How to Deal


How should a Catholic young adult deal with unfair and unsupportive parents?

You know, when they open your room’s door and say negative things to you, what do you do after?

Aside from praying for them, is there any way to deal with them?



That depends on what you mean by “unfair and unsupportive” and “negative things”.

Do you mean they don’t let you have your way or that they are mean/abusive?

Can you give some examples?


I would like to offer you support but I am afraid I am not sure what to say. I am sure you were trying to be brief…but after reading your post I am not sure if your parents are opening your door and saying something ordinary and you are being overly-sensitive to it…or if you are a complete sweetheart and they are being down right nasty.

What I can offer you is my prayer and encourage you to continue praying. I know you are looking for something else but prayer is powerful. Remember to pray for yourself too. Don’t just pray for them to change and sit back and see if it works. Also, don’t just pray for yourself not to get upset because that might not work. Your prayer might be working in ways you don’t even know. Perhaps your parents are arguing with you a little LESS because of your prayers. Perhaps you are actually getting upset a little bit LESS because of your prayers.

Ask how God is asking you to grow. Challenging circumstances if faced correctly can help us to grow. We learn coping skills, communication skills, the skill of temper control, all these things that you have already been doing.

Ask God how to help YOU change. In your post you only mentioned vaguely your parents faults but not your own. This is probably out of sheer frustration. I could agree with you completely about their negativity but focusing on your own faults as well could bring you much peace. Sorry I couldn’t offer more. Please take care.


I am turning 20 and for almost three years now, I’ve been taking care of all my needs except house and food. I pay for my university and I even try to support them in terms of their other financial needs. I have never brought home a failing mark from school and I have never given them any headache.

However, about two years ago, I started dating. I am currently dating a smart, amazing, Catholic guy. For this reason, my parents seem to have a reason to be upset at me because I dated so young.

I said they are unfair because I don’t do anything wrong yet they find reason to be mad at me. What’s worse is they don’t even care when they get mad at me. Even if I have the stressful exam week they still get mad at me (unsupportive).

You know how they say that parents only say good things about their kids. Well, they are kind of the opposite. They even lie about me dating when they talk to my relatives, it’s like they are ashamed of me/us.

I can’t even say that I get upset at them because I don’t get what I want. What I wanted is for them to trust me but I don’t get that from them. I am dating for two years now and I’ve been trying since then to get their trust but they still consider me immature and selfish depsite all the things I try to do for them.


Thank you for reminding me about the power of prayer. Even someone I know gave me an advice to say a prayer before I go home and meet my parents.
I know that perhaps somewhere along this whole issue are some of my flaws and it could be hard to see them especially when I am very emotional.
There are just times when I actually don’t know what to do when they started saying mean things about me that aren’t true. I am trying to be a good, modest Catholic lady and one afternoon when I got home they callled me a “wild” girl just because I went out. I don’t know how to respond to them. Do I cry? Do I scream back? Do I argue until I’ve proven them wrong? Do I just keep quiet?
The thing is, they don’t believe in talking about things so it’s only their way…they’re the parents, is what they always say.
But I see your point. Thank you!:slight_smile:


Even nearly perfect kids can give their parrents headaches. As a parrent you are always worying about your children and whether you are doing enough to set them off on a good path to live their lives. The more loving the parrents the more they intervene. By the way I am past middle age with my own family, a good job, and a nice suburban home and my parrents are still medling in my life. Your parrents have been taking care of you for 18 years +. you are still in school although it is at a university, not a high school. Basically it will take them a while to adjust to your new status in life as an adult.

If you are in school you they may be concerned that you will get distracted from your studies. I bet they recognize your past performance but are concerned that your dating may still be a risk. For eighteen years they have been anticipating risks that you would face and trying to create a good enviroment for you. I am sure they are just concerned and if anything over protective. You should also consider how they feel about your boyfriend? They may fear he will pull you off track. Have you considered backing off on the out and about dating and inviting him over for dinner or to events with your fammily?

Have they gone to college? Are they preasuring you to go to college? Are they preasuring you to get a job? I sense they are frustrated with you and that frustration is coming out as anger. You may want to sit down with them and let them know what your plan for your future is and how you are sure you are on track to achieve that plan. That might help with the frustration or at least facilitate a discussion with them so you can better understand what they are thinking.

Parrents don’t just say good things. Especially with relatives. If your parrents are good parrents and they are frustrated with you, they may be just venting or looking for advice.

They are your parrents and they love you. One of the hardest things for a parrent is letting go. If they sense you are taking your life in a direction that they feel is not in your best interest it will be even harder for them to let go.

If you have been in school for two years, you should have two more years of school then about six months to find a job and then you will be on your own. Hopefully you can tollerate the situation for a few years and then be off on your own.


Without knowing every little detail of your current situation, and really not wanting to do so-

How many more years of university do you have left? Is there any possibility you could move into the dorms?

Are your parents openly hostile to your bf? Do they see him as an obstacle to your finishing college? Are they afraid to say anything to you about him, so they take it out on you instead? Do they consider him every bit as nice as you do? Can they possibly, being older, see some flaws that you can’t?

What is “getting mad” at you? They still expect you to do your chores? They throw unprovoked temper tantrums? What do they say to the relatives?

I have never heard it said that parents only say good things about their children. If they are frustrated with you, and they think you are ruining your life, they might very well vent to the relatives. Or are they calling every relative no matter how distant to tell them what a horror of a child you are?

Maybe it is time to consider leaving home, if you can. If you can’t, you have a choice between staying there and trying to work around this, going to a counselor yourself (Catholic would be preferable, but they have them on campus) and seeing how you can get some coping skills, or continuing to live in your current situation until graduation.



About them trying to adjust on me being an adult, I am not the only child. I have a brother who’s already 21. He lives with us. And he still get financial support from my parents even in paying for university. But he started dating before I even started dating. Never did they get upset at him for doing this.

I am Asian and my boyrfriend is Canadian. I don’t like to think that that’s the reason why my parents are indifferent with him. But this causes lots of barriers between him and my parents. My father even avoids going out of his room when he’s over to our place for reason I do not know. Before I even started dating him I already established to my parents how he’s like. My boyfriend is a very devout Catholic young man. He is very reponsible and very smart. He is also very mature for his age (19). My parents are also not used to inviting people for dinner so whenever I try to tell them to have my boyfriend over for dinner they are very reluctant.

They both went to college. But if they would be against something in my university life that would be the course that I took because they always mention what they wanted and how I should just follow what they want for me. And as I said before, they are not the sit-down-and-let’s-talk parents. I try doing that over breakfast but it ends up on an argument.

What I meant with parents saying good things about their children, is that there are some parents who actually tell their kids that “oh, you are so nice” or “my son, you are so responsible”. I never hear that. And just the fact that they lie to my relatives about me dating an amazing young man, they already make me feel like they are ashamed of me. When I ask them why they do that they say that they just don’t want my relatives to think that my parents were not so strict towards us and allowed us to date.

And, of course, patience is a virtue. I know my parents love me and I will probably be so sad when I build my own family and have to move out and leave them. In fact, I might still need them after that. I just wish they would balance their ways of showing me how they love me. If they want to show it in anger I hope they also show it in a better way.



I have three more years in university and my parents would never let me leave in dorm.

My bf cannot be an obstacle in me finishing university because he himself wants to finish university. We both value education very much. With what I said in an earlier response, he is an amazing young Catholic man. If I will ask people who have known him and his family, they cannot say anything not to like about him. I think the main reason why my parents are indifferent about him is the racial difference. In order for my parents to even talk to him, they have to go out of their comfort zone(not speak their native language).

I do my chores. And yes, they do those unprovoked tantrums especially my father, who is now unemployed. He would just be upset and scream whenever and not just to me but also to my brothers. They lie to my relatives in terms of me dating. They even tell me to lie about it when my relatives talk to me. Being a Catholic, I cannot lie and with a God-centred relationship that I have why would I deny it? My relatives are scattered to different places from USA to my home country.

My parents, especially my mom, boldy tells us that we cannot leave home until we are married so I guess I just have to be patient and deal with them as a Catholic would.


I’m sorry your parents lie about you and don’t seem to encourage you, but I think you are dealing with this in a mature way. Perhaps it will increase your own holiness! And one can hope that eventually your example will rub off a bit…


I was wondering reading your first posts if perhaps you come from an Asian family, because that is the only way what you were posting makes sense. My daughter has several Asian girls that she is close with who have to face exactly what you are going through. I think that what you are experiencing has really less to do with who you are and who your parents are as people and more to do with you being culturally very different from your parents.

My daugther’s friends have parents who think that their daughter must attend the colleges that they choose for them, major in what what the parents want, and have careers selected for them by their parents. To not give them total obedience in this causes a huge, huge conflict. One of her friends, who is a very good girl but has been virtually kept under lock and key because her parents don’t trust her recently went and took every medication in the medicine cabinet and came so close to death. Even a week after she got out of the hospital she was swollen and had difficulty walking. Did her parents realize how wrong that they had been? Did they understand how bad they were making her feel? No, while she was still in that state, they drug her off to parties, where they told everyone what a horrible daughter she was.

I really hope that your parents are not that bad. I think the only way that you have to handle this is to be respectful to the degree that your conscience guides you and to not become emotionally involved in their game. Just do what you know is right, keep on being loving, and kind to your parents, but firm in regards to your own personal goals. Eventually they may come around, but don’t be too disappointed if they don’t.

I guess the reason that I am posting all of this is to let you know that you are not alone, that your parents are not treating you this way because you are a bad person. Just hoping that deep down you really do realize this.


Take out a student loan or work more if you have to and move out. You are 20 years old, they cannot stop you from leaving home.

Your parents sound controlling, and it’s time for you to break the bond. If you never do it, they will be trying to control you their entire lives. It’s time for you to live your life and not theirs. I’m not sure that the proper Catholic answer is to live in a situation where someone is controlling you.

Sometimes the tough love has to go from child to parent. Perhaps after a few months they will come around. It’ll be on their shoulders then.



My bf always tell me to “OFFER IT UP”.
He reminds me all the time to accept all these predicaments as a sacrifice. I try to do so but sometimes I forget about that especially when I get very emotional.
Thank you, btw.



Yes, I come from an Asian background. I came to Canada almost three years ago and I met my boyfriend here.
It may seem like I became more open to other cultures but really I just do things using Catholic morals. I do not try to forget some Asian culture but I’m just trying to get rid of cultural ‘rules’ that doesn’t really do anything good. There are times when I try to tell them to not use Asian culture to disciplie us but use Catholic morals. But they just ignore that.
My parents are not as bad as the parents in your story. Above all, I cannot even imagine doing anything bad to myself in order to express any angst towards my parents because that is just something against everything I believe in.
Thanks for reminding me that I am not alone. Thank you!



This is such a hard choice. I must admit I also think about this and I was even looking up specific details in case I decide to move out, ie moving to different province.
Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll think about it.


That double standard is a reality many have to deal with. It is part of the male mindset to protect girls and women more than boys and men. That is why we have fewer reservations about sending boys to die on the front line. I know chivalry is no longer politically correct but several of us are still having a hard time adapting to that.

Aside from the “racial” it may be cultural. Are your parents concerned that your recent move to Canada would pull you away from your culture? You may ask your BF to learn more about your culture and how to address your father in a way your father feels is respectful. I’m no expert on Asian cultures but believe that they expect the relationship between a young woman’s suitor and her father to be more formal than here in the Americas.

There are several degree programs that I would steer my children away from including those that I do not feel fit their strengths, any college that advertises through Junk mail, and any college program where they advertise how easy it is to get a degree. Not all degree programs are equal, and I have some experience with people getting suckered into paying for a degree that is not what they were led to believe. I myself have faced difficulty in the work place because I did not get the “right” degree for a particular job. If your father is a business man he may have some beliefs that the program you are in is not in your best interest. Still this is out of caring not necessarily maliciousness.
If they are unwilling to talk, have you tried emailing them or writing them?

Again this may be a cultural issue. If your father’s mother is still available for you to talk with you may want to seek her advice.

Is their anger a reflection of their fears of your leaving?



I like that idea of writing or emailing them. Probably then they would sit down and “listen” to what I have to say.Thanks!


A quick update/example:

My aunt from New Jersey called and talked to my parents. After the phone call my mom came to my room and told me that my aunt was asking if I will get married soon. My mom then walked away.

Then she comes close to my room yelling that my aunt was wondering how come my cousins who are also here in Canada, longer that us, do not have any bf/gf yet. My mom said she doesn’t even know what to respond to my aunt.

I feel like getting upset. I don’t know to who?
:frowning: :mad: :frowning:


No reason to get mad. Think of it as having a front row seat for your very own reality TV series. Their problems are not a reflection on you. While you should have an interest in what is going on you should not take it personally.


My heart goes out to you and your family. It looks as though you are all dealing with differences in culture. It must be so painful for you to have your parents treat you this way, and yet it must also be painful for them to see you behaving in a fashion that is foreign to the way of life they have known and were brought up in.

The Church, throughout her history, has been careful not to discard the cultures of people and places receiving the Gospel. Rather, she has kept the elements of other cultures whenever these elements are not harmful to faith and morals. Is it possible that adopting such an approach to your parents’ cultural expectations would help you to cope?

It seems shocking to Western sensibilities to criticize a young woman for dating “early” at age 18, to expect an adult child to obey unquestioningly her parents’ dictates as to her course of study or her career, to apply a double standard to sons and daughters, etc. Yet the reverse might be just as shocking to someone raise this way.

Good luck and God bless you.

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