How Do I Get My Parents To See Me As An Adult?

There's a reason moms tend to be overprotective...

Hey Heather,

How do I get my mom to understand that I am growing up and I am a young adult (I’m 19-years-old, by the way) and she can’t tell me what to do anymore?

I know how frustrating it is to feel like your parents won’t get off your back, especially as you get older. This is the time when you want to start being your own person, and you don’t want to feel like you always have to follow their rules — completely understandable. However, it’s important to remember that this can be a really big step for a parent, and while you will be an independent adult one day, it’s probably not going to happen overnight.

It’s not always easy for Mom and Dad to accept the fact that their kid is moving on and growing up. After all, you were once their little baby and it can be hard for them to stop seeing you that way. I know it’s annoying to have your mom treat you like you’re younger, but try to be a little sympathetic in this situation and see their side of things.

At 19-years-old, you probably should have a little more responsibility on your shoulders. Talk to your mom calmly (yelling and fighting only proves that you’re not mature enough), and tell her you want to be a little more independent. Take things one step at a time. Keep in mind that this is still your mom, and if you still live at home, you can’t expect her to back off completely. Sometimes no matter how frustrating it is, we have to do what our parents say until we’re living on our own for good.

WDYT, gURLs? Do you wish your parents gave you more independence? How did you tell them that? What do you do to try to get your parents off your back? Give us your advice and discuss below!

take care,


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Posted in: Family, Help Me Heather, Help&Advice, Sucky Emotions
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  • Maria

    I’m 18, turning 19 soon, and I have a frustrating family life at the moment. I’m a freshman at University now and I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost 6 months. Before finishing high school, I was very depressed – which my parents know nothing about. I liked to keep things to myself and stay in my room studying or just scrolling through Tumblr. Up until then I was very understanding of my parents’ side of things since my brother was finishing his degree. But now… well… Not so much.

    I’m attending University in the city while we live in a somewhat close village. I have to take the bus early in the morning, which they pay for, and go to class. At first, I always informed my mother of what I was up to at all times – this makes sense since I’m diabetic. But now I’m a bit more lose and less dependent on my parents, they want to know where I am at all times. It makes sense if I’m staying at my boyfriend’s home for lunch and a study session but it doesn’t make sense when they call while I’m out with friends to tell me that I can’t come late at night (11.30pm, which is a completely normal hour in my country) on the last train.

    It is very frustrating when they don’t let me travel with my boyfriend for three days, even when it’s not abroad. It is also very annoying when they don’t allow me to have my own opinion because it is too naive for them or they see things differently. My mum even accused my boyfriend of being a gold-digger just because I paid his ticket to the movies! Or my friend, who’s an Arts student, of taking pictures of me in a dress my mum bought for me for NYE on her own accord so she could allegedly post them on the Internet.

    I have been bullied before and it’s not like my mum doesn’t know. I’m a strong woman that needs to grow on her own but it doesn’t seem possible if my parents – especially my mum – won’t let me do things on my own.

  • Nat Lee

    I’m 18. My mum has never been as strict with me as she is now. When I was 12-17, I could pretty much do whatever I want, whenever I want, with whoever I want. I just had to tell my mum who I was with and where I’d be. I was even allowed to hangout with people 7 years older than me. But now.. I have to tell her that AND she has to meet the people and get a pic of their licence and licence plate. And she constantly gets on to me for talking to people only 3-4 years older than me. I’m currently talking to this guy that is 26, and I don’t know how to tell her that I want to go on a date with him without her being super overprotective. Every time we talk about things, she gets a bad attitude and gripes and yells at me.

  • Stephanie

    I am 18 and in college. I live at school, which is about four hours away from home. My mom is constantly checking my grades online and anytime something drops below an 85%, I get a frantic call. On another front, when I got asked out on a date by a guy (who I didn’t like in the first place and ultimately turned down), I told my mom because I thought (for some idiotic reason) that she would be happy for me. Instead, she just told me that I don’t need someone like that in my life now because I will get off track from school and ultimately drop out and fail. Then there are the times that my friends are getting on my nerves and I want someone to vent to. Like today, she says something like I should back away from having friends because final are showing up. I know that they might get me worked up but I”m pretty sure that pushing all of my friends away, and potentially feeling lonely and depressed might make my grades suffer. I hate feeling like I am just living the life my mom wants me to live and that I can’t be my own person. Granted, there is the possibility that dating will impact my grades, but there is a possibility that I might do better because my mood may be better (if that makes sense). And I hate feeling like my mother doesn’t trust me to make my own decisions or believe in me at all. I’m afraid to say anything to my mom because I know that her and her parents did not have the best relationship .
    I know that this may just seem like a stream of consciousness. But I just wanted to get it off my chest in the hopes that someone will read this.

    • Destiny Colona (運命)

      My mom can be the same exact way and has been since the end of my junior year in high school. I am 20 now :/ She constantly checks my grades at random times and questions everything. If she’d just get off my back and let me take care of it my own, she wouldn’t have to worry. I feel that our parents are just being a bit controlling even if they want to protect us. But they need to give us a chance to take on other things and responsibilites like adults in order to trust us. How can we ever show them that we can be trusted if they don’t trust and or believe in us???

  • Kaylie

    Im 23 and have always been treated like a child by my parents. No matter what I do or who I date ots never good enough for them. I pay for all my own food, insurance, and such as I run my own independent sewing company. But they dont see this as work because I cannot afford to move out until the summer when I start my career as a doctor.
    For the time being though, they say I am not allowed to be at the house by myself. I must also be home between 8:30-9 every night of the week including weekends. Because of my parents as well my boyfriend cannot stay past 8:30 at my place on any day of the week. When I tried to compromise for 9:45-10 at least my mom agreed but now my boyfriends mother refuses to leave the curfew even though were both 23 with jobs. I understand they are probably treating us this way because we still live under their roof. But am I the only one that this seems crazy to? Im at my wits end and dont know what to do anymore. Please let me know if you have any suggestions.

    • Destiny Colona (運命)

      Hey at least your parents let you have a bf over and allow you to go out, I can’t do any of that. It is extreme though because that time slot is pretty early in the night but no worries you should be working by now and will definitely have enough money to move out on your own as a doc.

  • Tgpii

    I am 35 and have a decent job.
    have no kids or wife of my own. I really want to move out of
    parents house. Just that my mom who I love is making
    me feel like
    crap for wanting to move out. I am like mom I love
    you but there
    are things in the house I don’t like but I don’t say
    because it is not my house. She says I need a roommate
    I had one
    in the past and that was a bad idea. My mom says I
    don’t cook. I
    say when I was living with a roommate I did the
    cooking. I don’t
    cook now because if I use the stove or pots
    my mom gets mad I made
    a mess, so how does my mom expect me to clean
    up? My dad wants me
    to buy a big fancy house. No idea why
    since it is just me. My
    parents and I fight more when we live
    together. Everything I do I
    feel my parents hate me for.
    What do I do? Why will my parents
    especially my mom not want me
    to grow up? It was OK when my
    brother moved out because he got
    married. That is not my path in
    life. HELP! I don’t want or need a big place. I love small
    studios something about them are what is for me. All my friends and
    extended family say it is time to move out. Why are my parents
    being this way? My dad says I don’t care what you do, but deep
    down I know he wants me to stay. My mom is like you have no
    furniture and you have to pay for internet. I am like WOW tell me
    what I didn’t already know and budget for. HELP, I am going nuts. I
    want to talk to my parents about this but when I do they are stubborn
    say I don’t want to talk about it now. So I have to press it till
    they say something. They say your arguing I am like first I am not
    arguing I am trying to talk about it. Second isn’t this a reason I
    need to move out? Can someone please talk to my parents? i have

  • Geraldine Stephanie

    I am an 28 year old single mother that still lives with her parents and younger siblings. I had a so at the age of 25 and I am currently working and such can provide for myself and my son. I tried looking for a job in another city just so that I can get my own place and live on my own. I never really thought that me moving out would be an issue before my little sister told me that my mother still thinks im not ready to move out and be on my own. how do I make her see that I am capable of living on my own, it might not be the way she wants it but is better for me. im different from her and yet she does not respect the fact that I am my own person. why should I always conform to what she wants. I hate living at home. it has made me a cold and unfeeling person. the only reason I stomach it is because of my son. I have no relationship with my parents at all. my father always breaks me down, it to the point where I have no self-esteem in myself and own capabilities . he told me that if I move out I will just fail and return with my tail between my legs. so now what do I do to make these people see that staying here is not conducive to my own happiness at all. how do get it into their heads because talking only makes things worse.

  • Brittany

    I am 18 almost 19 in college. My parents made me stay at home for the first year. Now theres this guy that wants to date me also in college and my parents wont let me see him. they say i dont know himand are saying all kinds of bullshit.. The guy is getting mad because he really wants to be with me but i never can see him