A bossy parent is someone who wants to control their child’s life and choices. Adults can deal with bossy parents by telling them you can’t continue with family traditions or rituals, responding with gratitude, declaring things off limits, not responding to calls and texts, and setting boundaries.
A authoritative parent Iis someone who wants to control their child’s life and choices. Adult children of authoritarian parents often endure this treatment for decades because they feel powerless to stop it or think the emotional cost of doing so would be too high. Those who stand up to a bossy parent often do so by getting angry and saying something hurtful that either causes or worsens a relationship breakdown. Below are some common ways to deal with authoritarian parents.
Let your parent know that you cannot continue with family traditions or rituals that no longer fit your schedule:
- For a bossy parent, an adult child behaves irresponsibly whenever they fail to maintain these traditions. However, these frequent obligations can become a burden as your life changes, especially if you have a hectic career, live far away, and / or have children of your own.
- Acknowledge the tradition, but make it clear that your participation in it must change.
- Once there is no more waiting, you can choose to participate in the activity with the parent when it is convenient for you, with much less stress and without guilt.
- If there is more than one tradition you want to break, spread it out over several months or longer. Ending many traditions all at once can make your parents fear that you are considering breaking all contact.
Respond with gratitude:
- When your parent brings up a prohibited topic, respond with gratitude.
- Rather than expressing your frustration, see it as a sign of progress and use positive reinforcement. It’s more likely to encourage the behavior you really want (without increasing it at all) in the future.
Declare specific topics as prohibited, then express your love:
- Authoritarian parents often insert themselves into areas of their adult children’s lives where their input is unwelcome, such as counseling on romantic partners, careers, cooking or household skills, weight, decision making. expenses, wardrobe and grooming choices, child rearing decisions, and fertility issues.
- The next time the parent brings up any of these topics, politely explain that you don’t like discussing the topic. However, before your parents can react to this, express your love for them and / or your appreciation for their willingness to give advice.
- Chances are, you’ll have to reiterate your reluctance to discuss a topic a few times before your parents realize you’re serious and don’t back down. Try not to express your frustration when you have to repeat this request.
Stop answering all calls or texts:
- If you have a parent who contacts you several times during the day and usually has nothing of importance to say, explain to them that you will not repeatedly interrupt your other activities to immediately answer those calls or SMS and offer a few good times where you can usually talk together.
- Not attracting attention every time an intrusive parent tries to make contact is a critical first step in rebalancing the relationship. It might feel uncomfortable at first, but after a few days or weeks it will start to feel (and actually be) energizing.
- Of course, if there is reason to believe that a parent’s message could be an emergency or a request for essential information, it is best to respond as quickly as possible.
- Bossy parents love to push until they get what they want. They reduce a person’s vulnerabilities until that person eventually gives in. To prevent this from happening, set a firm limit up front and stick to it.
- Make sure you have accepted these limitations within yourself. Trust this and understand why you need to do it. This will help you communicate firmly and maintain the limit when potential attempts at domination increase.
Also, remember that your parent may need you to drive change in their life. You might be one of the few people around them who is aware of their hurtful behavior or attitude. Therefore, just as their job was to correct you in the past, your job (without the parental authority role) may be to correct them in the present.
Medical examination on 07/20/2021
WebMD: “How to deal with a controlling mother”. https://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/features/dealing-controlling-mother
Next Avenue: “How to deal with a critical and authoritarian parent”. https://www.nextavenue.org/deal-critical-overbearing-parent/
University of Virginia: “Study: Authoritarian parents lead to long-term conflict with relationships and upbringing. »Https://news.virginia.edu/content/study-overbearing-parents-lead-long-term-struggles-relationsships-education