I’m Still Terrified Of What My Parents Think Of My Life Choices — Is That Weird?

You’d think that having now officially entered my mid-twenties, my need for my parents’ approval would have diminished. Turns out, that is not the case.  Though I was raised to think independently, the need to continually impress my parents is always at the back of my mind.

  1. I want their approval. Is it wrong to want your parents to give you praise?  My parents, for the most part, are very chill when it comes to my decisions, but that makes it more nerve-wracking when they’re dead set on something. I nearly changed my major in order for them to feel like I was a good choice, but thankfully backed out. Not everything is going to go their way (it is MY life after all), but at the same time, I don’t want to have them going to their friends feeling the need to pray over me and my ‘bad decisions.’
  2. I don’t want to be a disappointment. You know that look your parents give when you screwed up? Yeah, I never want to see it again — ever. I know I can’t always please them, but I hope that the choices I make they can at least accept.
  3. They sacrificed a lot for me to be where I am. My parents went through hell and back to provide for my siblings and me. I don’t want those sacrifices to be in vain or wasted on something stupid I did.
  4. I feel like they should have a say. Growing up in a military and Christian household, I was taught to show proper respect to my parents, with most answers being ‘yes’. While I had the occasional rebellion, my parents had a say in what I did, whether it was my original idea or not. Now older, those teachings haven’t really gone away even though I’m living on my own.
  5. I have differing ideals from them. I’m growing up in a much different time than my parents, so my opinions formed don’t necessarily line up with theirs. While clashes are bound to happen, the last thing I want is for them to look at me like they don’t know me.  I’ve already given up on talking about how I should act in my relationship, feminism, or how much jewelry I should be wearing. I’d rather just avoid those arguments altogether.
  6. I still consider them my greatest advisers. I go to my mom and dad for nearly everything. They’ve gone been in my shoes once upon a time, and I value the words of wisdom they can give. And while I try to parse what knowledge I can and work to figure out the rest on my own,  it’s inevitable that I’ll follow their words down to the letter so I don’t screw myself over.
  7. Complete independence does seem a bit daunting. I think we can all agree that ‘adulting’ is hard. While I love being able to branch out on my own, I still look to my parents for guidance on how to navigate adulthood. After all, they’ve been doing it longer than I have. Mortgage, tax credits, ROTH IRAs — all are foreign words to me, but they know how to handle it all.
  8. I hate feeling guilty. My parents have perfected the art of making me feel bad if I do go against their wishes. It feels almost as if I did a bad job at being their daughter. Irrational? Obviously. But the “we aren’t mad, just disappointed” spiel is a punch to the gut anytime I hear it.
  9. I want them to know I still care about what they have to say I never want my parents to feel obsolete in my life. I am still, in a way, their little girl. Implementing their advice — even when it’s unsolicited — is my way of showing I still value their thoughts.
  10. I want them to be proud of the woman I’ve become I am happy with the person I’ve become, and I want them to be as well. We may not always agree, but I would hope that my parents can look at how I live my life, and be proud that they raised me right.
is a lover of words, working out of Seattle as a freelance lifestyle writer. She loves southern food, Batman, and adding weight to her deadlift PR. Tweet her at @Just_Lizzi