Help! I wish I had my friend’s supportive parents. How do I deal with my strict family?


Dear Friend,

My parents are very strict, harsh and controlling. Meanwhile, my best friend’s parents are very supportive and loving of her. This makes me very jealous, and I wonder how my life would be if we switched parents. I know I shouldn’t think this way, so how can I get myself to stop?

Signed, Controlled



Dear Controlled,

It is good to hear that you are aware you shouldn’t be thinking about how different your life could be if you switched families. Wishful thinking could make you feel disappointed and frustrated and create a distance between you and your parents.

We’re not sure how strict your mum and dad are or in what ways: are they very concerned about grades? Do they restrict your time with your friends? It’s also not clear what your relationship is like, so for our advice, we will assume that you feel safe at home but have a distant relationship with your parents.

We hope the following tips can help ease your distress:

Remember your parents can be flawed and nervous

Were your grandparents very strict with your parents? Do they have a good relationship now? It’s possible your mum and dad are raising you the same way they grew up. This doesn’t excuse their behaviour; it simply explains it.

They may be very nervous and afraid for your safety or future – raising a child can be a very scary thing! – and instead choose to be overprotective. Try to understand where they are coming from; this is not the same as accepting the situation, it just gives you some background into why they act the way they do.

Discuss your feelings when possible

Communication plays an important role in fostering positive and rewarding relationships. You can try engaging your parents in family meetings, which could give them a better understanding of how you feel and let them see how both sides could compromise on certain values, expectations and standards. Likewise, you could also consider arranging some family activities with your parents – maybe you could go hiking, enjoy a picnic, or cook together. This could help you develop common interests and enrich your relationship.

Stay patient and positive

You’ll be an adult in a few years, and it will come faster than you think. If you find life at home so frustrating that you don’t want to live there when you start university or get your first job, consider moving out when you’re old enough.

In the meantime, try to keep a positive attitude. It can feel frustrating and unfair, but it is the best way to handle a difficult situation. Focus on your other relationships and interests to keep yourself happy. Arguing or adopting a negative attitude could cause more problems between you and your parents, and we don’t want to stress you out more.

Hope that helps, Friend of a Friend


Source: Young Post