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I'm Chinese with helicopter parents!

Tagged as: Big Questions, Family<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (12 April 2018) 3 Answers - (Newest, 22 April 2018)
A female Singapore age 18-21, anonymous writes:

Hi there! Im a 19 year old girl who is trying to get my parents to start letting go. Not sure if it makes sense when I say letting go but I mean like trying to make them see that I’ve grown and matured. Because you see, all my life and as long as I can remember, I’ve always done whatever my parents wanted me to do, no questions asked. And because of this, I think they sort of think that I’ll forever like rely on them to tell me what to do. But around the age of 15, I started to like really grow up and started making decisions of my own, even though they were small, it was still a step. So as I got older and older, I notice that even though I’ve matured and always put my studies first and all, my parents never notice that I’ve grown in that sense and they still kinda grip onto me very tightly? So I’m not exactly sure how to like get them to loosen up their grip.. cuz recent years, like when I was 17-18, I did start going out with friends like to the mall for meals and movies.. and just last year, I went out with a guy, just me and him and it shocked me that my parents said okay to it.. but anyways, now another guy friend has come along and I’ve been out with him like twice? I’m kinda trying to get my parents to like my friend at the same level as they did with my other guy friend.. I notice my parents’ refuse to get to know this friend because they like my other friend better... to be honest, not sure if the two problems are related? But I kinda feel like there is.. kinda like them telling me that I should just be friends with ONE guy.. it’s just a vibe and a gut feeling of mine!

And an absolutely different question here: at 19, do you all usually ASK parents to go out or do you INFORM them that you’re going out? Eg inform as in “mum/dad, I’m going out with this person at this place for a meal and movie” — I’m just wondering about this too, sometimes I have difficulty telling my parents I’m going out cuz I’m afraid they’ll just say no without reason, which they are known for..

Btw I have Asian Chinese parents... so to some cultures, you may not have encounter such situation ??

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (22 April 2018):

Poster of question..

In response to uncle tom’s questions.

1) Never. There’s a reason for this. My parents are known to an their opinions before I could even finish my sentence. They judge. A LOT. They keep on going on saying “oh during our time, there’s no such thing as this” on wtv topic it is. They fail to understand that I grew up in a generation where there is huge ass difference!

2) they don’t want me to date at all at this age.. I feel like they just think I’m a robot with no feelings ya know? Like to them, it’s impossible for me to catch feelings.. which is really crazy. I can’t help that I might like someone etc. Their expectation of a guy is like the basics.. good manners, polite, treats me wel etc. But that’s not even the main concern. They don’t even wanna open their minds to see that I am at a certain age where I would like to go out and see ppl like date but no commitments? Like going on dates to see if I do like this person etc. (Ofc with ppl I know! Not total strangers!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (15 April 2018):

Hi. Sadly, a lot of parents have this "because I said so" attitude. Mine are not like that, thankfully, but I've seen this a lot and my grandparents were indeed kinda overprotective. And I'm not saying your parents are authoritarian or "control freaks", but there's a difference between this and being an authority.

My suggestion would be: try talking to your parents firmly but also try to keep it peaceful, diplomatic. If they say no without a reason, insist (don't force anything, but insist a little) they tell you at least one reason and analyze if those reasons are justified; i.e. your parents might worry when you go out with friends they don't know well, which would be totally understandable. You're also still a teenager and still "tuning" your abilities to make your own choices. Well-meaning adults in your family will naturally worry about it and they might think (accurately or inaccurately) that you're not ready to make X decision.

Don't expect your parents to suddenly understand you. From what you've told us, I sense your parents seem to think they're doing their best and that they're simply protecting you. That's great, of course, but you're also entitled to your own freedom and independence. You don't have to tell your parents every single detail about your life. Just take care of yourself and reassure them. Tell them you're going out with X people to X place to do X activity at X time and that you expect to be back home at about X hour. Leave your parents the phone numbers of your friends (and even the numbers of their parents, if you find them reliable) just in case. Do it for your own safety, maturity, and responsibility. Don't do it for the sake of convincing your parents. If they care about you, sooner than later they'll realize you have a life of your own and it doesn't mean you all don't love each other. If your parents love you and you trust them, feel free to ask for their advice and support.

It may sound cliché, but it's quite difficult for parents/older family members in general to accept the fact that we're not babies/kids anymore. I don't go out much and I'm in my late 20s, but I haven't asked my parents for permission ever since I was 16. I simply informed/inform them. But I come from a liberal household and I understand it might not work that way for everyone.

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A male reader, UncleTom United States +, writes (15 April 2018):

UncleTom agony auntHi,

As a male parent of three girls, it can be extremely difficult for parents to let go. They can feel like they are losing their child or are scared for what might happen in this big old world. No matter how old yo get, you will always be their little girl.

Let me answer you last question first:-

Being honest is always the best policy and informing your parents is like you are telling them.

However, asking as you said, could result in a no answer.

Introducing too many guy friends with parents is always a no, it can seem like you are playing the field. Obviously, today's generation want to make sure they have the right partner before jumping into commitment. Please know that I am in no way stating that you are ready for that.

I have a few questions to help give you more in-depth answers,

1) When was the last time you sat down and had a real heart to heart with your parents?

2) Do they have an expectation what type of person they would accept as your friend/boyfriend?

If you could provide me with these answers it would help more.

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