How to Gain Your Freedom From Overprotective Parents

Updated on February 16, 2018
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If you have overprotective parents, you'll be familiar with the fight that comes with wanting to go out of the house or hanging out with friends. Depending on how overprotective they are (there's definitely different levels), you may or may not be in for a real fight, even if you're just wanting to go out to see a movie with a bunch of friends.

For me, my mom was always super-protective-how-dare-you-want-to-go-out-you-must-hate-me, while my dad encouraged me to go out. When I was younger I couldn't stand against my mom, so I grew up never hanging out with friends or leaving the house. Throughout elementary school and middle school whenever someone asked if I wanted to do something with them, I would ask my mom and eventually be guilted into not going. After that, I stopped trying and my friends stopped asking if I could do something (as I never could).

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Keep in Mind...

...the end goal in mind before confrontation. It will help you stand your ground.

Prepare Yourself and Your Resolve

If you've reached the point where you are tired of not being able to go out with friends, or you want more freedom for yourself, the first thing you need to do is ready your mind. This is crucial. The first time you make your stand against your parent(s), you'll have to fight against caving in.

For me, this didn't happen until my third year of college or so. Yes, I know that is a very, very long time. I regret not going to any of my high school dances. Although to be honest, I wasn't too interested in dancing and I was super self conscious and rarely said a word to anyone throughout high school. I did however, really want to go to the party after prom, but my mom somehow ended up guilt-ing me into not going. I ended up crying and just thinking "fine, I didn't want to go anyway."

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • If you're parents know your friends/who you'll be hanging out with, they'll be more likely to say yes.
  • Don't push too far, too fast. Take is slow.
  • If they say no right away, try bartering with how good you're doing at school and how you'll be back before a certain time.
  • Keep in touch with your parents and let them know you're okay when you're out. (It's annoying, but a small sacrifice)

Do you usually cave-in and let your parents have their way?

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How to Make Your Stand

Before even confronting your parent(s), keep your end goal in mind. If it's to go out with friends to a movie, don't let them win right away. It's okay if you don't get what you want at first. Try to barter and keep it at a level that they will be comfortable with.

If your parents don't want you hanging around with the opposite sex (which is another issue, but relevant), assure them that there will be a lot of people going. If they don't like you being out past a certain hour, see a movie and be back before that time. After a while, you can start asking for more. They will get more comfortable with you leaving the house. Just give them what they want somewhat (like a text message when you get there) and don't push too far too quickly.

Honestly, it's a lot like taking baby steps. Don't expect them to be okay with you having a serious date and not coming home until 1am the first time you ask. Let them build their trust in you first and get comfortable before stretching their limits.

And really, it's not so much as "asking" as putting your foot down. This may be hard at first, but if you open yourself up to a "yes or no" question, they're going to automatically say no, because they said so. An example of this would be "I want to go to the movies this Friday with so and so. A lot of people will be there and I'll be home by xxx. I'll text you when I get there."

Depending on how they answer, you may end up having to barter and convince them. "I've been doing really well in school lately and I don't go out a lot. I'll be sure to be careful, xxx is driving." It also helps if your parents know who you are hanging out with. If you have to bring them by, go for it. Play video games, ask if they can come over for dinner, etc. If you're parents are comfortable with your choice in friends, they'll be less likely to say no.

If you give up, you'll always regret watching your life pass without you doing anything about it.
If you give up, you'll always regret watching your life pass without you doing anything about it. | Source

Be Patient and Keep Trying

I can't stress how important it is to keep trying and pushing your boundaries. Depending on how overprotective and how hard it is for you to get your parents to agree to let you have your way, the longer it'll take to get them used to the idea.

One of the things my mom always complained about it that I was "given a little freedom and then I took advantage of it." Yeah, because I had been cooped up for years and years! But realistically, this made it harder to get her used to the idea of me going out. I probably should have taken it slower, but by that time I was 19 or 20 and I knew that she was being unreasonable.

Be prepared for "I'm not talking to you" and the silent treatment every once in a while. I luckily had my dad to help calm my mom down sometimes, but I would still come home and find that my mom wasn't speaking to me. Eventually though, she did finally get used to me leaving the house, having a job, hanging out with friends and having a boyfriend. It wasn't in any way easy for her to accept it, but I tried to make it easier by spending time with her.

I figure that one of her biggest fears was me not wanting to spend time with her, so I made sure to still watch tv and our shows together and keep in touch with her via texting when I could.

It's not easy, but if it's something that you want, keep trying. It's well worth the struggle and once you finally do gain your freedom and independence, you'll find that you don't feel as anxious, lonely and caged up as you used to.

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        Ruth 3 days ago

        Jacqueline,

        Stand up and be the women you were meant to be. Tell your mother what you need to do to be happy and successful in life, and let her know she did a terrific job and you love her very much but now shes teaching a very worped insecure emotion and threatened feeling of oppression only a third world country would do.

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        Matthew 3 days ago

        My overprotective parents say i can't have a phone till I'm 18 and all my other friends have a phone!?!? Please Help.......

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        abbey 3 weeks ago

        this realy helpt me I'm ten

      • profile image

        Jacqueline 3 weeks ago

        Am 19,second yr in college and after loosing my dad life is just so hectic with my mom.... She's so overprotective and doesn't want me hanging out with friends she says that she ain't secure when am out. After joining college i promised myself to enjoy my youth life with friends since it was something i didn't do back then not until my mum discloses me in the house and tells me to remain in there..... Am so tired and even thought of running away from home and killing myself since no one understands me..... What should i do before the worst happens to me

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        Lucette 4 weeks ago

        Im 14 years old.My mother is a control-freak,overprotective and VERY strict. Im not allowed to go on ANY social media nor listen to the music that i like because its "bad for me and its gonna make u less smart".im not allowed to visit anyone that my mother hasnt met their parents and made sure they are "good people"(i think that this is unfair because she judges my friends by their parents) i see that there is someone else on this sight that has the of the same problem as me...My father wants me to make me more friends and be more social while mt mother is doesnt let me have any friends...im depressed right now,but i dont want to tell my mother because she will say something like "stop being a drama queen! i bought u this and u are still sad!?"my mother and father are divorced and i live with my younger brother.Id love to go stay with my father but im to scared to ask mt mother.What should I do?Can some pls give me an opinian please.My mother puts a lot of stress on me too.I dont get time to relax at all.Please tell me what to do...

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        Irrelevant 4 weeks ago

        My girlfriend wants me to come over. I always feel bad when I tell her "idk" when she asks if I can. Believe me, I want to. Sadly, BOTH my parents are strict as shit. I live in the same neighborhood as her and can't even visit.. It really sucks and I wish I could. I have friends that live in my neighborhood and I can't even walk to their house that is literally a couple of blocks away because I'm not allowed to walk by myself. They always want my little brother to be with me or something when I go out. I can't stand it, my parents always want to meet my friends' parents and what not and call them to make sure it's okay. I can't even lie and say I'm going to my friend's house 'cause they'll just call to make sure. My neighborhood isn't even a bad one and I've always been a good kid making good grades. Even lying won't work, since me and my brother go to different schools (I'm in HS and he's in MS) my spring break is at a different time, I decided I was going to my friend's house but they wanted to drive me and I asked why I couldn't walk alone. My only mistaken then was that I gave in to "no" too quickly. It sucks..

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        Unknown 5 weeks ago

        I’m also battling this. My mom makes me her “baby boy” and I fu*king hate it. She never lets me hang out with my friends, I can’t even walk/bus to school without at least 10 phone calls and I can never be free from her, she’s always needs to know where I am and what I’m doing. Meanwhile, my dad encourages me to be more social but my mom is holding me back. Thanks for posting this, I’m gonna at least tell my mom not to treat me like a 5 year old.

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        Anon 5 weeks ago

        I am 21 years old, about to graduate college and am unable to move into my own place. I am about to buy a car during my final spring break but my dad wont let me drive myself back to school, instead I have to AGAIN take an 8-10 hour bus ride which is exhausting. I understand he wants to keep an eye on the car for problems, but like with everything I'm not allowed to take a chance. Does anyone know how I can convince him to let me have the car that I paid for and am paying insurance for?

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        Secret 6 weeks ago

        my mom keeps checking my social media and phone, i hate that,

        she always tries to warn me about my friends being bad,its anoying and i need freedom

        however if i tried any of theese my next google search will be how to espace from your mom

        im scared to tell my mom about me being depressed for other reasons

        how do i tell my mom i cut myself?

        NO WAY

        i guess things will be as they are

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        Presha 6 weeks ago

        I dont know where to start..it's being 2 years that i had been trying to get my freedom..but it's all in vain. I dont have any social life which includes fb, IG and real life too....i am not allowed to go out with any of my friends, i am not allowed to attende any b'day parties ..my frnds have also stopped asking me for anything...usually i do not tell them if i would like to go out or not and in RARE cases when i tell them the answer is as expected "NO" ....i'm just asked to study and be like my mom and her siblings coz they all were not interested in socialising when they were younger and even got good grades..today she shouted at me at a social gathering thrice ..she shouted at the top of her voice just bcoz i was with one of my frnd (of the same gender ,coz i am not allowed to make male frnds) and chatting with her..!!! What should i do i dont get it...how can i cope up with it...i dont have my phone...i have my PC which has never been connected to internet...ya i know it's just gross...what can i even d

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        Katlyn 7 weeks ago

        in my case my dad things im going to get kidnapped if i go anywhere alone. im a 16 year old girl that just wants a job to feel more independent and not so depressed all of the time.. but when i mention it to him he just automatically blocks it out. idk

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        ellie 8 weeks ago

        I'm almost 16, and my parents still don't let me go out with my friends. every time I ask them they yell at me and tell me I should be grateful for what I have. how can I be grateful if I live farther away from my friends and only get to see them at school? I have always been the "odd one out" because everybody knows that my parents don't let me do anything, so nobody really asks me anymore, which is part of the reason I've been bullied before. I'm not allowed to date, I'm not allowed to join any organizations or clubs at school, I'm not allowed to take certain classes because of ten dollar fees, and I'm not even allowed to see one of my friends because of a minor fight that my parents had with her grandma three years ago. I can never stand up for myself because of how they respond to me, so I'm afraid to stand up for myself. What should I do?

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        awesome 8 weeks ago

        my mom said I can't even go to West Virginia with a Christian band my mom is so strict

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        Haven 2 months ago

        My parents are super strict. They don't let me have social media, go out with friends without an adult, or let me date.

        Right now, they aren't letting me get my hair cut shorter when it's already a pixie cut. I told them I would cut it shorter after deciding I liked having short hair. Now they're claiming they don't have enough money the day after they had enough money to buy a new car, which they decided not to get anyway. None of these will work, sadly. I've already tried all of these. All they do is get mad at me and blame every single argument on me. I've been crying for hours now over this subject, it just hurts my feelings and makes me depressed because I'm constantly worrying about my appearance and expressing myself. It's really putting me in an unhealthy state of mind and they just can't seem to understand.

        Any help for this?

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        Desiree 2 months ago

        You know you’d think it doesn’t matter that much. But then you see other people your age doing whatever they wanna do, but you’re still there at your parents house doing nothing. I’m not a pessimist, I’ve learned to accept that my parents are good people despite having such limitations on me. But it still has effected my personality, the way they’ve raised me. And I don’t like it, but at this point in life (20) only way I can change things is by moving out. I’m currently in college, but after I graduate you best believe I’ll be out of here in no time. I’m not sure if any of you have watched the movie Everything, Everything but metaphorically I feel like I can relate to that movie. You know the good thing about life is that it never stays the same. And I’m just waiting on my good time to arrive. Looking around makes me somewhat furious that I cannot do what I wish at times, but I tell myself someday I will & that makes everything just as better. One thing I hate is when people say you’re 20 yrs old just tell your parents your staying out late, they won’t say anything right? Lol no all hell will break loose. I love my parents, but they’re toxic with the way they think sometimes and I wanna break free from that mentality. I hope everyone reading this knows that you are strong no matter what you think, just gotta keep pushing forward.

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        Yorii 2 months ago

        Honestly, this is helpful. but i wish it was so easy. My mom wont let me go out alone, she has to be with me wherever i go. which is really embarassing cuz i'm almost in high school now. she makes me wear clothes i dont want and follows me everywhere. she always asks:what are you doing, what are you laughing at in your phone... she doesn't know a thing about privacy. she even put the only TV in the house in her room, i have to go to her bedroom to watch TV. i dont even know anymore...

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        Hailey 2 months ago

        I'm about to be 18 soon and that's a time for me to be free. My dad was always super overprotective but things kinda changed over time. Now that I am wanting to move out it's like no matter what I say he makes an excuse for me to stay like free rent, come in whenever but he doesn't understand that I don't want to live with him because his perspective of everything is doing it his way or he cuts you off and he really pushes people, people he doesn't even know most of the time. How do I get my true independence without losing my dad?

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        Kira 3 months ago

        im almost 16 and i have no talent at all to speak of, i want to try out different things and figure things out about my self and what i want to do in life before its to late, i dont want to live a life where no one knows me i want to be famous for something, and not for the money which i could care less about. i want to be famous so people will know who i am, so i wont feel unwanted in society as i have always felt. My mom has kept me inside all day every day for years, i've told her after she found out i have depression, that the isolation i have to deal with is a major cause of my depression yet she has refused to let me go out because and i quote "i don't want some man trying to kidnap you or worse". even after she bought me pepper spray and that she knows im pretty strong and am capable to protect myself. she has agreed to let me get a job but only if its in walking distance and im only ever allowed to hang out with a friend if she meets their parents in person which cant happen because of her work hours, by the time she has a day off they dont have time to hang out, i have a brother who is only 1 year older and the only reasons he doesnt hang out with people is because he is extremely anti-social and is slightly special ed ( he is getting in some regular classes), if those reasons didnt exist he be able to go anywhere anytime. im not very confident when talking to her about my freedom which i feel like i need. (Also HAPPY NEW YEARS (which literally just happened where im at)

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        3 months ago

        I am a 19 year old woman in college as a freshmen. Every time I come home, I have to fight with my parents to even go out and do anything. If I decide to do anything slightly irresponsible like go to a party, they flip out but when my brother does it, who is only two years older than me does it, it's perfectly acceptable. They hold my tuition over my head to make me do what they want. I work two jobs, apply to tons of scholarships and rarely slip up in anything. I've been called the perfect child by my friends yet I'm still not good enough for my parents to make any decisions on my own. It's about the time where I get a good job and move out of the house completely. I still love my parents dearly but when I'm at home without a car (we live in the country) I cant do anything without asking to borrow a car or get a ride. I'm tired of arguing to go to the movies or go out to eat. I'm just done with the drama.

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        3 months ago

        I am 22 now.. completed M.sc ... am not allowed to go out with my friends..my friends should not come here to have an get together... i must not talk with boys even though i give them an assurance that i wont fall in love. i must not use my phone,lap .. even i don have rights to dress up how i wish to be dressed up... everything should be of there own choice.. then y should i live and whats the purpose for me to live....??? i must not attend my friends birthday party ,wedding etc..

        If i ask fa.. that's it am the worst person in this world.. i have suicidal thoughts.. even that's an offence ... i must not express how i feel..am i a rebel..? if i express my feelings then they will say that am acting just to create sympathy..WTH just hate this life..

        Am sure about one thing that i cant change them.. how i feel is am not able to change myself for them at the same time i cant be myself as how i was before... i totally lost all my interest towards everything which i used to love.. i can understand their love towards me...if they try to understand me it would be better.. i still love you mom and dad but in this mission i started to hate myself.......

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        4 months ago

        Thank you. This was brilliantly written and really helped :)

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        Nikole 4 months ago

        I am 27 now, still living with my overprotective parents. My grandmother, too, is overprotective. I do not have a job, did not finished college yet and have no experience in life overall. I don't have money to hangout nor do they have money to give me to hangout.

        Since puberty I began being an insecure person, socially incapable of befriending someone, I often think I am stupid, can't decide certain things in my life on my own, am still infantilized by them. They still forbid me to go out, mostly because I am the weaker sex (it is their excuse). If I were a boy things would be different.

        When I was younger I had sometimes suicidal thoughts.

        I realized that nothing will change their minds even if they are wrong.

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        mirabel 4 months ago

        I am 22 graduated 3years ago, with no job. I try to do little jobs to earn me money, like contract jobs in other states for a week or two. My dad is the oveeprotective parent that doesn't want me leaving the house, but will not give me a penny to take care of myself. He would say i completely forbid you from going for that jobor that training. You must sit home and get your masters degree. Yet he doesn't even give me money to go to school for my masters classes. I have tried all the steps written here it doesn't seem to get any better and i am sincerely tired and fustrated. Sometimes i wish he isn't my dad.

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        Sabrina Charles-Vincent 4 months ago

        I was raised by my aunt and uncle. My uncle was the chill one most of the time but my aunt kind of ran things. I couldn't go to sleepovers I couldn't hang out with my friends as much as I wanted to. I couldn't watch TV during the week. I was not allowed to date. It was to the point that even when I was a little older I was too afraid to ask because its hard to face strict parents. I'm 18 now and still don't have control over my life well maybe I do but i'm too afraid to do things because of the fear that was placed in me at a young age. But I'm in college now and I always told myself you have to stand up for what you want you can't be afraid to speak up. So I'm going to start living because I deserve that.

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        GRACE 6 months ago

        I'm 22. Just graduated college. Still can't do shit. I had figured long time ago, that my parents are just plain unreasonable. Nobody believed me, until now. Anyway, i went against their order recently, and my dad is currently not speaking to me. I should be getting a permanent job in a couple of months and trust me, i have plans to move out.

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        ... 8 months ago

        "For me, my mom was always super-protective-how-dare-you-want-to-go-out-you-must-hate-me, while my dad encouraged me to go out."

        This is exactly how it is for me.Being 19 now I can only think about everything I couldn't do because I wasn't allowed.

        Whenever I ask to go out my mom almost insults me.And now I'm always too anxious to even ask to do something.

        Thing is, I gave up on going out, getting friends, a boyfriend, (you know, normal things) because I can't stand arguing anymore.I can't stand feeling deeply insulted and having nobody by my side.

        I am alive, but I am not living.

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        Otaku 11 months ago

        there's only one explaination. Parents are dicks

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        MissE 2 years ago

        I can so identify with your brother, Charito1962. At 27 I am finally making my move. After my sister had moved in with someone who my mother did not approve of, and when I contemplated taking a similar route a couple of years later, my mother said she wasn't having another one going down that road. I was unable to stand up to her as my sister did before me, I was punished by the permanent removal of a privilege and felt like I was wrong. My sister is now professionally and socially successful and looking to spread her wings further with travel as I while away my time in the parental home. Not anymore! I agree about the baby steps in this very helpful article, one thing at a time or it can get overwhelming to break out of the comfort zone.

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        Charito Maranan-Montecillo 2 years ago from Manila, Philippines

        Hello, my dear. I'm now 52 years old, and I can very well relate to your situation. I also grew up with overprotective parents, and I can say it was really a pain!

        I am the fourth of six children (a boy followed by five girls). My late mom was the more overprotective parent. She forbade me and my sisters to have boyfriends when we were teens. (We all hated it whenever she'd say her "I completely forbid this and that..." line.) Sad to say, this caused 2 of my rebellious sisters to have babies out of wedlock. It was only then that my late parents came to their senses and became more lenient.

        I must admit that my late mom was narrow-minded and short-tempered. Many times, I would give her the silent treatment. Yes, I also resented her for so many things, like when she berated me once in school, and always made me feel like I were second best. (Two of my sisters, you see, are now achievers in their chosen fields.)

        My overprotective mom has also caused my brother to become what he is now - a man with low self-esteem. He is unmarried, insecure, withdrawn, and professionally unsuccessful. He leans on my older sisters for support.

        But how did I fight all this? Simply by showing my parents that I was capable of achieving my professional goals. When this happened, they finally shut up and I gained their trust.

        I enjoyed freedom when I married and moved out of the house. Luckily, my late parents liked my husband. But now, I'm a widow with an adolescent son, and I make sure to let him be and enjoy his freedom. I also try to be a friend to him so he can open up to me about anything that concerns him. Likewise, I give him a lot of encouragement when it comes to his skills, talents, or interests.

        I do believe it's essential for us parents and you kids to keep our communication lines open. This fosters understanding, respect for the other, and forgiveness. Just imagine what a bright and cheerful home there would be!

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        hadil 3 years ago

        very good article :)

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