How to Deal With Pressure from Parents
By Sadira Sittampalam Ceylon Today Features
There is no shortage of pressure from parents. Their expectations of you seem to always outshine the real version of you or are simply different from what you want in life. Most parents just want what is best for their children. But while this may come from a place of caring, it doesn’t often turn out the best way. It is a difficult situation to manage, but using this guide you can mediate the situation, and try to make them understand exactly where you’re coming from.
Step 1 - Remain Calm
This is often the hardest step, but also the most crucial. While it may seem like screaming is the only way to get through to them your emotions and feelings about how they are treating you, it often is counter-intuitive, simply prompting a screaming match between you and your parents without really solving anything. Remaining calm and speaking seriously will help convey to your parents that you have given the topic serious thought and are mature enough to have a discussion, not an argument whilst showing them that you are still willing to listen to their opinions during this discussion.
Step 2 - Know Your Argument
This is integral to your success as if you are not convincing in your argument, your parents won’t really take you seriously. It doesn’t even matter what you are arguing about, whether it is as simple as dyeing your hair or as serious as deferring university - you should be completely devoted to your argument.
You should know your own mind and have your main points clearly articulated. It is best if you actually write this down so you don’t forget to mention any of them. To back up your main points, you can do a little research and cite a few statistics so that they see how much effort you put into this argument, but also see how you might be right. You can then present an alternative plan that perhaps compromises your plan and theirs, but also identify why this is not ideal for you. An advanced step (but a more devious one) you can try and do is to have an argument for something that even you don’t really want, but you know your parents will absolutely hate, so when you present an alternative plan (which is really your real plan), they are more inclined to accept.
Step 3 - Bring in a Third Party
For this, you need to think about how your parent’s minds work and figure out a person they respect and will likely listen to. Options can include relatives like your uncles or aunts, your grandparents or even an older sibling. However, you can also bring in other people like your teacher, the school counsellor or even one of your friends who they respect. You can tell them about the pressure that your parents put on you, and they will be better able to mediate the situation and convey this pressure to your parents in a way that doesn’t seem like you are complaining or whining.
Step 4 - Compromise
Despite all these steps, parents can be stubborn and may not still see eye to eye with you. So while you might have arguments you win, you may still have arguments you should try and compromise on as after all they are your parents and there’s nothing you can do about that. If you find a compromise and show them that you are willing to follow through with it, they may even end up respecting you more for it. In the end, life’s not fair and these are simply lessons that will help you learn that. You can try your absolute best to get your way and that is good, but remember compromise is also an important part of life and while you may not like it, it doesn’t really matter.