T Nation

How to Get my Parents to Understand Me


#1

17 y/o here. This is going to be a little bit of everywhere but bear with me.

I live with two very unreasonable parents, who, from my earliest memories, have forced me to accept “no” all the time, without solid reason.

My whole life has been spent trying to live for them, by their standards, and obey unreasonable orders. I’ve essentially become their bitch, especially my dad’s.

I have a dream of playing D1 Basketball and NBA basketball. I’m fighting with all I have to get there. But no one, not even my parents, believe in me. That’s not even the problem though, because I will always believe in myself.

The problem is that my parents keep trying to stop me from reaching my goals without reasoning. I’ve been consistently waking up at 4AM everyday to go to the gym and work on my game, and then go back to the gym after school, because the people who make it in basketball earned their stripes, and to make it you have to spend every moment you can practicing. I’ve been laughed at so much for having such dreams and self confidence. My parents seem to have a issue with my work ethic though, as with everything, and seek to limit me. It’s so frustrating because I feel powerless to them. In every area of my life I feel powerless. People think I’m weird, girls don’t like to talk to me because even though I’m attractive, my personality just doesn’t cut it. It just seems like who I am makes me prone to bullshit. I never have control over anything or get my way. I have to fight for an uncertain chance of reaching my goals. When I tell other people about my struggles, they say they wish their children had my work ethic. Yet, I can’t even fully utilize the work ethic I have because of my parents.
This is really starting to get on my nerves. Today, I had woke up at 4AM and took the bus to the gym and worked on my game. Then I sent to school, then back to the gym. When I came home my dad told my mom to tell me that I couldn’t go to the gym in the morning.

When I asked him why, he told me to turn around and get out of his room, saying that ge wouldn’t have that conversation with me. I was at a loss of words as usual, and he couldn’t be reasoned with without getting on the edge of a full blown argument or physical altercation (the usual), so I just left his room and locked the bathroom door and cried out of anger. I’m so tired of getting bitched and being a loser in every part of my life. People keep trying to stop me. Nobody believes in me, not even my parents. I’m willing to fight with everything I have for my dream, but everyone actively opposes it, especially my parents, the very people who once told me never to go easy on myself. My parents should be proud, yet they look down on me.


#3

I feel the same way, man.

You know, parents are the same no matter the time or place and they don’t understand us kids. We’re going to make some mistakes and all across the land there’s no need to argue but parents just don’t understand.

I remember one year I remember one year my mom took me school shopping; it was me, my brother, my mom, oh, my pop, and my little sister. We all hopped in the car, we headed downtown to the Gallery Mall and my mom started bugging with the clothes she chose.
I didn’t say nothing at first I just turned up my nose but she said, “What’s wrong? This shirt cost $20” I said, “Mom, this shirt is plaid with a butterfly collar!” The next half hour was the same old thing. My mother buying me clothes from 1963. And then she lost her mind and did the ultimate
I asked her for Adidas and she bought me Zips! I said, “Mom, what are you doing, you’re ruining my rep” She said, "You’re only sixteen, you don’t have a rep yet"
I said, “Mom, let’s put these clothes back, please” She said “no, you go to school to learn not for a fashion show”

I said, “This isn’t Sha Na Na, come on Mom, I’m not Bowzer, mom, please put back the bell-bottom Brady Bunch trousersb ut if you don’t want to I can live with that but
you gotta put back the double-knit reversible slacks”. She wasn’t moved - everything stayed the same. Inevitably the first day of school came. I thought I could get over, I tried to play sick
But my mom said, “No, no way, uh-uh, forget it” There was nothing I could do, I tried to relax
I got dressed up in those ancient artifacts. And when I walked into school, it was just as I thought
The kids were cracking up laughing at the clothes Mom bought and those who weren’t laughing still had a ball because they were pointing and whispering as I walked down the hall I got home and told my Mom how my day went. She said, "If they were laughing you don’t need the, “Cause they’re not good friends” For the next six hours I tried to explain to my Momt hat I was gonna have to go through this about 200 more times. So to you all the kids all across the land there’s no need to argue parents just don’t understand.

Ok, here’s the situation: My parents went away on a week’s vacation and they left the keys to the brand new Porsche.Would they mind? Umm, well, of course not. I’ll just take it for a little spin
and maybe show it off to a couple of friends. I’ll just cruise it around the neighborhood. Well, maybe I shouldn’t, yeah, of course I should. Pay attention, here’s the thick of the plot
I pulled up to the corner at the end of my block that’s when I saw this beautiful girlie girl walking
I picked up my car phone to perpetrate like I was talking. You should’ve seen this girl’s bodily dimensions. I honked my horn just to get her attention. She said, “Was that for me?” I said, “Yeah” She said, “Why?” I said, “Come on and take a ride with a helluva guy” She said, “How do I know you’re not sick? You could be some deranged lunatic” I said, “see’mon toots - my name is the Prince. Beside, would a lunatic have a Porsche like this?” She agreed and we were on our way. She was looking very good and so was I, I must say - word. We hit McDonald’s, pulled into the drive, we ordered two Big Macs and two large fries with Cokes. She kicked her shoes off onto the floor. She said, “Drive fast, speed turns me on” She put her hand on my knee, I put my foot on the gas. We almost got whiplash, I took off so fast. The sun roof was open , the music was high And this girl’s hand was steadily moving up my thigh. She had opened up three buttons on her shirt so far I guess that’s why I didn’t notice that police car. We’re doing ninety in my Mom’s new Porsche and to make this long story short when the cop pulled me over I was scared as hell. I said, “I don’t have a license but I drive very well, officer” I almost had a heart attack that day.

Come to find out the girl was a twelve-year-old runaway. I was arrested, the car was impounded
There was no way for me to avoid being grounded. My parents had to come off from vacation to get me.I’d rather be in jail than to have my father hit me.
My parents walked in, I got my grip, I said, “Ah, Mom, Dad, how was your trip?” They didn’t speak I said, “I want to plead my case” But my father just shoved me in the car by my face.
That was a hard ride home, I don’t know how I survived They took turns, one would beat me while the other one was driving. I can’t believe it, I just made a mistake. Well parents are the same no matter time nor place. So to you all the kids all across the land, take it form me, parents just don’t understand.


#4

How tall are you?


#5

Lmao winner!


#6

The only question going in was: is this going to live up to expectations?

Im happy to say the good doctor delivered in spades. LOL


#7

fuck sake I’ll be singing that shit all day now


#8

That’s tough, I’m not alone in this at least.

But why the hell would my parents want me to work LESS hard?


#9

6’1".


#10

You’re a dick lol (man, I’m going to rock that entire album today - fuckin’ classic … Nightmare on My Street was my jammy jam).

So you’re 17 - I presume you’re looking to go to a D1 school in 1 or 2 years, no? Do you have any prospects - i.e. what’s your in? How likely is it you’ll make a D1 team, followed by NBA.

I guess what I’m asking is, despite you being 6’1" (which is about 1" below average … so within the realm of possibility just based on height),what level of competition do you compete at now and are you competitive among that peer group?

You’re not giving us anything to go off of here aside from you FEEL as if the world is against you (I’d direct you to read the Enchiridion by Epictetus or Meditations by Marcus Aurelius if you’re having trouble coping with adversity). How much power do you have over the situation? It seems you’re doing what you think you need to do, but sometimes that’s not enough - there’s a lot of variables outside your power to control and you also might be ignoring other aspects of your life while shooting yourself in the proverbial foot given the reasonable prospect of you attaining your lofty goals.

We have no idea your actual level of competition and skill - I’m not saying you can’t or won’t attain the higher degree of ability, based on your described commitment level you may - but that doesn’t mean you will - there are other things that are more impactful than how much your practice.

In the meantime, it seems somewhat unreasonable to assume your parents will understand you the way you all communicate right now. Have you done anything to SHOW them how serious you are and the likely prospect of you attaining those goals? Is there anything YOU CAN DO to show them you commitment level and how much it means to you? Is there anything that you’re willing to do to convince them, reasonably, of your commitment? If not, then I’d suggest it’s outside your ability to control their thoughts and to do 2 things: consider the likelihood of attaining your goals given your current situation and skill level compared to those who have made D1 THEN the NBA (keep in mind only about 1% of NCAA basketball players make it pro (http://www.businessinsider.com/odds-college-athletes-become-professionals-2012-2#mens-ice-hockey-13-of-college-players-play-professionally-01-of-high-school-players-do-3) that’s not to say it’s even a D1 stat, it’s a college stat - according to the article only 48 NCAA basketball players are drafted … something to consider).

I’m not saying give up on your dreams, i’m only saying consider alternatives. What happens if you DON’T make it? What will you do then? Are you taking necessary steps to “hedge your bets”? Be honest with yourself - I’m not saying you can’t do it or won’t do it - it’s just not likely you (or anyone, really) will make it and you should plan accordingly. What do you do if the likely happens (you don’t make it pro? you don’t make it to D1?) - what’s the alternative. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket has always been pretty good advice.


#11

That is very good advice, but I actually have great grades and a variety of interests. I can speak Mandarin (I’m in an AP Mandarin class), I’m in AP Calculus and doing well, I also take an AP Government class. I have many interests but I love basketball, and my prospects of playing are low but I will do everything I have to get to the level of D1. There is no way to get there without going 100%. I have no doubt that I can get a scholarship based off of academics.

My thing is that if I can out work and outsmart my opponent I can make it. I’m not beinh philosophical here.

My parents know I’m committed, but they believe that I need rest unnecessarily; I have a herniated disc from lifting weights and they love hitting me with that shit as an excuse for me not to work.

I wake up at 4AM to practice before school. Then practice after school. I have no other way to prove it to them lol. They think my work ethic is too hard essentially. But I have shit to do.

The thing is that it all comes down to getting buckets. It all comes down to how good you are on the court. If I can be better than everyone, that’s all that’s necessary.

If I fail I’ll try again. I’m not afraid of failing, I’ve already failed so much.


#12

A statement like this leads me to believe you have spent minimal time trying to understand your parents. In such instances, why would said parents spend time trying to understand you?

Your best bet in getting your parents to understand you is to try to understand them first. Figure out WHY they want what they want for you, and why it is different than what you want for yourself.


#13
  1. Get a job
  2. Move out
  3. Make rules / do what you want
    4-100) Learn how hard life is

#14

My parents tried getting in the way of me living my dreams when I was 17 too. I just didn’t let them stop me. I got out there, hustled my ass off and made my dream of smoking lots of weed and banging every girl I could a reality.


#15

You’re way too young for this kind of stuff.

Great job on being an excellent student though. More people have changed the world using their intellect to develop cures for diseases and create technological and scientific advances than any number of dunks or 3 pointers in the NBA.


#16

It was said why I was in my emotions. I mean they are difficult to reason with, and I know exactly why they feel the way they feel, but they don’t want to understand me.


#17

Why do they feel this way?


#18

Guys it’s not that I just want to do what I want I just want to practice more. I want to be able to work as hard on my basketball skills as I possibly can without interference from my parents. I take care of my business. I do my chores, I get good grades. If my parents need me to babysit my sister, I do that. But come on. They always have a problem with everything I do. Even if it’s trying to honor them.


#19

I had a very similar situation when I was your age. I played on multiple AAU teams and on my school’s varsity team. In the summers I would get to the gym and practice and workout from 10am to 2-3pm. Go home to eat, then head out to the park from 5pm till it got too dark to see the rim. My mom hated it and assumed I was up to no good since I would be gone from the house pretty much all day.

I worked my ass off to get better, every single day. And when it came time to actually put up numbers, I failed. I was an average player and no D1 school even looked at me. I had a couple of D2’s show some interest because of what my coaches would tell them, but I wasn’t going to invest all my time and energy for D2.

My point is this, and it sucks to say and hear, you can train and practice as hard as you possibly can, but unless you’re special you won’t get far with it. Most professional athletes know they’re going pro by the time they’re in 9th grade. If you’re a senior or junior trying to get looked at, college is as far as your talents will take you. Lance stevenson and I were in the same grade, and when you saw him play, there was no comparison between him and any other player in the New York area.


#20

Are your parents from a different country? Parents who immigrated tend to be more focused on grades from my experience. They came here for a better life and work opportunity, not to watch their kids play games. It might just be a cultural thing.


#21

They feel that way because they want to protect me, and they think that basketball is not “all about the drive.” I know that every pro player worked their ass off though. Thats all I want to do. Most players dont even have the work ethic I do. Their parents have to push them to even practice. Mine are pushing me to practice LESS. But that doesn’t make sense at all, I get enough rest. I rest on weekends usually, because the bus fair is more expensive on those days. I don’t get how I’m doing too much. Kobe did the same thing in high school. I told them that. They were like “well Kobe had a way more privileged life than you.”

What about those who didn’t have a privileged life? Like, Derrick Rose, who’s from my city. What about them?