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Whenever I go home, my parents treat me like a teenager again - how can I stop this from happening?

181 Answers
Last Updated: 02/20/2022 at 2:05am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Monique Bivins, MA, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

I have a real passion for helping my clients to overcome life's obstacles . My work with clients is nonjudgmental, supportive, and interactive.

Top Rated Answers
November 18th, 2014 10:02pm
It is important to realize that in your parents eyes, you are still their child and it may be difficult for them to see you as an adult. Although all parents and families are unique, you may be able to stop this from happening by finding at an appropriate time that works with your parents when they can sit down and talk to you about how them treating you like a teenager makes you feel. You can mention that you believe you deserve their respect as an adult and that you will always be their 'child' but have transitioned into an adult and feel minimialized when they treat you like a teenager. I think if they know that you still respect them and will come to them if you need to that they will try and respect your feelings. This is based solely on my personal experiences and the experience I have had helping others and should not be taken as 100% "perfect" advice, as all situations and individuals vary. I wish you the best of luck with your parents and I hope that they can see that you are becoming an adult.
November 19th, 2014 8:35pm
In my experience, setting boundaries with my parents has helped tremendously. I let them know I was feeling (i.e., like they were babying me and not taking me seriously) and put boundaries and stick to them (e.g., the contents of my bank account is my business)
September 20th, 2014 10:25pm
Whenever I'm at home mum treats me like a child, like a sulky teen and occasionally like an adult. My opinion? You can't stop parents from being parents. But, you can try to see their point of view: they miss those years. They are almost certainly proud to see how far you've come from their little child to an adult though. And when it does stop, ask yourself whether you'll miss their reaction or not.
May 17th, 2015 2:18pm
I think you have to have a serious discussion with your parents, tell them how you feel inside about this situation, when they take you seriously, it will be okay.
October 6th, 2014 6:32pm
Set boundaries! Explain to them that you're no longer a child, and it's tempting for them to disrespect you because that's what they're used to, but really--set boundaries. Specific ones. "You will not say ____ to me. You will not go through my things. You will knock before you enter my room."
October 26th, 2016 7:50pm
Breaking out of the parent-child relation is one of the most difficult things to do when reaching adolescence and moving out. It might never be accomplished for the simple fact that they are your parents and will always love you and think about you in such a way. Nevertheless, for the relationship to be sustainable, or even flourish, it is important to treat and think of each other as adults. There are some points to keep in mind: - What is it that makes you feel treated as a teenager? What do they do or say that makes you feel that? What is a teenager to you? In what ways could you still be considered a teenager? Do you sometimes still feel a teenager or 'child' when around them? Are you the same person when you 'go home' as when you're away? Do you see them as parents or adults? In what ways or moments? - When both you and your parents are in an emotionally neutral state, talk with them. You and your parents probably had a long history together so it's important to keep in mind that a lot of thoughts and patterns of behavior are 'lived out' without being aware of it. That's why it's significant to understand that there really are multiple perspectives on the issue. - When having that talk, just open with something like; When you do [this or that] I feel you're treating me as a teenager and I don't want that. Stay close to your experience and accept theirs. If they say: well, we do feel that you're a teenager sometimes when you act in [this or that] way. Then it might not be useful to argue with them, just accept that that is what they experience of you. - While talking with the questions above, try to speak openly and freely about the different perceptions of each other. Recognize that this might not be what you or your parents want but this is how the situation is now. Transitioning from parent-child or parent-teenager to adult-adult relationship is a process. It is important that both you and your parents recognize this process and the end goal you both want; a natural adult-relationship. In this way, both you and your parents can work on this process. - If you're also theoretically interested; look up 'transactional analysis'. This theory might help you to point out ways of behaving or things you and your parents say that make you feel they treat you like a teenager.
October 30th, 2014 5:22am
Is there a reason? Maybe you can tell them you have responsibility and prove it. If you can't, then theres your answer.
October 30th, 2014 1:58am
it sounds like it time for the talk.... the parents talk. It hard for parents to see our adult kids like adult. maybe a warm reminder might help
November 16th, 2014 5:57pm
Have you tried having a calm, logical discussion with them? They might not realize they are doing it. Otherwise, have you tried continuing to live your life as an adult? Meet them in compromises slowly, but let them see that you can stand on your own two feet and can take care of yourself, and that you are an independent individual.
March 23rd, 2017 5:47am
I am sorry to hear that your parents do not recognize that you are no longer a teenager. What do you feel keeps them from being able to address you like the adult that you are? Maybe you could show to them that you are no longer a teenager and sit down with them to talk about how you want to be treated. Changing something begins with open communication How do you feel about that?
August 18th, 2017 5:12pm
This is tricky, and it is something a few (maybe more) parents are guilty of doing. I would suggest just sitting down with them and calmly expressing how you feel, and ask them why. They might not even know they are doing it, or maybe it is part of their way of showing you they still love you and care for you. You will always be their child and sometimes it is hard for parents to accept the big change that their little baby has actually grown up and does not need them. it is a scary reality for some parents. so be kind when talking to them but share your views so that a new relationship can blossom, a more adult relationship (where you are not thought of or treated like a teenager).
November 12th, 2017 11:08am
I'm not sure you can ever change that - because you will always be their kid. It will probably change a bit with time but not completely... I can't tell if it is possible - but.. maybe. When talking to them - making them understand you don't want them to treat you like a teenager because you're older now.
April 13th, 2018 1:48am
You can try talking to them, choose the right time and ask them if they have a minute to talk, let them sit down and explain to them how you feel, and that you dont like the way they treat you "as a teen" and let them know how you would like to be treated, remember, the tone of voice matters, speak to them in a normal yet loud and clear voice, avoid talking in a sarcastic way or nagging, just be confident and clear about what you expect from them.maybe you could ask them why they are treating you that way, maybe there is something your missing or something u did in which they thought was "teenage" learn from your mistakes and let them know that you asked that because you want to make yourself better and be mire mature
April 19th, 2018 6:10pm
Maybe tell them that you don't want them to treat you that way. It's probably because they missed you and that you would always be their child
October 16th, 2014 6:12pm
Try getting together with your parents, perhaps over dinner, identify the specific problem area, and tell them lovingly, but firmly, that you are an adult now and expect to be treated as one.
October 23rd, 2014 3:26pm
To the specific extent, you can enjoy it, that will make your friends thinking about you that you were such a good kid. That's your credits. Nothing to worry about. It's a matter of applying things that will get different result, depending on how you act on it.
October 23rd, 2014 8:14pm
Calmly explain to them that you're an adult now and that you would like them to treat you like one.
October 30th, 2014 9:36pm
Tell them how you feel, be firm but respectful, sometimes setting boundaries can be helpful and get your point across.
November 2nd, 2014 3:33am
I recommend sitting down and talking to them in a mature conversation. They probably don't realize they're doing this, bringing it to their attention may help resolve the issue.
November 4th, 2014 12:21am
Try talking to them about the way they're making you feel. Also, part of this may be a reflection of how you view yourself. Do you feel like a teenager? If so, ask yourself what habits and lead you to feeling that way. The sooner you view yourself as an adult, the sooner the people around you will as well.
November 8th, 2014 4:08am
I think it's normal for them to treat you like a teenager because it shows their love for you, but if you want to stop it,maybe you can ask your parents about this :)
November 15th, 2014 5:29pm
To be honest, I think the best thing to do is to just be totally honest with them about your feelings about it - tell them you are growing up and that you aren't a teenager any more...
November 16th, 2014 1:58am
This happens to everyone! The problem is universal. Calmly talk to them about how you're no longer a child, although they'll always view you as one. You have your own responsibilities and would appreciate it if they treated you like you do!
July 20th, 2015 7:28am
Ask your parents to stop. Explain to them that you are a grown adult and not a teenager. You can make decisions and live on your own now, and you don't depend on them.
November 2nd, 2015 2:28am
You may not be able to stop this from happening. If you haven't clearly communicated how you feel to your parents, they may not know it's an issue for you.
November 2nd, 2015 11:24pm
I would first try to see if you understand why they feel that way. Then, feel free to share with them how you feel to see if you can build a different relationship with them and better your situation.
December 28th, 2015 4:05am
Well, this can be tough to do, but what I would personally do is I would pull them aside and tell them how you feel. Chances are that they will understand and stop it.
February 2nd, 2016 8:20pm
This is normal- they do this because they love you. There isn't really necessarily a way to stop it from happening. Depending on what kind of parents you have, you might consider sitting down and having a talk with them about things that make you feel like they are treating you like a teenager. They probably won't change completely, but at least bringing awareness to them might help as long as you do it in a productive, non-accusing way.
April 11th, 2016 5:13pm
It's the universal truth, we're always going to be our parents' babies, and nothing can stop them from caring, worrying over us. For them, we always would be incapable of taking an individual decision, and perhaps unintentionally, they may hurt us by their words which may imply a feeling of disagreement/unacceptance. Here, what we have to remember is that it' s their fear for our well-being that prompts them to treat us on a par that isn't equal with their knowledge. In some way, they think that we're incapable of taking care of ourselves. The best thing is to sit down, and have a group chat. Confide in them how you feel, politely ask them to step in your shoes, remind them that you'd always value their advice but it's time for you to step out and face the world. A strong sense of confidentiality is what going to help you here. We're all humans and we all have our own preconceived notions. It's just a mater of filling in the niches.
April 19th, 2016 10:21pm
Assert yourself. Yes, it's there house so you should respect it but be sure to set boundaries. Let them know that they need to respect you as an adult. That might mean "rebelling" but being assertive and stating how you feel is a good start.