How do you make parents understand?

  1. Hey family!

    I'm in a semi-fix and I need some advice.

    Many of you may not know it (some do), but since I graduated school, I've been living with my aunt.... since I was flat broke, had a mountain of debt (still do ) and no job.

    So I relocated from the Northeast to the Midwest to stay with my aunt till I could pass the boards and find a job.

    Now, I've been working steady for 6 months or so and I figure - "It's time to find a hole in the ground and move out", yeah?

    Besides my burning desire for independence, I'm increasingly finding it "difficult" (to put it mildly) to live under someone else's roof and thus toe their house rules.

    My uncle and aunt are wonderful folks and try to give me all the privacy they can - but some things just aren't meant to be. I find some of the rules aggravating and some of 'em silly. Some of the 'requests' require me to temper my lifestyle and behavior because I need to be a "good example" to my 13 year old cousin [which I think is futile nor the proper approach for this kid. But I am no parent and since I am only a guest at their home, I abide by their request].

    My own parents seem bewildered by my desire to move out on my own. They can't comprehend why I would want not want to live with family. They question why I want to add on more expenses (rent, utilities, food) at a time when I already have a ton of debt.

    I've tried explaining as reasonably as I could that I am used to living by myself. Making my own rules (in accordance with my own values). I've tried telling them that I particularly resent having to "answer to someone" every time I need to leave the house. I try telling them that it makes me feel like a child and it's aggravating.

    Besides, I do not share the same "values" and "world outlook" as 99% of my family (some examples: I'm not religious, I'm not a teetotaler, I love to eat non-vegetarian food, I don't always think "family first and always first" as there are some people in the family I don't really give a wooden nickel about etc.). I won't even bother getting into relations with the opposite sex and their opinions on the "correctness" and "proper way" of it all :uhoh21:

    I don't ask for an explanation and I don't question their lifestyle choices - and I'm tired of constantly being met with disapproval of mine and having to defend it.

    I love my folks - as quirky and as different as they are.
    But I can't "stay with them". My Mother takes this as an implication that she is not welcome to my house

    Nothing could be further from the truth! I think there is a world of a difference between "Me staying at my parents house" and "my parents staying at my house".

    Sorry for the long post.
    I'm kinda stumped :stone


    PS: I've already picked out an apartment and am signing the lease tomorrow (and moving in too!) I'm just trying to figure out how to reconcile my parents to the whole thing.
    Last edit by Roy Fokker on Apr 11, '07
  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   crissrn27
    they'll get used to it................give them a little time. and invite them over for dinner after you are settled
  4. by   ertravelrn
    Congrats on your own place. It is always nice to be able to breath and not worry about offending someone.
    Your parents will understand it in time, all kids wanna move out and be independent....I agree, invite them over for dinner.
  5. by   canoehead
    Most parents are upset when their young ones won't take responsibility for themselves and move out on their own. Your family should be proud you are so responsibleI agree with all your reasons for moving, but would emphasize the part about not wanting to sponge off family unless you absolutely have to. You need your independence, and freedom.
  6. by   Tweety
    It's probably a culture clash Roy, because you sound very American. Canoehead above is describing the American way. American parents practically have to light a fire to get their kids out from underfoot and are indeed proud when they are self-motivated.

    Anyway, if you feel the time is right for you, then you just go your own way and sooner or later they will come around.
  7. by   DDRN4me

    Tweety, as usual is full of wisdom!!:mortarboard:

    As a mom to 2 girls about your age, I see both sides of the coin. Your parents are worried about you being on your own. You DO need your independance and privacy... and moving out on your own is a good idea. As you said, you have done it before and know it is not easy. It does not diminish the fact that you appreciate what your family has done or mean that you dont love and respect them; it means you are a normal young man who wants his own life!!!

    feel free to print out and send to parents...from me to them!

    good luck with your new place!! Mary
  8. by   anonymurse
    Give them an extended lecture on Erikson's stages and sneak out after they've all nodded off.
  9. by   Grace Oz
    I congratulate you on your desire to be independent and your determination to live according to your values etc. I wish you well. We all need to fly the coop, it's how it's meant to be. As a parent, I've found it both distressing, and rewarding, having the children take flight. The process of letting go is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do! *sniff* Us mother's always want to protect our offspring. It's instinct. When our children choose to do things which we fail to understand, or agree with, it can cause angst, for both parent and the emerging adult/child. It requires patience, love, compromise sometimes, and a genuine effort to understand. From both sides! What has helped me as the parent in the situation, is the maintaining of contact via phone calls, visits, and letters (from DS who is away with our defence forces). If you maintain regular contact, invite the folks to visit, let them continue to be a part of your life in whatever way is comfortable for you, and mutually acceptable, things will move along smoothly. This is another time of change and transition for you all. It requires time, sensitivity and gentleness. Handled well, it can be a fun and exciting time for you.
    Cheers .....
  10. by   muffie
    good luck with all that roy

    congrats on your new place

    i can sew curtains for you
  11. by   sunnyjohn
    My mum and daddy are STILL trying to get me to move to Florida to be with my aunts, uncles and brothers. I have lived on my own since I was 17. Could you imagine me living with my family! WOOSH!

    They'll get used to it. Mothers never stay mad long. Invite them to visit and show them a good time. You will once again be the favorite child!

    Roy's mum- "Did you know my darling boy graduated from nursing school! Yes he is one of the few outsatnding men in hid field. He recently got a lovley home for himself. Wanna marry him to your daugher?"
  12. by   clemmm78
    You don't need to convince them. Show them. Do what you need to do and show them, they'll come around.

    My oldest will be 20 in two weeks. He's in university and he's making noises about moving out this summer. DH doesn't want him to, but I can understand why he wants to and will support him in whichever decision he makes.

    When it comes to parents who don't want to understand, there is no convincing them. You have to do what is right for you - as long as it's within reason obviously.

    Once you have your own place and show them, they will have to accept it, and they will. They want the best for you and to them, they just don't understand. That's ok, they do thing that you don't understand, right?

    Congrats on your apartment. Live well.
  13. by   EmerNurse
    Hi Roy!

    Both of my older daughters are out on their own. From a mom's perspective, letting them go was hard - you never think they know as much as they should to be on their own - but that's what growing up is about. I left home at 19 to join the Army, myself. Some kids won't get off the couch and go, others chomp at the bit.

    It's a growing up process. It won't be comfortable for your parents - think role transition - but it's all natural.

    Just keep in touch, remind them that you love them but you need to be your own grown up now and that the lessons they've taught you throughout life will carry you through safely. That last might be complete BS but it sounds good to mom (it did for mine - and turned out to be true after all).

    Good luck with your new place! And hang in there - all parents go through some form of this - they get over it
  14. by   tencat
    Quote from anonymurse
    Give them an extended lecture on Erikson's stages and sneak out after they've all nodded off.

    No, seriously, they'll get used to it. It sounds like it's time for you to fly the coop.