar-20 @ 12:51 PM
My parents are not understanding. They are not open minded like the rest of my friends. I do want to continue studying but the pressure that they give me is too much. They want me to go to one specific pathway to further my education but I told them that there are other ways to further my education but they are not listening to me. They don't understand that I have a chance of not getting accepted into the school but they are always telling me to be positive. I am being positive but I just want them to support me, no matter what the result is. And yet, it's such a difficult thing for them to do. I tried telling them how I feel but they would not listen. I feel like ending my life so that I won't have to go through their pressure and stress.
bunny - 14-Jan-20 @ 7:46 AM
I ws able to change my grades, thanks to Darkcracker on protonmail. Dude is good.
Dre - 9-Jan-20 @ 4:04 PM
My mother usually told me to try harder at school and she sometimes misunderstands me for lacking of. Although I just want to keep my study average to focus on my favorite subject, she demand me to be better, My father is always drunk he swears and quarrel with my mother a lot. Because he want a boy than a girl like me. He wishes I were a boy instead. I were really stresses. I think I might suffer from low self esteem issues because I feelanxious, distressed and afraid of doing something wrong. But I couldn't tell anyone about that. What should I do?
libra - 11-Dec-19 @ 3:09 PM
I am seriously frustrated with my life...... Why is NEET everything.... I dont know.... I wish if i was born in a rich family.... My parents will never have to expect that much from me..... I wish if indian eductation system was kind off different.... I wish if i had some other option to get there, where i wanted to be...... I dont know.. I feel like quiting...... Maybe this is my last try.... I don't know what will happen if i didn't make this time.... I don't know.... Too much tension and pressure.... But its okay... At tge end nobody cares rather than your parents..... See that is the thing why i am still trying..... All the best to every one struggling out there... Just hold on.... One day everything will be fine... Just look in the mirror and smile ??
Shivam - 6-Dec-19 @ 5:38 PM
Hey there! I'm a Bengali girl who's currently 14 and in year 10 (9th grade). I live in London and am the oldest of three siblings and there's a lot of pressure put on me by not just my parents, but by every single person i know. I am struggling in maths big time and my school hasn't got around to having extra maths classes and everyone is putting the blame on me for those classes not happening. What my family don't understand is that everyone is different and that times have changes and so has school since they've all been. My mum and dad have both been through my phone twice each, they've taken it away from me and aren't going to give it back until i'm 18 years old. She's ban me from social media and made me cut ties from all my friends. I NEED HELP! social media and using my phone for a maximum of 2-3 hours on my phone a day. They've been stressing me since the start of year 10 non-stop hard core. This led to me using my phone a lot more as it was my place to escape, but no they don't understand. I feel like this is weakeningmy relationship with Allah. They are always comparing me to other children and always making me feel bad about myself. They always call me dumb and stupid and tell me that i'm unwanted. I don't know what to do. I feel alone, i cry to sleep every night, i'm told not to tell anyone because they'll get social serivces invloved. I really need help i'm struggling with life!??????????????????
_representing.south. - 24-Nov-19 @ 8:34 PM
Hi my mom thinks i don’t want to study but i really do
Me - 13-Nov-19 @ 1:13 PM
I always get told off by my mum every single day, pretty much. I get told off when I make a little mistake and been told that that is not the way to act in the society and everyone would bully you. Now I am currently doing my GCSEs, and I get told off whenever I get tired or stressed as I try to relax. She thinks I should work all the time and have no break except from sleep. I am misunderstood. Also I also get blamed on littte things.
User - 13-Sep-19 @ 5:09 PM
I got low marks and my mother is so mad I don't know what to do sometimes I feel like killing myself help me I am depressed
san - 23-Jun-19 @ 12:46 PM
I have gotten principal's award many many times all through out elementary. I never once got an "F" and still, in every competition I have ever been in, I never got last place, only 2nd or 1rst for 6 years. I got my first "F" ever in 6th grade and my parents took away all of the electronics I had, and accused them. A year went by and I started getting lower in school and apparently those 6 years of success meant nothing to my parents. I'm the only child in the family that ever got principal's award and surprisingly president's award. So of course my parents had high expectations for me. Now that I think about it, I never once went to a friends house, invited a friend over, or hung out with them after school, my parents didn't like it when I hung out with other people. I actually had to rewrite this over and over cause I never talked to a group of people before hah.
°Nutella° - 16-Jun-19 @ 6:48 AM
I am having trouble trying to reach expectations. My older siblings have all gotten top overall of their year level/grade. When they graduated, the got top overall of the school! I get discouraged because I don't know if I can do it!
ME - 3-Jun-19 @ 7:33 AM
Since this school year started I’ve wanted to get to a cool school. I go there for extra curriculars, but I want to study there next year. There’s a serious exam to get there though, and I have to work really hard. My parents pay a lot of money for those extra curriculars, and it was fine until the middle of the year. I felt like I’m tired all the time and this feeling became stronger and stronger. I forgot to mention that I got some extra classes and activities every day. So I started feeling tired all the time. I lost motivation to study and stopped working so hard, I feel like I don’t care anymore. Every time I try to get at least a half an hour of rest my mum starts shouting that if i don’t want to do anything - ok, she doesn’t care etc. And I just can’t keep up with all that I have to do, those upcoming exams and expectations from my mum. Some days I manage to cut half an hour of freedom and I play my PS at this time, but them mum comes shouting that I’m lazy and that I’ll definitely fail the exam again. Because of all this I started self harming, I fail myself because I know I should work way harder, but I just can’t focus on nothing anymore.
Lil_queen - 19-Mar-19 @ 2:10 PM
I am going to appear for an entrance exam. My father registered me for a class that teach for the same. One day he scolded and demotivated unnecessarily; why I don't know! I am fed up of him.
Jabsbshh - 17-Mar-19 @ 7:30 AM
Before my dad talkshe had to make noise he clicks and a pen how annoying when I’m trying to watch TV I can do the same thing to works both ways
Shelly - 7-Mar-19 @ 8:41 AM
My parents expect straight As and if i get a B they will take everything. I’m in the 10 grade taking honors classes that are for 11 grade. I have volleyball everyday for three hours and they want me to get a job and complain that I don’t do anything around the house. I’m sorry but you want me to get all As play volleyball get a job and do stuff around the house. This has led to many problems I have. Depression anxiety and an eating disorder.
Han - 13-Dec-18 @ 3:16 AM
I live in a house with my dad, step mom, older step brother, and younger brother and my dad constantly puts me under a lot of pressure about my grades. For example on my most recent report card I got one 80 and I got lectured for about 15 minutes and because of that the other day I had a big project and I was sobbing in my room until I threw up because of how stressed I was.
Jax - 13-Dec-18 @ 1:25 AM
I live in a house of five and i'm the eldest and only daughter in the family, my parents put a lot of pressure on me about my grades and cheerleading, they expect my grades to be no lower than a B, and if i slip up they take everything away from me. I've tried talking to them about it but they think that i'm just being "lazy" and they get really mad, earlier last month I was diagnosed with long term depression and my parentssaid " she's not depressed she's just playing a game thinking she can get whatever she wants." those are the exact words of the people I call "parents", they deny the fact that I have depression and it angers me. Since I am the eldest I HAVE to follow up to the expectations of my parents and listen to the rules that they put in place for me. They pressure me constantly about my grades and keeping them at a high status so I can get into college... but as a 15 year old I shouldn't have to tell my parents " I don't want to go to college."... no parent should pressure their child ever!
One_sun - 12-Dec-18 @ 2:06 PM
I live in a house of five and i'm the eldest and only daughter in the family, my parents put a lot of pressure on me about my grades and cheerleading, they expect my grades to be no lower than a B, and if i slip up they take everything away from me. I've tried talking to them about it but they think that i'm just being "lazy" and they get really mad, earlier last month I was diagnosed with long term depression and my parentssaid " she's not depressed she's just playing a game thinking she can get whatever she wants." those are the exact words of the people I call "parents", they deny the fact that I have depression and it angers me. Since I am the eldest I HAVE to follow up to the expectations of my parents and listen to the rules that they put in place for me. They pressure me constantly about my grades and keeping them at a high status so I can get into college... but as a 15 year old I shouldn't have to tell my parents " I don't want to go to college."... no parent should pressure their child ever!
One_sun - 11-Dec-18 @ 11:26 PM
since i was a kid my mother always put presure on me at my grades she always compares me to my half big sister because she graduated college.....and i im in middle school at the moment i have nothingcompare to my sister.....every card realising day comes im scared because if i have a failing grade she treatens me but i kinda understand her she wanted me to have a good future......but putting presure on your daughter is not ok .......in school im happy even tho i know inside that im just faking it...i laugh with my friends but that laugh isnt true.....i feel so depressed sometimes i think i just wanna die and leave all my problems but i think if i suicide my problem wont be gone if i do that unless i solve them...if i suicide the problems that i left will just increase ....my cousin told me(she all know about this)that "if your angry use that to prove yourself to them that when that day(when i graduate)come go fulfill your dreams and they will watch you rise from the top"YEAH! i cant do that to all the pressure the eating me but tho thats a good advance isnt it?im a happy lil kid in the past but now i dont know how to be happy again.....
sad but cute - 15-Oct-18 @ 9:20 PM
@Heart - It is unlawful for a parent or carer to smack their child, except where this amounts to ‘reasonable punishment’. I'd speak to a mentor at school, especially if you are self-harming :(
KeL - 11-Jun-18 @ 11:45 AM
My mum puts too much presure on me, she keeps on looking at evrything i do and screams if i dont do something right, if i tell her something i did with my friends at school she screams and tells me to focus on my work even though i get straight A s. She compares me to other kids and tells me that i will never be like them which put my self esstem down. She hits me if she thimks i did something and if my siblings did something she screams at me and in public she vompares me to other people and tells them that im a bad child. I tried to tell her but she screams at meand never lets me see my other family members(like my aunt). If i say no to her i get yelled at. I self harm now, any advice?
Heart - 9-Jun-18 @ 1:02 PM
Hi, since i was in 5th my mom and my big sis always mentally manipulated me .now i'm 17 i have no social life..all i get is pressure to study..i score strait A's but my mom nevr appriciates it never instead she compares my marks with other like my relatives and friends and she and my sister wants me to get into medical..and my opinion was not even considered and if i tell that i didn't want medical..they would start screaming and shouting at me. And i was never given free time to relax from my study and never to leave my room..for like 2years continously..after school..i used to go inside my room and study.i never told this things to anyone..but today happend was i didn't get into medical..and they a mentally killng me ..and i can't take this anymore...i'm having death thoughts..and..i can't..it's like i'm not existing..
Piya - 5-Jun-18 @ 5:22 PM
I always have straight A in school; I have never gotten below it. I started studying for SAT while I was in sixth grade. I play the violin, piano, drum, golf, and is also on the school swim team. But the pressure that my parents put on me is starting to strain my relationship with my friends. I have a practically non-existent social life. My older brother has already cracked under pressure and I fear I will do the same. SAT is nearing and my parents are pushing me more than ever. I wake up at five o'clock every morning to practice golf for two hours. I have five AP classes I have to deal with afterward. Right after school, I have two hours of orchestra followed by an hour of band class and an hour of piano practice. Then, an hour of swim practice. Then I have to finish my AP homework and sleep at eleven o'clock, then repeat. Is there any way to lessen the pressure?
seline4375 - 22-Apr-18 @ 11:29 PM
for religious reasons i have to study i think some is wrong with my mum so i called my dad and she said if i call my dad she would do something to me so i did it made it worst for my mum because he missed his work and my mum kept screaming she was not normal i was scared what should i have done nothing? no so i called my dad to see if she was okay i don't like her and she said i cant do it and said a thousand bad stuff things she made a very big deal
riley - 7-Mar-18 @ 10:17 AM
HenJack - Your Question:
My parents have always expected A's and B's. I have straight A's in all of my classes, and I don't think I've ever had a C. This year I started high school, and the transition has always been hard for me. I have all A's and two C's right now, and my parents focused on those two C's and not my 5 other straight A's. They accuse me of "being on my phone too much". I'm on my phone as much as an average teenager and maybe even less. I wake up at 5 AM every morning to work on football drills and improve in football. I was benched later in the season and I got yelled at. Ridiculous. Only three more years till I'm out, right?

Our Response:
Many parents are currently worried about their children's phone use, and for good reason. If your parents think your phone use may be taking you away from the most important studies, they will naturally voice their concerns. I'm sure your parents are very proud of your results. You have to honestly ask yourself whether you think you are on the phone too much and whether it could possibly have an effect on your studies. The transition to high school can be stressful and it may take a while to settle in. However, I'm sure you will settle in and I'm sure you'll do great.
TeenIssues - 1-Mar-18 @ 11:04 AM
Hi, I am doing A-Levels and I am in year 12. During my childhood, I had shown interest in going to medical school. But now since I am doing A-Levels (Biology, Chemistry, and Psychology), I am struggling with my grades a lot and I just found out recently that I actually don't want to study Medicine in university. I want to do either Biology or Forensic Science in university and I have talked to my parents about not wanting to study medicine. They said that I must study medicine as they have allowed me to go abroad to study A-Levels just to get into top medical schools. It has been stressing me out so bad and demotivating me from my studies. My parents have also starting to emotionally manipulate me saying that everybody is so proud of me right now because I am going off to study medicine but they will no longer be proud of me if I change the subjects I want to study in university. This basically means that if I do not study medicine, I will be the black sheep of the family. How do I convince my parents to let me do the subjects I want to study?
suzie163 - 28-Feb-18 @ 8:18 PM
My parents have always expected A's and B's. I have straight A's in all of my classes, and I don't think I've ever had a C. This year I started high school, and the transition has always been hard for me. I have all A's and two C's right now, and my parents focused on those two C's and not my 5 other straight A's... They accuse me of "being on my phone too much". I'm on my phone as much as an average teenager and maybe even less. I wake up at 5 AM every morning to work on football drills and improve in football. I was benched later in the season and I got yelled at. Ridiculous. Only three more years till I'm out, right?
HenJack - 28-Feb-18 @ 2:15 AM
@jo - is there anyone you can talk to about your issues such as a close relation like aunt or uncle who might speak to your parents on your behalf? Can you try to reason with your mum and dad and have an adult conversation with them? Your teachers might help too. Talking is the main thing.
Amy S - 26-Feb-18 @ 11:14 AM
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