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Have you spent your entire life trying to please your parents? Have they always expected you to be the best at sports, to make the highest grades, to date the most perfect people, and to be…well…perfect? If so, you probably have high-pressure parents. This doesn’t mean your parents are bad. It simply means that they want you to have the best life imaginable and are prepared to do anything to make it happen. Unfortunately, this often means that they drive you into the ground. While pressure from your parents may have made your high school years a living hell, they can make college impossible. Too much parental pressure to succeed can have the opposite effect and can destroy your grades, your self-esteem, and your development into an adult. If you are ready to do things your way and to get out from under your parent’s squeeze, now is the ideal time.

How to Break the Grip

If you want your parents to ease up, you will have to handle the matter delicately. After all, they have done everything for what they perceive to be as your own good. Try these tips when discussing your feelings with your parents:

1. Express your gratitude. Start the conversation by laying on the gratitude. Thank your parents for pushing you to succeed. Without that push, you wouldn’t be where you are. Also thank them for loving you, offering their support and guidance, and for their unwavering love. When you open your heart and show your parents that you do realize what they have done for you and that you understand and appreciate their reasons for it all, they will be more receptive to everything else you have to say.

2. Explain your dreams. Calmly and respectfully express your dreams for yourself to your parents. If these dreams are at odds with what they want for you, you will have to be even more tactful. It can be difficult to tell your parents that you are parting from their dreams for you, but it is your life and you should do what you want with it.

3. Hold your temper. Be prepared for possible anger, hurt, and hostility from your parents. You cannot react in the same way. Keep your cool, listen to their side of things, and calmly explain your side. By staying calm and reasonable, you will make it easier for them to see that you are not a child anymore, and that you have to make your own decisions from this point on.

4. Offer reassurance. At this point, your parents may be afraid that they are losing you. Let them know how important they are to you and how much you love them. After you go back to college, make a point of communicating with them often and sharing your success and experiences in your new life.

Although it can be difficult to break the hold of high-pressure parents, it is possible. All it takes is a great deal of love and understanding coupled with determination to be heard.

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