I'm a simple freshman in high school.

My parents (especially my mom) have pushed me immensely. Including, but not limited to:

  • Putting me in advanced mathematics from a very early age. (Algebra 1: 3rd) (Geometry: 5th) (Algebra 2: 6th) (Pre-calculus: 7th) (Calculus: 9th)
  • Prompting (forcing?) me to work very hard (4 hrs a day during the summer!) on many different math tests such as the AMC10, AMC12, and beyond.
  • Forcing me to study for SAT
  • Pushing me to get all A's (This is not typically that hard, but piled up with the others it is.)
  • Skipping 4th grade

I do realize that to get to places that I want to be (I especially want to go to TAMS) I must work quite hard, but for a freshman who is starting to try the world out, this is a particularly hard decision.

My dad has tried quite hard to loosen up and also encourage me by volunteering to create a math team for our school and everything (1st meeting just passed!), but my mom is constantly burdening me with her consistent criticism whenever I do something badly.

My relationship with my mom has been deteriorating due to the issue that she pushes me to my limits while also being controlling in other areas... she seems to get mad at me every 20 minutes or so (not exaggerating here, I swear) for some miscellaneous item, be it a B on a quiz, me being in trouble with my teachers, not putting the milk in, not putting on my shoes even though we are 10 minutes early... (these last two I really don't get.)

I want some advice with loosening my mom's tightening grip on my life... the stress from my family is just so overwhelming.

  • Hi and welcome. Have you tried to discuss these things with your parents (individually or together)? What happens when you do? Adding this kind of information will help get you better answers. Commented Oct 21, 2015 at 7:57

1 Answer 1


Talk to them.

Start out by telling them that you're pretty unhappy about some things in your life, stressed and close to burnout (because it really sounds like that, which is pretty awful for someone your age).

Tell them:

  • What are your goals, what do you want to achieve?
  • What do you want to do, what do you not want to do?
  • Why you're unhappy.
  • What actions of theirs made you unhappy, and why.

Let them tell you the same.

Together, discuss:

  • Which goals are reasonable?
  • Do the actions reasonably support the goals?
  • Where are direct conflicts, things one of us wants and the other doesn't? Can we find a reasonable compromise?
  • What can we change to help us reach our non-conflicting goals together?
  • What can we change to avoid doing things that make each other unhappy?

The focus must be on finding solutions, not on assigning blame or "winning" by defending one's actions.

  • ... and if they don't want to believe in burnout, you can easily find tons of examples. Heck, I was one (although in my case I pushed myself more than my parents did)
    – user3143
    Commented Oct 21, 2015 at 15:37
  • +1 for conversation. Understanding why your mother feels the need to push you so hard (just wants the best for you? competing with other parents? actually concerned you're going to fail?) can help you work towards a productive solution, and also help her understand whether her expectations and approach are realistic!
    – Acire
    Commented Oct 21, 2015 at 15:55

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