How do I tell my parents I want to change my major when they don't approve of my choice?
Last Updated: 04/26/2021 at 5:42am
Lisa Meighan, BSc Psychology (Honours)
Hello, I am Lisa and I work in a person-centred approach mixed with cognitive behavioural therapy. I believe we all have the potential to be the best we can be.
Top Rated Answers
Whenever telling people you care about something that you are concerned they won't approve, leading with that very statement, can be vulnerable, and therefore, very powerful. Mention your understanding of your shared values: what is it that they want for you that makes them approve of a certain (set of?) majors? What is it that you want to share with them about who you are becoming, so that they can see you for who you are? And how did you come to making this thoughtful decision about your major? Having this conversation, where you speak about your perspective (and don't judge or blame them for wanting what they want for you), could open up new understandings. And, it should be at a time when they aren't stressed or distracted, and they can really listen. And it might need to happen in a few separate conversations over time as they adjust to the new idea. At the end of the day, if you are confident in your own major and your own life choices, you can become unmessable-with.
You should have a sit-down conversation with your parents. Start by telling them you really care about the major you want to change to. Then elaborate by saying it's something you want to do for the rest of your life.
Sitting down with them and talking through it sensibly is the best approach. If you could explain why you want to make the change and that you would be happier, show that you are keen to and can demostrate that you feel more comfortable changing your major, hopefully, your parents will be more understanding once you've talked it through with them properly
You can tell them that this would potentially improve your academic performance when you're taking classes that you're genuinely interested in.
Talk through them your thought process, what got you started with your current major, any specific experience/reflection etc. that led you to question your current major and how it would significantly benefit you by making that change. Also find out the reasons behind their disapproval, and say how you can address those one by one. It will probably take more than one talk, but take it one step at a time and definitely pick a good time to approach them. I'm sure you have valid reasons to change your major and life is too short to waste your time on something you don't want to be doing. Best of luck to you, hang in there!
Let them know why you would like to change your major, ex: you're passionate about it, it makes you happy, you are talented at xyz major, etc. Tell them why you think it'd be best for you personally. Write in your notes on your phone the points you'd like to talk about if you need to. In my own experience, people are more likely to listen and take into consideration someone's thoughts and ideas when they relate it to themselves and their personal feelings about it. It can be tough to talk about something like this, especially if they don't approve of it. I understand that feeling entirely. You've got this!
When you talk to them about the reasons why you wish to change your major also include how changing your major now will help you in the future for example how it will reflect in the career you will one day have. This will allow them to see the bigger picture and perhaps come to terms with your decision. Good luck.
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