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After four years of living in another city whilst studying, I have now moved back home and been there nearly a year. Relationships between my parents and I have been strained for as long as I can remember, and I used my opportunity of living away from home to do everything I could possibly do to have fun and feel that I was free. My parents are extremely overprotective of me because I am their only daughter, and the culture they come from is not at all like the culture in England.


I have been approached by a close friend to move out with her in the next month or so, and am very keen to say yes. I would absolutely love it. I don't know how to break it to my parents though. I know many will say (like my boyfriend did) that 'they can't stop you, you can do as you wish, you're 23, you're free' but it doesn't work like that in my culture. I don't want my parents to hate me, but I really want to do this. At the same time, I'm scared that they may kick me out with only the clothes on my back (this is not beyond them), or follow me and do something worse. Please don't say 'They should be happy for you wanting to be independent' because it does not work like that. In my culture the girl is meant to stay at home until she is married, thus moving from her parents' straight to her husband's.


Does anybody have any tips on how to break this to them, or has anyone been in this situation of foreign parents unable to accept the native culture? (They've been here over 30 years!)

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The only thing I have to offer in the way of advice, and I don't mean to be un-sympathetic to you or your culture- is to suggest that you make a plea to the common thread most all cultures share, love.


I'm sure your parents love you and want you to be happy even with their cultural beliefs. It may be hard for them to overcome and they may fight it...


My sister got pregnant at 19. That is a very difficult thing to handle in MY culture, we think 19 year olds are too young and immature, and in our culture most often they are. But my parents adjusted.


They hated it, had a hard time, kicked my sister out etc. But they got over it. Time goes on and heals almost everything.


Tell them how much it means to you. Explain how, in a way, you grew up in a different culture than the one they are expecting you to live by. Tell them you think it will be OK. And even if it turns out to not be, that you know they are your parents and they will be there to return to, to love and support you.


I know nothing about your parents or their culture but I am a parent. And although I have things I think I can not accept from my children because of the culture I am from or the society I live in, I will always love and be there for my children, no matter what difficult situations present themselves.


I wish you the best of luck getting thorugh this and getting what you need while respecting your parents and getting their respect.



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Let you parents know you're not replacing them, or turning your back on them, or are in any way unappreciative if what they've done for you. Let them know as gently as you can that this is something you feel you need to do so that you can continue to grow as a person, and that you plan to take all the things they have taught you over the years as you continue forward in your journey through life.


Let them know they'll always be your parents, and that you'll always continue to rely on them in ways only a daughter can no matter where you live. Their house will always be a home to you regardless of where you live.


They will undoubtedly find it difficult at first, but if you stick with it but remain emotionally close to them hopefully they will come to terms with it.


Perhaps put very harshly, they don't want you to go for their sakes, and are perhaps not considering what it means to you. In other words, perhaps some selfishness on their part. That doesn't mean you should attack the selfishness head on, but rather knowing the reasons why somebody is the way they are can help greatly. In other words, they likely don't intend you to be unhappy, rather, they are unable to see past how they feel about it. You understanding that will perhaps give you some insights as to how to act in this case.


As for how you see things, consider the possbility of being resentful with the feeling they wouldn't let you go if you do decide to continue to live with them and see how you think that will sit with you in the long term. This is something to consider also, what long term effect will you living there with them have? It is possible it is something you may regret later and thereforeeee perhaps should be part of your decision making thoughts.


Best of luck in whatever you decide to do.

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