When parents won’t let go

Another call from the ’rents? Talk to them in person about how you feel.

The question:
I’m 28 years old and my parents still treat me like a kid, calling me every day to “check in” and constantly asking my whereabouts. How can I get them to let up?

Every adult was once somebody’s child. Consequently, it’s hard for many parents to accept that their children are grown-ups. While your parents’ behavior might be appropriate for a teenager, it’s a bit extreme at your age. Before you say something to them, I suggest that you examine your own attitudes about your parents’ behavior. For example, do you feel somewhat reassured that you still have loved ones looking out for you? Are they the first people you consult when you have a problem or decision to make?

If the answer is “yes,” then you may want to explore your own reservations about feeling completely independent. You could be subtly communicating to your parents that you need their support.

Once you’ve checked in with yourself, and determined that you are ready to fully embrace your independence, then arrange a time to speak with your parents, preferably in person. Tell them that while you love them and appreciate their concern, you would also like them to stop calling and checking in on you so frequently. Explain that it undermines your sense of confidence and independence.

You might want to suggest an actual number of times a week when they can call, or promise to call or text twice a week or every Sunday to say hello. If they refuse, or don’t listen, you can exercise your right not to answer the phone every time they call.

Honoring one’s parents shouldn’t come at the price of honoring yourself.

– Kim Schneiderman, MSW, LCSW, is a psychotherapist and former journalist with a private practice in New York City. She is currently working on her first book, “How to Be the Star of Your Own Story: Writing the Path to Personal Transformation,” based on the therapeutic writing workshops she’s taught at the 92nd Street Y and JCC in Manhattan.

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages.


Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…


Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…


Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.


Transit changes for Labor Day weekend

The MTA is adding additional service Friday for New Yorkers getting out of the city for the long weekend. On Friday, Aug. 29, 27 additional…


'Full House' might be relaunched with some of…

A new "Full House" might be in the works.


Review: 'The Congress' is a crazy, unwieldy sci-fi…

Robin Wright is the center of gravity in "The Congress," which turns from a live-action Hollywood satire into an animated spectacular on a downer future.


Review: 'The Last of Robin Hood' is a…

Dakota Fanning plays Errol Flynn's (Kevin Kline) teenage gal pal in "The Last of Robin Hood," which takes a scandal and makes it dully empathetic.


Review: The uneven 'Life of Crime' mostly gets…

Elmore Leonard's "The Switch" becomes the new indie crime dramedy "Life of Crime," with Jennifer Aniston as a kidnapped woman whose husband won't pay up.


Serena Williams leaving legacy of talented American women…

It seems only a matter of when, not if, Serena Williams will win her 18th career grand slam championship.


When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.


Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.


Eugenie Bouchard excited for 'rowdy' fans at US…

Eugenie Bouchard is sure to endear herself to New York's tennis faithful as she tries to win her first grand slam title across the next two weeks.


Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…


The 10 types of people you meet online

Does it ever seem like online dating profiles tend to get a little repetitive? It turns out you are not the only one to have…


Labor Day essentials

Whether you’re soaking up the sun on the beach or barbecuing in the park here are some must-haves for your end-of-summer bash.


Does the school day start too early?

As thousands of high schoolers get ready to head back to class, health experts say it may be time to push back the start of…