How to Deal With Unsupportive Parents

Darryl Bachmeier
Jun 7, 2019

For the longest time in a kid’s life, their biggest role models are their parents. Children follow their parents’ teachings from the day they are born. As they grow up, they learn to make their own choices, make their own mistakes, and learn from them. Every kid seeks their parents’ approval from a very young age. When they are older, that approval may matter less and less, but deep down, everyone thrives for it.

Not everyone is lucky enough to have parents that support their every single decision. Many parents overlook the fact that their little kid is all grown up and has a conscious of his/her own. Having different opinions doesn’t mean that your parents don’t love you. Most parents love their children unconditionally. But, sometimes, they don’t show that love in the best ways.

What is a supportive parent?

Teenage years are the most rebellious time in a person’s life. That’s when a kid shifts into an adult. Most kids tend to act out of character in that phase. As a parent, one has to be patient to keep up with the erratic changes in a teen’s feelings. A lot of people that have a falling out with their parents, it actually starts in the teenage phase.

What is your definition of a supportive parent? Probably someone who can be both a friend and an authoritative figure as the situation demands. A supportive parent would help you deal with the struggles of your life and make sure that you won’t stray into any wrong path. Being understanding and adaptable are the key traits of a supportive parent.

Are your parents supportive?

Parents can be rather stubborn sometimes. There are many parents who force their own dreams on their children. A father who wanted to be a basketball player ended up being a manager at a firm, and now he is pushing his son to be the star basketball player in school even though the son hates basketball.

This is one of the many examples of parents being so blinded by their ambitions that they cannot see what it does to their children. Not just in big life decisions like choosing a career, parents can show their unsupportive traits in the smallest things. The way you dress, the way you talk, the company you keep, the person you love- the list goes on.

There are times when your parents are actually right and they try to save you from a bad decision. They may be harsh with you but they do that because they only want what’s best for you. If a kid constantly bunks their classes to go out drinking with friends, then as a parent, it is their duty to bring their kid back on the right track. But dismissing a kid’s wish to play the piano on the school band and forcing them to the football tryouts is the sign of an unsupportive parent.

How to deal with having unsupportive parents?

If you truly believe that your parents won’t let you chase after your dreams, then you need to take matters into your own hands. The path can be quite difficult, but it is not impossible and the end goal will be worth all the hurdles you would face.


Miscommunication can drive a wedge in any relationship. A lot of parents, especially fathers, have a very hard time conveying their feelings through words. Their actions might make you think that your parents are opposing you, but they truly want you to be happy. You need to sit down with them and having a thorough discussion about your feelings. You would be amazed at how effective a heart-to-heart discussion can be.

Do not hold back thinking that your parents would never understand. They might surprise you. You shouldn’t forget that your parents were once your age and probably went through some similar situations themselves.

Support System

Humans are social beings. No matter how tough you are, at the end of the day, you need a support system. You need someone with whom you can share almost anything and they won’t judge you for it. Many people have that support system in their parents. But if you don’t have that, then you need to find someone outside of your home.

It can be a friend or a teacher or a relative. No matter who that is, you need to get your emotions in check. Having things bottled up can have dire consequences. Seek professional counseling if required.

Be Independent

The best way to thrive in a home with unsupportive parents is to find your own path. You have to wait until you’re of legal age to move out of the house. But until then, do everything you can to follow your dreams. If you want to be an artist, make sure you study very hard for the scholarship in your preferred art school.

Take up part-time jobs in your spare time. You need to able to support yourself financially if you wish to move out of your parents’ house and go off in your own path.

Bottom Line

The most important thing is to have faith in yourself. Your parents’ unsupportive behavior and harsh words may sting, but do not let that derail you from your goal. When your parents see you become self-made and happy, they might realize their mistakes.

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