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I'm 19 years old, and my parents won't let me do anything!

Tagged as: Family, Forbidden love, Teenage, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (30 December 2011) 9 Answers - (Newest, 19 November 2015)
A female United States age 22-25, anonymous writes:

Hello. Thanks for having a great community like this. I hope you can help me with my problem.

I'm 19, I go to college and still live at home with my parents. My parents are really strict. They treat me like I'm 5 when I'm clearly an adult. They won't allow me to go out with friends, or have a boyfriend, even though I've had one for the past 2 years. When I ask them to do things, I feel wrong to disobey them, and most of the time I'm scared to ask them at all.

I feel bad because I've denied my boyfriend the experience of going out on weekend nights with his SO and because I think I deserve better. For my past 5 semesters in college, I've maintained a 4.0 GPA, which is no easy task. I'd like to think my parents would see my for the responsible person I am, considering I'm so focused on my studies, and never get into any trouble.

I just want to be able to do things. My friends don't even ask their parents to do things, they just tell them. Which I don't see a problem with. When you're 19, you shouldn't have to ask permission to leave the house. You should just be able to say, "hey mom I'm going to the movies with Rick I'll be back later." I've never done anything for them to distrust me. I shouldn't be treated like a mole, constantly kept underground when there's a whole world waiting to be seen.

My boyfriend always tells me I should just do things and not ask them, and they'd eventually be forced to get used to it, but I don't feel right doing that.

What do I do? I've already missed out on so much of life because of them. You never know when we'll all go, so I don't want to miss another piece of it.

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A female reader, Whoknowslaura United States +, writes (19 November 2015):

Hi.. You appear to be a decent intelligent and level-headed young lady. Since you are not ready to move out just yet then you need to sit your parents down and make them realize that you are a young adult and that dating and spending time with your friends is a normal and healthy part of life. You need to let them know that you have a boyfriend who is loving and cares about you and you need to introduce him to then and the four of you need to spend some time together so they can see that he truly is a decent young man. If they refuse to meet him or give you that opportunity then it's time for you to look for a job and find a room for rent some where . I understand that doing that could cause your education to be delayed if you need to cut back on some classes because of your work schedule but if your parents love you as much as they appear to then you won't have to do it for to long as your parents will see your efforts and realize that they must allow you to grow into a confident and capable woman and holding you back from this would be a devastating mistake. Do what you have to do and be strong because only YOU can go wherever you want to during your time here on this earth. You are your own destiny.. Be smart be safe be happy! You can do whatever you want to if you make the right choices. Be positive never negative and be thankful for what you have and what you can give to others... With these .. You will not lose. Best of luck to you!

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A female reader, Irishelen United States +, writes (13 August 2013):

I think it is damn stupid that everybody here is talking about moving. I don't think people understand what this young girl is going through, just because you didn't grow up with this. I have the exactly same problem as you. It is like you are me. I also am a good girl, 19, have a boyfriend and this is very hard to not get freedom or hangout with anyone at different times. It is tough and depressing to live in this kinda way, and that people on here can sit and judge you for it, and start talking about you moving and stuff is just BS. What I learnt by my sister today was: STAND UP for yourself. This is the key to success in everything you do, if you stand up for what you mean than you will get your way and still show them that you are an adult.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (12 January 2012):


I understand what your saying exactly!

I'm 18 and my parents are/were the same.

The thing I have learnt to do when my parents have said no to me doing something is to Rebel. You and I are adults, not little children anymore, You need to make a stand and go against your parents even though you feel you shouldn't, eventually your parents will realize you are an adult and not a child!

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A female reader, malletchick76 United States +, writes (9 January 2012):

malletchick76 agony auntboy this is a sticky situation. do your parents provide for your schooling completely? if they do, tread carefully because you dont wanna get your butt thrown out on the street.

try the calm approach. sit them down and tell them all the things you have posted, how good your grades are etc.

try the compromising approach. say you want to go to dinner with your friends and will be home at 2am. if they will allow a curfew, take 10PM even, and build it up.

try the rebellious approach. i would save this for last. just walk out and do what you want. dont tell them, just do it.

try the freak out approach. disobey them and say "I'm 18 and you have no more legal standing in my decision making" (RISKY!)

as far as the bf thing, have your boyfriend over to your house and introduce him as a good friend. get him in good standings with your parents. if they say no, just keep at it and tell them that you will be safe in their home and not out doing something on the street.

good luck.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (1 January 2012):

You are legally an adult. Why on Earth should you need to ask permission to go out or do something?

Your parents have no leg to stand on. There is nothing they can actually legally do if you tell them you are going out to dinner with friends, or on a date, and they try to say no.

The second you turned 18, it became none of their business unless you choose to involve them.

You can prattle on about respect all you want, but the fact is... respect is earned. Not only do you have to earn their respect, and given how obedient you have been to their over-protective ways thus far I can't see why you shouldn't have, but THEY have to earn yours.

Flynn 24

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A female reader, Sugarbuns Australia +, writes (31 December 2011):

Sugarbuns agony auntThey don't see you as an adult because you are still living at home and still dependent on them for everything. Maybe it's time for you to move into the dorm and away from their watchful and somewhat controlling eyes. Once you've made this seperation you'll get the independence you are craving and they won't know what you're doing at every moment and will have to let you grow up! I know dorm lift may be a step down for you if you're used to having nice things and never having to liv on your own but it's the first step into your freedom and the gateway to adulthood. It's time for you to fly the nest. Otherwise they will continue to run your life for you.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (31 December 2011):

I use to have the same problem as you and I still do and I'm 22. I wish that if I had a time machice to go bad in time and do it all over because being obedient was pointless.

Do what you want to do. You're young and rebellion is necessary at times. The fact that your parents don't allow to do things simply means they don't respect you and its unfair. Try asking them what they did at your age and you'll see why.

You've done your part and you want a little in return else they will never give it to you then they will want to know why you are acting the way you are then you sit them down and explain that as you get older you need more respect, that's why you feel this way to begin with.

Compromise always works. Good luck.

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A female reader, feralfox United States +, writes (31 December 2011):

Hi there,

My parents were really strict to, and I am only a couple years older than you.

I could go over to other girls' houses but I wasn't allowed to hang out with guys and god forbid I date one!

But I know that it was all out of love, they wanted me to wait until I was an adult to experience love or sex.

So when I turned eighteen and moved out (I went to college out of state), they ceased to have any control and they accepted that there was nothing they could do. Now they bug me and give me advice all the time, but it's usually good advice that I can either accept or ignore.

I guess my advice is that you are indeed an adult, and you can make your own decisions. However, since you are living under your parents roof you must respect them and obey their rules. You are sleeping under their roof and they are taking care of you.

Do they pay for college too? Because if they do all of this for you, in my opinion you are somewhat morally obligated to listen to your parents and respect their rules while they provide for you. If you want to be treated like an adult, the best thing would be to move out and start your own life. It will be hard, and you will have to find a part time job.

Keeping your grades up will be harder. I struggle with everything: working as a waitress, staying up even later to write my papers. I barely have any time for my boyfriend. I am paying for everything myself. My independence is worth it though, and my parents respect the decisions I make now because I work hard and don't ask them for anything except their advice.

If you don't want to be completely independent, you could compromise and try living on campus maybe? Does you school have dorms?

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A male reader, Code Warrior United States + , writes (31 December 2011):

Code Warrior agony auntI agree with iAmHereToHelpYou. However, if you choose to move out, all the bills of living (Rent, food, clothing, utilities) will more than keep you grounded anyway because it is unlikely that you will find an apartment to rent that you can afford that is up to the standard of living you are used to. Also, after paying all the bills, and between working and studying, you probably won't have the time or the money to go out with your bf anyway.

While you can always find roomates to share the costs, that comes with it own set of issues, and can expose you to more liability if you decide to get a bigger place. One or more of your roomates can skip on their portion of the rent payment for as long as you are willing to cover them so that you can keep a roof over your own head. That happened to my wife, and we sued her roomate and won, but got nothing because the girl had no job. Next step was to file a motion of discovery to find out what her assets were, but then she moved out of the state, and our motions no longer mattered because the judgement was not enforceable in her new state and she didn't have a pot to piss in anyway.

Make the best of your current situation because the reality of adult life is pretty harsh for the unskilled and unprepared.

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