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Talking To Parents

Your parents want what’s best for you, but it’s important to pursue goals that interest you. You may need to explain to your parents why you’ve chosen a particular major or field of study. 

Talk AND Listen

The best way to discuss your choice of majors with your parents is to tell them directly how you’re feeling. Parents can’t read minds, so you need to be honest and talk to them about what you’re thinking, feeling, and experiencing. Try to find some time alone with them or arrange some activity that provides you the opportunity to talk with them about how you feel.

Remember that they have your best interests in mind. If a parent feels very strongly that you should be in a particular field, try to find out what the reasoning behind that may be. Instead of brushing off their ideas, listen and ask questions about their suggestions. Your willingness to do this can create an open dialogue where everyone is heard.

Be Prepared

The career information available here and gathered from having an advising appointment with a career advisor can be used to help explain your decisions to your parents. Often parents are concerned that you will not be able to find a job in your field after you graduate. If you present them with information about your field gathered from advisors, counselors, informational interviews, and personal research (check out our Occupational Research Tools) you can alleviate some of their concerns about your future.

Keep in Contact

Keep in contact with your parents. Just because you’re not living at home anymore doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t keep the lines of communication open. Your parents are interested in what you are doing and watching you become more mature and independent. If you keep in regular contact, they’re likely to be more accepting of the decisions that you make.