How to Deal with People Who Treat You Like a Child

Table of contents:

How to Deal with People Who Treat You Like a Child
How to Deal with People Who Treat You Like a Child

If you feel like you're being treated like a child by your family, don't worry - you're not alone, whether as an adult or a teenager. You may also notice your boss, co-workers or acquaintances treating you in this way or even strangers in public. All you have to do is confront the person, but in some cases it's better to just let it go.


Part 1 of 4: Dealing with Family Members as an Adult

Persuade Your Parents to Let You Get Braces Step 6

Step 1. Discuss the problem

Some family members may not realize they are still treating you like a child. It's hard for older people to let go of the idea of ​​you being the “little boy” of the house, even after a few years of adulthood. Therefore, you may need to bring it up with them and help them understand what you are feeling.

  • Start with your feelings. Use “I” phrases to describe how you are feeling rather than making accusations. Blaming someone will put you on the defensive. For example, don't say “You always treat me like a child”. Say, “I get upset when you still treat me like a child. I've already grown up”.
  • Be specific by talking about exact phrases or behaviors that bother you. For example, you might say, "I love it when you help me with my kids, but I don't like it when you contradict the rules I've made." Another option is to say "I respect your rules when I'm at your house, but I don't like having to keep telling you where I am all the time."
  • Tell them what you expect. For example “I would very much like you to respect the rules I set for my children” or “I would very much like you to treat me like any other adult who stays in your house”.
Deal With Your Parents Fighting Step 7

Step 2. Be direct and honest with what you want

If you're going to tell your mother a story, tell her exactly what you expect and directly. For example, if you're telling her something just to give information and don't want advice, tell her so.

You could say, “Mom, I need to tell you something, but I want you to promise that you won't be judging the situation in the end. I think you need to know this information, but I don't want advice on my choices."

Stop Your Parents from Fighting Step 6

Step 3. Focus on the relationship

In communication, people are always trying to take control of things, that is, there is a fight to see who has power. Typically, this type of communication takes place between a parent and an adult child or even in other types of relationships, such as an aunt with a nephew or niece. The “adult” still wants to control the adult child, even without realizing it. If you are the adult child, you may want to “win” in the situation. However, sometimes letting go of this power struggle makes for a healthier relationship.

  • That kind of fight can make people defensive. You are likely to become defensive when another adult in your family, whether a parent, aunt, guardian, or grandparent, does this to you.
  • However, by truly listening and leaving the power struggle aside, you can reduce the defensiveness a bit and both sides will feel more listened to and valued.
Stop Being Self Centered Step 14

Step 4. Set limits

Sometimes parents and other family members find it difficult to respect boundaries because they still see you as a small child in their domain. In that case, you need to set boundaries politely and firmly, for you have your own life now.

  • For example, let's say your parents tend to show up at your house unannounced. You could say, “I love it when you visit me, but I would love for you to let me know first. Sometimes we have a family program planned and we need that moment to strengthen and grow together.”
  • Another way to deal with this problem is to say, “I understand that you are concerned about when we will have children. However, it may take a while for us to decide this. I'll definitely let you know when we're planning. Until then, I would very much like you to stop asking about it.”

Part 2 of 4: Dealing with family members and caregivers as a teenager

Convince Your Parents to Get You a Smartphone Step 7

Step 1. Open the lines of communication

Many parents, guardians, and other adults still treat teenagers like children because they can't see how much you've matured. A sign of maturity is being honest with them, with things big and small.

  • Partly this means being honest and direct. Don't lie that you're going to the library when you're actually going to your friend's house. Don't make up the amount of homework you have. Every lie, no matter how small, reduces some of your parents' trust in you.
  • It also means being open about your own life. If you can talk about what you're thinking and feeling with your parents, it can help them see how you've matured and what your priorities are.
Get Freedom with Overprotective Parents as a Teenage Girl Step 3

Step 2. Talk to the adults in your life about trust

If you're growing up, it means you can have an honest conversation about trust. If you feel that your parents or other adults don't trust you, it's a good time to ask why or if you did something that broke their trust.

  • Ask people when it's a good time to talk. When sitting with them, be direct. Say something like “Sometimes I feel like you don't trust me. I've grown a lot in the last few years and I think you still think I'm a kid."
  • Ask what you can do to gain their trust. They may have specific guidelines that you need to follow in order for them to truly trust you.
Convince Your Parents to Get You a Smartphone Step 2

Step 3. Follow the rules

If you act like a little child, they treated you like one. Kids break the rules. Adults are mature enough to respect the wishes and rules of their parents or guardians when they are still living in their home.

  • For example, when you have a time to go home, be home on time.
  • Do the household chores assigned to you and your homework. If you want to be treated like an older person, understand that it comes with responsibilities.
Convince Your Parents to Get You a Smartphone Step 12

Step 4. Show that you are responsible

Another way to prove to the adults in your family that you are mature is to show how responsible you are. Being responsible means doing what you said you would do and when you said you would. It means the adults in your family can trust you to be as good as you promised.

  • Keep what you promised when you said you were going to do something.
  • It can also mean taking responsibility for things without them asking you to. Wash the dishes without your mother insisting. Cut the grass before your dad gets the chance.
  • Take care of what you need to take care of. For example, do your homework, brush your teeth and shower without your parents telling you and take your medications or vitamins on time.
Be Friends with Someone Who Attempted Suicide Step 10

Step 5. Choose good friends

The logic behind this step may not seem too obvious. Your friends are your friends, aren't they? Well, not always. When you choose friends who are bad influences, like those who don't like to go to school, who use drugs, and who hate everyone, your parents and family will notice. These people have a huge influence on you, so when you choose companies that aren't very mature, that can happen to you too. Your parents know this and may treat you more like a child when you exhibit this type of behavior.

Deal With ADHD Kids Step 38

Step 6. Try not to be too dramatic

By crying and screaming, you show your family that you are not ready to be treated like an adult. An adult is able to sit down and have a civil conversation. Of course everyone gets upset sometimes. However, it is necessary to learn to calm down and have a normal conversation with the people you are upset with.

  • Sometimes just taking a break can help you calm down a bit. If you start to feel like you're getting angry, ask the person you're talking to if you can take a break to calm down and then continue the conversation.
  • You can also channel your feelings. Put them in a work of art or express them by writing instead of yelling at people.
Deal With ADHD Kids Step 36

Step 7. Apologize when you're wrong

Apologizing is hard for everyone. Nobody likes to admit they're wrong. However, when you break someone's trust, such as your parents, it's important to apologize on your own initiative. This is a good way to rebuild trust and relationships and show that you have matured.

  • Start by recognizing what you've done wrong. “I know going out last night without your permission wasn't cool. I know you care about me and want me to be safe.”
  • Apologize without trying to justify your actions. For example, say “I'm sorry I did this”, NO “I'm sorry I did this, but I was angry that you wouldn't let me go to the party”.
  • Be sincere. People know when you're not being sincere. Sincerity is important whenever you apologize.

Part 3 of 4: Dealing with Co-workers and Acquaintances

Get over a Crush on Your Coworker Step 3

Step 1. Listen to what the person is saying

Some people are just condescending. They don't necessarily mean to be, but they can end up giving the impression that they're treating you like a kid or newcomer to the field. One way to combat this type of person is to really listen to what they are saying, as well as what is between the lines.

  • Hearing what the person is trying to convey and making them understand that they have been heard can open the door to more fruitful conversations.
  • One way to show you're listening is to ask intuitive questions that are relevant to what the person is saying.
  • You can also nod your head and use your body language to show you're listening.
Get over a Crush on Your Coworker Step 2

Step 2. Remember that things often have nothing to do with you

In many cases, whatever advice people are giving or how they're treating it has more to do with themselves. In other words, the things they say in an indulgent tone are aimed at them.

When you find yourself being treated like a child, try to step back a little. Take a deep breath and ask yourself if what they are saying has any merit or if it has more to do with the other person's strengths or weaknesses

Forward Your Cell Phone Step 5

Step 3. Give the benefit of the doubt

It is sometimes difficult to convey a certain tone, especially in an email or text message. If you feel someone is being condescending, see if it can be seen differently. If so, let it go this time.

Try to bring it up in person. This will make you less likely to misunderstand the person's tone

Get a Guy to Talk to You Step 2

Step 4. Get the person's attention

At work, this step can be a little difficult, but if the person you're communicating with is generally receptive, it's always a good idea to give it a try. She may not realize you're treating him like this, so getting attention is an opportunity for her to change her behavior.

  • Be polite and don't get too emotional. Deal with the problem without trying to blame the other person.
  • For example, you can say, “Thank you so much for explaining this to me, but I already know how to do this”.
  • Another way of confronting the problem is to say "I don't like to waste time, and since I already know how to do this, can we move on?" or “Thanks for the email. You've explained this to me before, so I understand perfectly”.
Become a Broadcast Journalist Step 14

Step 5. Prove you're capable

Another way to overcome people who treat you like a child is to prove your maturity. At work, this means you are 100% capable of getting your job done competently and on time. In other situations, it means ignoring the person who is treating you badly and then dealing with the task at hand.

  • Learn the skills you need to learn, even if you have to work overtime.
  • It's also important to arrive on time and deliver projects on time.
  • In other situations, such as volunteering or at your child's school meetings, you may need to just ignore the person and do what you need to do.

Part 4 of 4: Dealing with Strangers

Talk to Ex Step 13

Step 1. Always be polite

Sometimes when you're out in public, someone might use a condescending tone or say “sweetheart” at the end of a sentence when talking to you. If that happens, start by being polite. In other words, don't lower yourself to the person's level. Use your own rules of politeness and get on with the conversation.

Most of the time, the person doesn't even realize that they're being condescending or that they're treating you like a child. Blowing it out won't help in this situation

Get a Guy to Talk to You Step 7

Step 2. Bring the conversation back to you

Sometimes you can be in a situation where you should be having a conversation with the “pro” but instead he talks about it with someone else right in front of you. A good example of this is when a mechanic talks to a husband about his wife's car when she is right in front of him and should be engaged in the conversation.

  • The best way to handle this type of situation is to ask a question that the person needs to answer directly to you.
  • For example, ask “I understand what you're saying about the timing belt, but don't you think the spark plugs also need replacing? They were exchanged 32,000 kilometers ago."
Talk to Ex Step 8

Step 3. Use humor

If someone is being patronizing, maybe the person is just used to explaining things to everyone, especially in technical jobs. One way to change the conversation is to use a little humor to make her change this default explanation.

For example, when someone says “You need to change the oil every 5,000 kilometers”, say “Like a doctor's checkup, isn't it?”

Overcome Fear of Failure Step 2

Step 4. Let go of things

Sometimes when it's a stranger who's treating you like a child, it's better to let things go and move on. You will probably never see this person again, and brooding over that anger will not help you.


Popular by topic