Parents Who Don't Know When to Quit Parenting

@Pigglies (9339)
United States
December 28, 2006 2:16am CST
My parents wanted to shelter me as much as possible as I grew up. Even now that I'm 21, they are always telling me things that would make more sense to tell a 16 year old. Or an irresponsible 21 year old. But I'm pretty responsible, have a job, go to college, and I'll still tell them if I'm out or not just so they don't worry. But lately, it has become an issue on "where" I am. I don't think it really matters where I am, I told them if I'll be home or not and I've never neglected to do that. I also always have my cell phone on me and pretty much always answer it unless I'm doing something where I can't (changing freeways for example). If I can't answer it, I always call back as soon as I can. My phone also has that tracking thing, so if something happened to me, the police could find me anyhow. I've been driving and staying out past midnight for over a year now. They really shouldn't be worrying about anything. All of the sudden my mom tells me tonight that she wants addresses and phone numbers of places that I am. Now, if you're a parent, at first this might not sound so unreasonable. But here's the problem, even though I'm not doing anything wrong, I'm at places they would not approve of. My mom is not going to be pleased if I give her the address to a gay bar or a lesbian friend's house. She says she won't go there or call unless she can't reach me by my cell phone and I've been kidnapped. But hey, I think that risk is already over. I can't live like a 16 year old again just because they do not approve of who I am. My 17 year old brother is allowed to stay out late and isn't questioned because he's straight. But they don't want me out because that's not making me be straight. So how do I get them off my case about this and make them realize I am 21, not 12? I thought about giving fake addresses and phone numbers, but knowing they would actually call or visit, I just couldn't lie like that. I obviously cannot give the real locations of where I am. I think having my cell phone on should be enough, they need to learn to separate. I unfortunately cannot work enough hours to be able to move out due to the housing prices here, but I don't think that should be an issue. It's only because I live in their house that I even tell them when I'll be home or not to begin with. That way, they aren't worried. So parents, if you couldn't know the locations, what else would make you feel safer? I really can't have my parents showing up to a gay party or something!
3 people like this
22 responses
• United States
28 Dec 06
They are your parents, they love you and want to protect you. Is that such a horrible thing? As long as you live in their home, sorry, but you have to play by their rules. You want to set your own, you have to pay your own way too. Maybe a calm conversation with your mother about why she wants such detailed information and some suggestions from you on compromises would be helpful. I think from your post, they know you are gay. You are still living at home, so while they may not be entirely comfortable with your sexuality, they aren't turning their backs on you either. Parents have always been more protective of girls than boys, it's not fair, but it is the way it is in most families.
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
29 Dec 06
I thought about renting a room in the house down the street that's offering. It's only $500, the same size, and would be just as close to the campus. My parents "know" that I'm gay. But their shrink told they I won't really know for sure until I'm 25. That's what is keeping me here. Otherwise, they wanted to kick me out of the house immediately. I guess I can thank their loser shrink for my place to live. I've offered to pay rent so it's just like I've got a room here, and they don't really want it. The problem is, a few streets away cost over $1,000 a month for apartments, and is a bad area. This is a good area, and very close to school. But rooms around here are $500, which is actually very good for the area. I don't know if it would help a whole lot. If it would, I'd be willing to work a second job to stay somewhere else.
• United States
29 Dec 06
You know, this is coming from a parent so think what you will, but it seems you have a very selfish, self-centered attitude. You are giving them an "illusion". How noble of you. Your mother had a nervous breakdown so that in itself should tell you that this is a major thing to her, right or wrong, it is how she feels. Hiding it, instead of finding ways to help her see it is ok, and you are ok, won't help. (that doesn't mean it should be "in her face" either) Mix that issue with the normal issue of over protective parenting and you have problems. Using them, and playing on their fears is cruel in my book. You want the freedom, pay the price and get your own place. As long as you live under their roof, they have a say.
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
29 Dec 06
I'm working on getting my own place, believe me! I can't risk shaking their boat too much without being kicked out. I tried to come out to them, and they found a very messed up shrink that tore away all the work I did printing out PFLAG info for them. I may be self-centered, but I don't think so. I think I just don't care about them that much now that I know what they really think of me. In all other aspects of my life, I am not a self centered person. I work, go to school, volunteer with 3 organizations using time I could be making money to make a difference instead, and when people treat me nice, they will be treated nice in return. I am not selfish towards me girlfriend and she is not selfish either. But something about my parents just rubs me the wrong way. If I lived in another state, I'd have a place already. The housing and rent has just been crazy lately though. And I only make $600 per month on a good month.
@carolynpb (647)
• United States
29 Dec 06
It's simple. You live in their house so you follow their rules. If you don't like them then you should move out. If you were not doing anything wrong you woudn't mind them knowing any place you are going. Only when you have something to hide do you not want them to know what you're doing. But they have that right as long as you live with them.
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
29 Dec 06
I'm not doing anything wrong. It's only wrong in their eyes. Would I have the right to know where my tenants were if I was renting out a house to someone? I don't think that I would.
• United States
29 Dec 06
Come on! That's not even the same thing. Living with your parents is nothing like renting from someone. The point is THEY would think what you are doing is wrong, so that is all that counts. They have a right to know what you are doing and if they don't like it you have a choice..stop it or move out. Then you can do whatever you want and not answer to anyone.
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
29 Dec 06
Well, I want the arrangement to be more like renting. I've even offered them $300 a month and I already do the grocery shopping. I can't just stop being in love because they think it's wrong. I'd agree if I were 16 that it's not the right age for love, but they're saying no relationships with women until I am 25. Until then, I am supposed to magically like men.
@BittyBiddy (2903)
• Ireland
28 Dec 06
Well, I know where your parents are coming from. I think, no matter what age my daughter is, if she's still living at home I'll still want to know where she is. It won't bother me where she is, so long as I know where, because I worry about her. At the moment she understands this, and that it's for her own safety. If she's in one place and is thinking of going somewhere else, she phones me or texts me to let me know. That way, in an emergencey, I can always contact her. I don't think you should hold back from telling your parents where you'll be, just because you think they'll disprove of it. I wouldn't. Your 21 now, old enough and responsible enough to know your own mind, and they'll have to accept that as tough as it might be. Is there any chance that they're not checking up on your brother as much because of the fact that he's a guy, not because he's straight?
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
29 Dec 06
Oh I know they'll disapprove. I don't even have to think about if they will or not. It's very clear with them. In an emergency, they can contact me. On my cell phone. It is always on. If they're not checking up on my brother for being a guy, that's a ridiculous double standard. My brother is a weakling (not to sound mean) and if someone tried to do anything with him, he'd follow it. He wouldn't be able to defend himself to save his life. Once my parents told me I wasn't to walk around outside after dark. But my brother got to. Dad said, "Because he's a guy, he can't get raped" (not true, but anyways). So... I go in the bathroom, shave my head, put on a sweatshirt and jeans, and go walking. Dad says, "What the hell do you think you're doing?" "No one will know I'm not a guy, I can't get raped." My brother is the trouble maker, he can get a girl pregnant, and they're watching me only because I came out to them, the biggest mistake I could have ever made. Now they're in denial, and I don't want to bring up the subject with them again. I don't need my parents showing up at a gay bar or something. If you were the kind of parent who was a huge embarasment, you'd know what I mean. My mom says she won't call the places or come get me there, but that's not true. If I give her a fake address, the only reason it won't work is because she will call or go there.
1 person likes this
• Ireland
30 Dec 06
Maybe you should try getting together with a few friends and renting your own place Pigglies. At least that way you'd have your independance, and you could all look out for one another. I wish you luck with whatever you do because it looks like you're in a difficult situation. I hope it gets easier for you.
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
30 Dec 06
I hope I can find a place. For the next 10 weeks or so I should have time to take a second job. Either online or somewhere else. I don't have any friends that need a place to live, or I'd try moving in with someone.
@missjackie (1328)
• Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
28 Dec 06
Okay, I had the same exact problem with my mother. The way I had her stop... Stop giving her any information on where you're going. No matter how upset they're going to get, don't give it them. It'll show them that you are grown up enough to live as an adult. Now, my mother doesn't even question me, if I have to go out. On top of that, there were times when I came home at 6AM. Yes, she was upset, but I just shrugged it off.
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
28 Dec 06
That's a good idea. At first, I didn't really tell them anything about where I went. Now if I just went shopping or something, I'll let them know where or what I bought sometimes. So maybe a little information made them want even more. I don't come home past 2am usually without letting them know, like if I'm staying over somewhere I'll tell them so the porch light isn't on all night. But I will try to not let them know any details and see if that makes them forgot about asking for addresses and such.
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
28 Dec 06
Oh it would bother me a lot for them to know where I really am. Because then they'd never want me to leave again (or would want to kick me out permanently).
@lafavorito (2966)
• Philippines
29 Dec 06
Oh deary I'm sorry you feel that way. You're parents must be so concerned about you, there are crazy people who love to prey on gays like you, maybe that is what worries your parents too much. Try talking to them, they will realize that you're really mature to have your own life.
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
29 Dec 06
I don't think most people would instantly recognize me as gay on the streets though. I'm not the stereotypical lesbian.
• India
29 Dec 06
I have to face this problem too..though i'm only 16..i dont get the freedom to go out like my friends do..sometimes i am ok with it but it some times it really annoys me..i think the best thing we can do is just wait for a better day..I dont think there is any other option to this :(
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
29 Dec 06
At 16 my parents were still driving me everywhere and since I couldn't work, I couldn't get a car. Couldn't work without a car without my parent's approval either since I don't live close enough to anything. But at 16, it didn't bother me as much because I knew I wasn't technically considered an adult. However, I did very seriously consider the military to get away as soon as I turned 18.
@wvchell78 (564)
• United States
29 Dec 06
Luckily I never had this problem with my parents. Once I started working at 16 they gave me certain rules and never said anything as long as I abided by them. They weren't bad rules just be home by 11 on school nights and 12 on weekends. They never would ask where I was going but I usually always told them anyways. If I was going to be late I was to call so they would not worry. I had to always make sure to have change for a pay phone.
• United States
29 Dec 06
If you live with them, you have to live under heir rules. You could live in the dorm, or get a few friends together to live with. Sharing expenses makes it very possible for students to move out of the house. I did it. You want someone to wash your clothes and provide a roof over your head, but you don't want all that pesky "caring?" So move out.
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
29 Dec 06
I can't afford a dorm, nor could I really live there because I have pets. The problem is, knowing people to share expenses with. I don't know anyone else who wants to move, or anyone who does want to move, but also has a job. Around here, a studio apartment in a bad neighborhood is $1,000 a month. I figure if I found 3 other people, 4 people could easily live in a studio apartment. I'm just not sure where to find 3 other people who can tolerate pets. Considering how many pets I normally have, I have relatively few right now. Only 2 rabbits, 2 guinea pigs, and 5 finches. And the rabbits are housetrained.
• Romania
29 Dec 06
i am facing the same problem , but i am 24 years old, my father stil does not respect me as a an adult and makes my life a hell.i consider moving as fast as posible from my parents because i cannot syand any of my fathers posesivity.Some people never learn and i don't know why, sometimes i hate him, but i stil love him cause it's my father...
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
29 Dec 06
Surprisingly, I don't hate my parents. I just wish they'd back off. Like 2 minutes ago, my mom handed me a list where she wants me to write names and addresses and phone numbers of places I frequent. It is so tempting to just put some fake names and addresses and phone numbers there, but I know I can't do that, and not even only because she probably really will call and check. I want to move as fast as possible. You have no idea how many times I've considered dropping out of college and just working 2 jobs. But my girlfriend won't let me do it. She says I need to finish college and not be an idiot and leave just because of my parents.
@re08dz (1941)
• Australia
29 Dec 06
As many have already said, parents will always be parents. I have my own house and my own kids but my mum still checks in on me.(and no doubt I'll be the same with my kids) The one thing that stands out to me when I read this was that this needing to know where your are is a relatively new thing - perhaps your mum has seen or heard something recently that is giving her a greater cause for concern? I've read a few of your discussions and responses etc and you seem like a fairly level-headed person to me, is there a way you can sit her down and tell her that while you'd rather not give her exact locations you would be happy to compromise and phone her when you get wherever it is your going and phone her when you're about to leave etc? For me, when I was growing up it was a case of my parents needing to know who I was with (though I understand that's not going to help here) and me showing that I wasn't doing anything stupid - drinking and driving etc that I did have some common sense about me. Other than that as a parent I can't tell you what else I'd want from my kids - sorry. I hope you and they come to some sort of agreement/compromise.
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
29 Dec 06
I don't think she has heard anything. Unless it was on a TV show or something. She wouldn't have heard anything actually about me. You're correct that it's a new thing. She used to have to know my every move, then had that nervous breakdown, went on meds, and for quite a few months, didn't have to know exactly where I was or anything. I hope they know I wouldn't drink or drive. Once my dad told me if I only had 2 drinks, it would be just fine to drive home. I told them that I was unwilling to take that risk and either wouldn't go out that night, or I would stay the night. They finally agreed that I was being the smart one there. I could phone when I get somewhere or when I'm leaving somewhere. That's reasonable because a more likely thing to happen, would be getting in a car wreck. Not being kidnapped. So that's a pretty good idea and yeah, I'd find it reasonable. That's probably the most dangerous part of anything, the driving.
@greenmango (1019)
• Philippines
29 Dec 06
I'll be happy to have a parents like that cuz ive'd never experinced that my entire life
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
29 Dec 06
You can have mine. I'll even throw in a brother for free!
@MzLefty (311)
• United States
29 Dec 06
It is good that your parents are concerned,but it seems that they still think of you as a little boy,I have a 18 year old son,I consider him grow,he no longer has a curfew,not only because he is 18 and I consider him grown,but because by law he no longer has a curfew.If he is going out he just tells me that he will see me later,I trust him,plus sometimes he may call to let me know that he is ok,because he knows that I tend to worry,but I have cut the apron strings.I am letting him be a man.Maybe since you are 21 you should see about getting your own place,they probably do feel that you have to give a report on what you are doing and where you are because you are under their roof.check into having a place of your own,or become a roomie with one of your friends,or family members.
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
29 Dec 06
Hopefully, my parents still think of me as a girl. ;) That's what I told my parents before when I was 19 and came out to them as a lesbian, that by law I'm an adult and it's none of their business. And when they wanted to smack me, I held up my phone and threatened to call the police and file assault if they did. My mom had a nervous breakdown that night, went to a shrink that told her I can't know my sexuality until I'm 25 anyway, and ever since, she's backed off a little, but always trying to make sure I'm straight now. It's ridiculous, but I play along so I can live here. Maybe that's using my parents, but it gives them the illusion they want. Affording a place out here will require either: a second job if I want to rent a room, or two additional jobs if I want to have an apartment. I'd also be moving with animals, although, thankfully, not as many as I previously thought (or rather sadly, unfortunately).
@am99gt (187)
• United States
29 Dec 06
I'm 23 been married since 18 and my parents STILL parent me. Its gotten alittle better about a year ago I just pretty much had to sit down with them and tell them they were pushing me away. Really they were, we sold our house that was next to them and moved about 50 miles away. When we did live by them they always new what was going on...called when they saw someone pull up...ask who it is..come in we weren't there...check OUR mail...find out what our bills where...call us if the thought they heard us fighting. We were going crazy. Things are better now. I love it were we are but sometimes I miss being so close...and I know my daughter does..but they were starting to be a strain on our marriage.
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
29 Dec 06
Oh wow! I bet that would put a strain on the marriage. I definitely wouldn't be able to stand living near my parents later. The only reason I'd want to live within 5 miles of them now, is because of where I'm going to school. I've told my parents before that if they don't stop being all crazy, I'm going to want to move out of the country when I do move. I'm already thinking about out of state after college just because the houses would be so much cheaper.
@emisle (3823)
• Ireland
28 Dec 06
My parents were never really strict, if i go out they don't wait up for me to get home, i could come in the door at midnight or 4 in the morning and it wouldn't make a difference. My sisters and I are responsible people so that does help, and when i'm in college they have no control over what i do. We've never done anything stupid, or got into trouble with the law so 3 of us (19,20,22) are free to do as we please.
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
28 Dec 06
Yeah, I've never been in trouble with the law. The only things I've really done were get really really lost. But now I have a GPS, so that's not a problem. In any case, I knew how to call directions on my phone. I guess I just need to make sure I never ask them for anything and maybe they'll get the hint. I already buy my own groceries and stuff, they're just providing the room. And occasionally I'll take them out to dinner. Maybe that needs to stop.
@Melizzy (1381)
• United States
28 Dec 06
I don't think parents ever quit parenting. They just get better at holding their tongues. 21 was a tough age for me as well. I had lived on my own and I had been away to college. Then I had to move back home for a bit. My mother was always wanting me to tell her every move I made. That so cramped my style. Are you sure it's because you are gay? Or is it because you are female? And tell your mom that your cell phone emits a ping that will allow GPS to track you down in the event you come up missing!
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
28 Dec 06
If I was just female and going out with guys or just going out with women friends, it would be fine. But they told me their shrink says you can't know your sexuality until you are 25, so they want me to only date men until then. Then I can date women if that's who I am. I just can't do that for them. I've done a lot for them I shouldn't have, I can't go that far. I've been with my girlfriend for about a year. I did tell mom about the cell phone thing. And she knows I always have it on me. I'll try to explain that to her again.
• India
28 Dec 06
the same problem exists with my parents. i m 22 and still they cant help preaching me as to wats right and wats not.
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
30 Dec 06
The problem is, my parents don't really know what's right and what's not. Instead, they are blinded by prejudice.
@LadyElektra (1079)
• Canada
28 Dec 06
you cant blame themm.they want to protect you and they will alaways be your parents..doesnt mean they always go by ways that please us..but they mean no harm
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
28 Dec 06
I don't think they mean harm, they think they're trying to do what's best. But it isn't going to work to change me, this is who I am. They wanted me to go to counseling or church, and I told them I've already been in therapy without them knowing it (which I have). So now that they're back in denial, I'd like to keep them that way and keep them happy.
• United States
28 Dec 06
I agree with missjackie. I am 21, married, with two children & a third on the way. My husband & I have our own 3 bedroom 2 bathroom home, THREE STATES AWAY from my grandparents (they raised me). And my grandmother STILL insists that I "check in" with her daily so she can be sure i'm not getting "into trouble". I got a new cell phone # (they bought my old one as a birthday present) & I HAVE NOT given them my #. I don't know if I am going to continue recieving their mail (I have a PO Box), but I do want my freedom, if they can't do that for me then I don't want to hear what they do have to say. My uncle still lives with my grandma & he is in his 40's! And I refuse to follow that lifestyle. Sorry to say, but your parents sound like they would be happy witha 40 yr old you living at home, don't let that happen - live your life the way you want to..
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
28 Dec 06
Oh I won't let that happen! The main reason I live here is because, rent is so expensive here and their place is next to the college I want to go to. Other than that, I could live with my girlfriend instead and not be close to campus. My parents live like 5 miles off campus.
@ilvrshn (463)
• United States
28 Dec 06
No you don't have to go to the extreme of giving them a fake adddress or phone number. You probably just have to go on your own and prove to them that you don't need their assistance anymore. My dad had all girls and he shelter all his girls like crazy. I mean he do not like to see us stress but I like to handle things on my own instead of him always coming to the rescue. He don't realize that, when he is gone (God forbids) what am I going to do? Yo umight ask them that, so they will back off.
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
30 Dec 06
Yeah, my dad can't even believe that I have changed a tire before instead of calling him out. It's like, "Umm... I can do stuff too!" But they still don't realize that. The bad part is, this is starting to come between me and my girlfriend because she hates lying even more than I do. She has very accepting parents, and I think it's harder for her to see it from the point of view of someone who doesn't.
@DRoddy77 (1778)
• United States
28 Dec 06
Parents will always view their children as their "baby" and will always want to protect them and keep them safe. It's not because they want to be annoying or treat you like a child, they are just worried about you. Im 29 years old and my mom is still like this some times! You just have to sit her down and tell her that you are an adult now and you deserve your freedom and shouldnt have to report every where you go and that she needs to trust that you wont do anything stupid to put yourself in danger!