It's hard being a teenager. You have to worry about grades, social life and all the changes you go through every day. Girls suffer a little more, especially when they have overprotective parents with irrational expectations and who don't give them any freedom. The tips below can help you with overly restrictive parenting.
Method 1 of 3: Learning to Communicate More Effectively
Step 1. Rehearse what to say in advance
Your parents won't change their minds if you don't even try to explain your position on the matter. If you believe you are being treated unfairly, be prepared to present your case.
- Write down the subjects you want to discuss. Do you want to go to the school dance with your friends? Make a list of reasons why they should allow it. Want to start using makeup? Prepare a detailed argument explaining why you are ready. If you can't think of good reasons, don't expect your parents to help you.
- Carefully choose the words that will open the discussion. Never start with an accusation like "Mom, you never let me have fun! Things need to change." or you won't get anywhere. Try saying something like "Mom, I know you're afraid to let me go out alone, but I wanted to go to a movie with my friends on Friday night. Can I do anything to get more freedom?" Approach the situation with respect and humility to increase your parents' chances of listening.
Step 2. Plan the deal
As strange as this sounds, you need to provide an incentive for your parents to think through your ideas.
- Is there anything you can offer in exchange for relaxing house rules? Offer to vacuum the house on Saturday if you can go to the movies with friends on Friday. Think about the tasks your parents hate and offer to do them. It is quite possible that there is a chance of success there!
- Be prepared to negotiate punishments if you don't keep your side of the bargain. If you agree on a time to return home and do not comply, what should be the repercussions? If you say you'll do the dishes for a week and stop on the second day, what's your penalty? Devise possible punishments before talking to your parents to demonstrate that you are able to take responsibility for your actions.
- Offer a compromise. If your parents won't allow you to watch the movie at 9 pm, ask if you can go to the 6 pm session. If you don't want you to go to a friend's party, promise to send text messages every 30 minutes. As boring as this is, at least you'll gain a chance to prove yourself worthy of their trust.
- Be careful not to start trading as if you were the same. Remember that you are not in control of the situation and that you must obey your parents' decisions. You have no power in conversation, so don't sound arrogant or demanding.
- Choose words that communicate the right tone. Instead of saying, "Mom, I'm going to vacuum the house on Saturday morning, but you have to let me go to the movies on Friday night," say "Mom, I really wanted to go to the movies on Friday night. I know you hate vacuuming." home, would you let me go if I promised to do this on Saturday morning?". If you can come up with something that will make life easier for your parents, you will offer them an incentive to think through your proposal.
Step 3. Keep calm and composed
If you want to be treated like an adult, communicate like one.
- Approach your parents in a calm and understanding way. Talk when you are relaxed - possibly after dinner - speaking politely. When you have their attention, explain why you believe they are treating you with unfair limits.
- When explaining the reasons for the limits, keep your tone cordial and your composure. Losing your cool will only make them believe you're not mature enough to be given more freedom.
Step 4. Accept that you may not be able to change their minds
If your parents have placed too many restrictions on you, they are unlikely to change their minds after a single conversation. Perhaps the most you can do at the moment is to get them to think about it.
- Remember, you don't have to win the argument to make your point heard. The idea at the moment is to get your parents to think about what you're saying and be happy with the thoughtful and polite approach, even if they don't agree with you.
- Prepare for an overreaction or negative reaction. Since you're questioning their parenting abilities, your parents may be nervous about your audacity. If they refuse to negotiate or loosen boundaries, maintain the maturity and poise to impress them and make them wonder if they're being overdone.
Method 2 of 3: Earning Your Parents' Trust
Step 1. Follow the rules
Teenagers love to push the envelope, and that's natural, but breaking the house rules won't convince your parents that you're ready for more responsibility.
- Even silly and unfair rules must be respected. If you can't follow them, they're likely to get even tougher. Show respect for the rules and your parents can trust you with more freedom.
- Express that you know your parents love you and only want what's best for you. When they realize you value their concern, you're more likely to be heard. Say something like, "I know you just want my safety, but I think we've managed to find a way to stay safe and be able to go out with my friends. Can we talk about it?"
Step 2. Show respect and maintain a good attitude, even if the rules don't change
Don't be an angry, scowling teenager.
- Your parents probably won't want to reward bad behavior by loosening the rules. Be a nice, quiet daughter to increase your chances of success.
- Don't try to beat your parents by making their lives hell. You will only create resentment, not respect.
- It's natural to feel frustration and anger from time to time. When this happens, express yourself calmly and reasonably; avoid stomping your feet or rolling your eyes. Don't make sarcastic comments about the rules and don't say that you'd prefer your parents to be more like a friend's.
Step 3. Persist
Don't give up on the first refusal you hear from your parents. Be prepared to prove that you can handle more responsibility by sticking to their rules and strengthening their arguments.
- Make it clear that you still want your parents to rethink the rules. When they won't let you do something, tell them you'll accept their decision because you respect them, but remind them that you still believe you deserve more freedom and that you're working hard to earn their trust. Don't complain right away, but don't hide what you're feeling.
- Bring it up again after a few weeks. Mark the date on the calendar and count the days since you last discussed the issue with your parents. After following their rules well and respecting them, you can prove that you deserve more freedom.
- Be tactful during discussions. Instead of saying something like "I've done a good job following your rules, now it's time to change them", go with "You know, I've been working hard to follow your rules, but I still think I could have more freedom. There's something that can do to gain your trust"?
Step 4. Don't act like you're keeping secrets
The biggest fear of any parent is that their children will put themselves in dangerous situations in which they cannot protect them. Don't give them any reason to believe that you will abuse their trust when you have more freedom.
- Spend your life hiding things from them and they'll assume you'll hide why you want more freedom. If you appear to have a secret life, your parents will be more anxious about what you will do away from them. Keep the lines of communication between you very open.
- Obviously, there's nothing wrong with keeping some secrets and thoughts. The idea is just not to give the impression that you are someone else away from them.
Step 5. Don't lie
If you say you're going to the mall after school, don't stop by a friend's house without an explanation. If you say you're going to a friend's house to study, don't end up watching Netflix at a boyfriend's house.
- If they don't trust your word, they won't trust your promises. It's hard to argue that you deserve more responsibility when you're unable to meet your current agreement.
- Always be honest. Even if you do something you know will irritate them, your parents will be happy if you show respect and acknowledge mistakes. Lying and covering up the lie will only make them more suspicious in the future.
Method 3 of 3: Changing Your View of the Situation
Step 1. Talk to a family friend or trusted adult
Emotions are very strong in adolescence and can cause you to not see the situation correctly. As difficult as it is to believe this, it is possible that your parents are treating you fairly and with the necessary caution.
You know that uncle or grandfather you talk to about everything? Look for him to chat! In the absence of a close person, talk to a psychologist at school. If you don't like the idea of talking to other adults because you believe they can agree with their parents, it could indicate that their limits are fair. If that's the case, be honest with yourself
Step 2. Keep a journal to write about how you feel about the rules
Putting it all down on paper will make you feel better without having to offend anyone or argue with your parents. You will be able to read what you wrote after a while to see if you were following your parents' rules well and behaving in a mature way.
The diary will function as a written history of your trading. If you're following their rules and behaving well, you can demonstrate that you've kept your word through the evidence. The diary will help you prove that you are more trustworthy
Step 3. Think about the rules from your parents' perspective
Try to understand what made them define these rules and what they are trying to achieve with them.
- If you had a teenage daughter, would you allow her to go to a party at a friend's house without the presence of adults? Would you allow a 14-year-old daughter to go out on dates without adult supervision? Your parents are already your age and probably don't want you to make the same mistakes they do.
- If you can't find reasons for the rules, ask your parents to explain them. For example: "I know you want my safety, but I wanted to understand why allowing me to go to the movies on Friday night puts me in a dangerous position." They may have reasons that you never mentioned or that you never thought of. Perhaps the conversation will help her control their fears.
- For example, if you go to the movie with a group of friends and your parents are afraid of strangers, say something like, "I understand your fear, but I'll be with a group of friends in public all the time. If anyone threatens us, we'll call for help and we will leave the place".
- Remember, your parents have reasons for the rules. As irrational as they seem, the idea is to protect her by loving her. One day you will thank them for it!
Step 4. Don't forget that the situation is only temporary
One day you will be on your own and you will be able to make your own rules. Even if your parents create ridiculous limitations, you will soon be an adult. If you don't have a choice, stick with it and use adolescence as an opportunity to learn more about discipline and patience.
- If your parents agree to change a task by relaxing the rules, stick to the agreement and do a good job. Doing a dirty job will make them unwilling to help you in the future.
- Show gratitude if your parents support you. Thank them and reassure them that you will not disappoint them. When doing something that was previously prohibited, talk to your parents about what the experience was like and how grateful you are for the opportunity. If they believe in you and realize that you are learning to take care of yourself, they will likely continue to loosen the rules and give you more freedom.
- Learn to recognize signs of abuse. If your parents abuse you, verbally or physically, as part of discipline, you must not remain in this harmful environment. Research more about the definitions of abuse and look for a police station or guardianship council.
- If you experience depression or anxiety, talk to your parents about seeing a psychologist. They will likely help you find help. Ordering can cause your parents to rethink your rules.