Although I obviously love my parents, it took me the longest time to learn how to deal with their strict rules. This year, though, I finally put my foot down! If you constantly wrestle with your strict Asian parents, even in your 20s, try out these skills I learned from dealing with my own parents.
1. Talk to a therapist or someone you trust.
Therapy has helped me with my parents. Speaking from experience, talking to someone outside of your family feels so refreshing! (Plus, it’s nice to feel like someone actually hears you.) To be honest with you, my old-fashioned parents did not love the fact that I started seeing a therapist. At the end of the day, though, you need to do what helps you, and therapy can help you a lot! If you cannot seek professional help, find someone you can confide in. Talking your issues out will help you maintain your sanity.
2. Journaling can help you stay calm.
Throughout the years, I’ve learned how much I love to journal. On the days when I really don’t want to talk to anyone, I just write my feelings out! Personally, I find that journaling helps me because I can continue writing for as long as I need until I feel calm. In fact, I once read that journaling when you are upset or angry can help you recenter yourself. Just don’t read what you write after you finish!
3. Realize that your parents will not change.
It took me a long time, but I’ve finally accepted that my parents will never change. For years, I hoped that they would eventually loosen their reins, but they never have. So do yourself a favor and accept that your parents might stay the same – and that’s OK
4. In your parents’ eyes, you will never grow up.
Whether you’re 16 or 26 matters not — strict, old-fashioned Asian parents will always treat you like you’re still 12. They’ll question almost all of your decisions and will try to impose their decisions on you.
For instance, I really want to meet my boyfriend’s family in Mexico. So, my boyfriend asked my parents if I could travel to Mexico with him and my mom just said that she wouldn’t allow it. Although her response really ticked me off, I’m taking baby steps towards discussing meeting my boyfriend’s family again with my parents. In my parents’ eyes, I’ll never grow up, but I need to live my life, even though they still see me as a child. The same goes for you, too.
5. Your happiness is key!
I recently realized that I often get so caught up in helping my parents that I forget about treating myself well. At the end of the day, we should remember that we deserve to be happy, even if our choices don’t align with our parents’. Sure, we still respect our parents, but we deserve to live life the way we want to. It’s not you parent’s life, it’s ours. So do what makes you happy because you only live life once.
All parents want the best for their children — even the strict Asian parents. Even if we don’t always see it, our parents really do have the best intentions. At the end of the day, our parents are ours, and they love us. While your parents may not always see eye -to-eye with you, it’s important that you continue to grow into the person you want to be. Your parents will follow along in their own time.
Feature Image via Crazy Rich Asians