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Is 19 years old an age where it is appropriate to stand up to parents?

Tagged as: Dating, Family<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (9 May 2018) 4 Answers - (Newest, 15 May 2018)
A female Australia age 18-21, anonymous writes:

My question is fairly simple.. Is 19 years old an age where it is appropriate to stand up to parents?

Here's my situation...

I'm the type of daughter that literally does everything my parents say, for as long as I remember. Of course, being a teen in university, there are SOME things that I don't share with my parents but I never do anything that would harm myself or ruin my image. That's for sure.

My parents have always. be overprotective and rather "strict" from certain angles and I get that, I can understand why they are like that. and it wasn't a big deal when I was young. I kinda feel like since I started uni, suddenly they are trying to like steal the part of where I start "adult-ing." And actually just before uni, they actually stopped me from studying abroad which was pretty infuriating because I felt I was ready and I could've made it into one of Russell group unis (top uk uni group) with my grades. I kinda felt like they didn't trust my instincts and my decisions and made me stay back in my country. So that made me quite upset. Anyways, that time I had just turned 18 and thought to myself, its okay, ill give into this.

But now, recently, now that I'm 19, suddenly, the topic of guys and dating is surfacing and my parents are all like saying I shouldn't date and should focus on studies etc. Thing is, THAT IS ALL IVE BEEN DOING. I'll literally so focused on studies and wish that they would realise that. They tell people that I'm very responsible and know where my priorities are but the main thing is THEY DONT LIVE BY IT! Plus, it's not like I'm gonna straightaway jump into the dating scene. I feel like I am old enough to go out and start seeing people (ofc people I know). And they have decided FOR me that I'm not suppose to go and see people.

So what should I do? I personally feel like I should stand my ground and like tell them that I am an adult now and growing up and its not like I leave them in total darkness. I do let them know who are the people I'm friends with etc. Obviously I don't share everything because mainly they don't really understand much about the "younger generation" stuff. Should I stand up to them about this? I feel like the fact that they suddenly decided to stop me from seeing people and going out makes me feel like I should stand up to them and tell them to trust that I know where my priorities lie and I know what my main focus is.

PS I have extreme asian Chinese parents ( a little stereotypical but its true)

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (15 May 2018):

Hi again, this is the first anon poster from before.

I think you are correct that you are old enough to go out with your friends if you want to. If you live with your parents they may have some rules that you will still need to live by, like a curfew, and calls to check in if you will be out past a certain time, but it should not be so restrictive for a grown adult.

I think you can definitely make a reasonable request of them to let you go out with your friends. Try to start small though, to get them used to it and to show them that they can trust you to make good decisions on your own. Sounds like they do not have that confidence yet.

Don't start by going on a weekend away, but see if you can tell them that you plan to go out maybe one night a week with some friends that they have met, or something like that, for a few weeks first. If you show that your studies do not suffer at all even when spending a bit of time with friends I think they will start to allow more freedom too.

If needed, see if you can get a counselor involved in the conversation. They may be able to give an outside perspective to your parents and reassure them that you will be ok, and that going out with friends is a normal part of life, and an important thing to cultivate lasting friendships and social networks, at your age.

Best of luck, I hope this helps and encourages you. Keep us posted about how it goes.


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A female reader, anonymous, writes (13 May 2018):

I posted this question and just wanted to clarify...

When I say stand up, I don't mean it in a rude sense. more like telling them not be so overprotective and restrictive to the sense that I can't even go out with friends often. I really want to have adventures with friends (like going on a holiday together after exams etc) and they never let me do that. and personally I feel like I am at the age where I can do things like that. It is harmless right? And I'm just frustrated that I'm the only girl out of all my friends that are under circumstances like this. Im trying to figure out a way to get my parents to just see that I can make my own decisions and I know when something's not right etc. I know when to back out when I feel theres danger involved, I've done it enough of times already.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (12 May 2018):

It is appropriate to stand up to them when you pay your own way for everything.That means school your car your phone your dorm room your insurance everything.Until then do not rock the boat because then they might withdraw support from you.Are you able to support yourself in every way?Only when you can then you stand up to them.until then do not rock the need that money.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (10 May 2018):

Ha! I was actually going to ask if you were Asian, until I saw you P.S.

I know in that culture the parenting can be very strict and restrictive socially.

I don't think you really need to stand up to your parents, in that sense. Yes, please live your life and take your independence now, you are an adult and can make your own decisions, right or wrong. You are definitely old enough to disagree with your parents, and that is normal!

I think my advice would be to reassure them, instead of having a confrontation. They are probably insecure, since they do not have complete control of you as they did when you lived with them all the time, and were a minor. When they raise concerns and start to preach to you about what they expect and how they think you need to behave, remind them that they raised you with perfectly good morals and values, and that you are smart and capable because of them, and that you will be making decisions about your own life for yourself now. It's ok mom & dad!

Will you make some mistakes? Yes. Will they be life changing mistakes? Nope, they raised you too well for that.

Repeat as necessary, and do not go into detail about your personal time and the activities you decide to fill it with. You are an adult now, and if they cannot refrain from judgment of your choices, they do not get to know what is going on in your life. Once they can meet you on the level, and I think it will happen in time, then you can talk about things more openly like two/three adults.

I hope this helps. Keep doing what you are doing, I am sure you have a wonderful future ahead of you.


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