How do I make my parents stop meddling in my life?

Thursday October 19 2017

PHOTO | FILE A stressed man.

I don't have a girlfriend neither am I interested in a relationship at the time being but they won’t understand that. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP  NATION

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Hi Brenda,

I’m a 24-year-old man and the last born in our family of boys. I have this issue with my parents in that they want to be part of every decision I make. When I wanted to join college, my parents chose the college and also the course.

I tried to persuade them to let me choose my path to no avail. I agreed though it’s not what I wanted because I wanted to please them. I completed college and decided to venture into business.

They decided to lend me money and I was happy. The problem came in when they started saying which business I should start and where it should be located. I decided it might work since I would change the business to what I wanted. When they learnt that I had decided to switch business they got mad at me saying that I don't listen to them.

I got mad, sold the business and refunded their money. I had saved some cash so I decided to go far away from them and I started the business I had always wanted to. I switched off my phone so that we couldn't communicate for about six months. They searched for me and luckily they found where I lived through a friend.

They pleaded with me to come back home and as a cool kid, I did. That's about three months ago. I thought they wouldn't interfere with my chosen path but it seems they won’t stop. Recently, they have been asking me about my girlfriend.

I don't have one neither am I interested in a relationship at the time being but they won’t understand that.

I’m contemplating going away again because that’s the only way I can live the way I want. I can’t quarrel with them and I am getting tired of them pestering me every now and then. I need some advice, please.


Dear Independent Ian,

Gosh, it can be hard to have parents who don't want to let go. It is admirable that you want to live your own life, your own way.

I would advise that instead of bombing the bridge completely, try and burn it slowly at first.

Sit them down one last time to explain to them that while you understand that you are their child, and they have their own way of doing things, you want to develop your own way of doing things too, and you want a chance to do so. Rope in your brothers as well, who must understand as well, surely.

Tell them that there are consequences to not letting your child grow, and you are not a robot to be controlled by their own impulses.

Be fair, and be firm, and, because they are your parents, be gentle. Then, if all else fails, leave – and this time, don't come back. After a bit, they will try and maintain their relationship with you. Do so, but don't budge. Good luck.


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