I'm currently 17 years old, and I'm in my last year at the highschool(year 13). I live in germany with my parents.

Since I can remember, my parents made me want to have success. They taught me reading since I was four, which provided me big advantages in primary school. I was entered in primary school early and skipped the first class. I must have been very talented in maths and logical thinking, which finally resulted in me coming to the "Gymnasium" (it's the only middle school type where you can dircetly get the right to study, kinda the best).

Until there everything was fine. It was in 2010 when I came to the new school. There was no big problem about that, at least for the first half year. Then my father started to really push me to work. He forced me to at least work for two hours every day, unimportant which plans I had for a day. I wasn't able to just "say no", that I didn't want that(additionaly at this point, I believed all that my parents told me.

My grades were extremely good at this time, in the english grade system, it would have been something very close to an "A-only" average. It went on like that for about a year, when my grandparents were shocked what I old them about my learning pensum(I didn't see them often, my father and they had a dispute, and we children had to suffer under it. I saw them twice a year, if I was lucky. They tried to convince my father to give me some more freedom, which resulted in a complete destuction of their relationship. To the present day they have never taked with each other again.

My father was the opinion that grandparents should totally keep away of the upbringing of his children. We weren't allowed to see them more than once a year, and even that was only because I was old enough to understand why we weren't allowed to see them more often. This was the first time when I started to question the "system of success"(a name my parents invented.

My father raised my learning time to three hours a day, made me start a sport (which I don't really approve) and entered me in guitar lessons. To be fair, I really enjoyed the guitar and have already won diverse competions. He always said I would be allowed to stop doing the sport when I would reach a certain grade, but that was a LIE. I reached it four years ago and still have to go to the training. He said he would force me to continue doing it as long as he could.

This went on for four years, when I had the possibility to flee from all this pressure for half a year. I was really glad my french teacher supported me to make an exchange program that ook half a year in France. I was so glad to finally be free from my parents always standing behind me. Although I reduced my learning time to one hour per day, my grades kept extremely good.(My french teacher in France told me that I had beaten nearly the whole class in a BIG homework about classic literature) This was the second time I really doubted the need of the really intense learning all the time.

Back to germany I was completely overran by my father wanting me to return to the old rule of the three hours. I was 14 at the time and this time I had the strengh to argue with him in a actual position and with arguments why the intense learning was uneffective. Since then we only had temporary peaces at home. My mother fleed from this stress and decided that she would want to have nothing to do with all this learning stuff.

My father mde me enter my math studies early (program in the local university to give to very good scholars the possibility to enter their studies early), I succeded in this as well, I already have completed the first regular semester without ever have seen the univerity.

Since 6 months I have a job as a programmer in the Fraunhofer Institute, which I took to have two afternoons in the week to do what I enjoy, working on programing on a high level (I started this very early in a school project and always kept interested). My father has continously raised the amount of time he wants me to learn in a week. Now he is at 30 hours/week, which is insanlely much. This means that I spend the ENTIRE weekends on learning, doing nothing else the whole day.

I have stopped arguing against him, but now I can't stand the pressure anymore. He threatens to throw me out of the house if I don't do what he says. I have already started my plans to move out at the day I get 18, but that is still almost a year away.

How can I make him clear that I rather have little bit less good grades, but living more strightened out, without him making me leave the house (I completely think he would do that)?


I have not been able to write down every detail, but if you have any questions please feel free to ask.

  • Do you want to leave your parents' house NOW? I don't know how it works in Germany, but I know that in the USA you can become an "emancipated minor" if you can show you've graduated high school and have sufficient income to support yourself. I don't know if this would actually be appropriate for you, but it would help to know what specific outcome you are looking for - and something along those lines could be an option you haven't considered. I'll just also comment that while your father sounds over zealous, cultivating real expertise by diligent study (cont)
    – MAA
    Commented Sep 11, 2017 at 2:48
  • Aimed at becoming the world's leading expert in SOMETHING is an excellent life-strategy. I often demand a similar schedule of myself (voluntarily) to the one your father has imposed on you - though I can't maintain 100 hour weeks for very long, so I tend to schedule higher and lower intensity cycles as it suits my energy and ambitions. BUT it's very important that this is something I've chosen for myself, and I would never demand something like that of my child unless he told me that that was what he wanted. (Cont)
    – MAA
    Commented Sep 11, 2017 at 2:54
  • The key is that it's not about grades - it's about learning. You should gauge the time needed for this by the learning, and not the time. Maybe some days you'll only need 45 minutes to grok what you need to, but other times you may need 8 hours. You shouldn't be making yourself work uselessly beyond what you need, and you shouldn't be cutting your study because the timer goes off if you still have more to do. In terms of dealing with your dad, if you feel like you can be responsible for your own decisions, all that remains is to change your situation so you no longer fear what your (cont)
    – MAA
    Commented Sep 11, 2017 at 3:00
  • Father could do to you in retaliation. If he kicked you out of the house, would that really be so bad? Why? Are you able to mitigate that by changing something about your circumstances? Ps-I'm sorry, I realize all of this is a bit too long for the comments section.
    – MAA
    Commented Sep 11, 2017 at 3:01
  • Thanks MAA for these really interesting suggestions.... never thought about it this way...
    – user29584
    Commented Sep 11, 2017 at 3:36

4 Answers 4


This is one messy situation, because you are still dependent on your parents financially. First approach: shouldn't the Frauenhofer Institut have some department for psychological counselling? That would definitely be a place to approach; at the very least, they can give you pointers to what places you can approach for aid.
If you are still enrolled at the university, they should have a department for psychological counselling as well, that's another place to seek out help.

Can you imagine moving out, given you have the financial means? Even if they throw you out, your parents still ARE required to support you financially until you have finished your "Erstausbildung"; in your case, most likely a university study at least until Bachelor, possibly until Masters degree. You may need to seek legal help for the Bachelor or Master question, but that's quiet a bit in the future anyway.
If you CAN imagine moving out, make a mental plan for yourself. If your father DOES throw you out, will he pay for at least a room in a shared flat and basic necessities? What income do you have already? If your father is unwilling to pay after throwing you out, where can you get legal support?
All this is just your backup plan. Have that backup-plan ready in your mind. It means that you have plans for the worst case scenario! This will give you leverage, AND the peace of mind to be able to approach your father.

Ok, now to the core of all this: get some quiet time with your father. And then, ask him what EXACTLY he expects of you, and why. He will most likely end up somewhere vague. "Success in life." "Have a good job." "Don't be threatened by unemployment". Listen to this. Then, asks questions. What is a "good job", what is "success in life"? Then, explain if this is your goal, too. If yes, explain how you can do it. If no, explain to him that this is not what you want! Tell him what you prefer, what YOUR aim is. If he thinks you want a 6-digit-a-year income, but you know you would prefer more free time, even if it means less money, tell him so. But keep taking him seriously. Stay understanding. If he STILL is stubborn... you may need to accept you will be moving out. You managed France. You certainly can manage Germany!

Good luck!


Welcome to parenting.

You are 17 years old. In a year you'll have your majority. You already have a job as a programmer at the Fraunhofer institut, which is known for it's quality work in computer science. You're also an excellent student and you play the guitar well enough to win various prices.

I think you're overestimating the power your father has over you. Clearly he has a problem, but you don't - in fact, he's made sure that you're about as well-prepared for whatever may happen as you could be. How exactly can he force you to do what he wants you to? You hold pretty much all the cards.

Why? Because if he's so intent on your success, it's highly unlikely that he'll just throw you out of his house and leave you stranded without support (apart from it being illegal - you're still a minor, and your parents must finance your Erstausbildung).

I agree with the other answers that suggest you find the time to talk to your father. Find out why he thinks it's so important for him that you study; maybe there's a sad story hidden there about his past life that explains it. Do think about worst-case scenarios. But go into that talk with the knowledge that even though he's holding all the money and he's older, he really can't force you to do what you don't want to do - you're too old for this, and the law is on your side if it things turn ugly.

Think about what you want to do with your life, and tell him. Try to listen to what he says - if your dream is to become famous as a rock guitarist or a youtuber, your father might have a few reasons worth listening to why this isn't going to fly - but defend your own goals.

He really can't keep you from living your own life, and if you make clear to him that you realize this, he might turn away from trying to make you do things you don't want to do, and instead focus on helping you reach your own goals.


You will ultimately have to answer this question yourself. How to communicate to your father that you are an individual and you have to live your own life? Only you know what you really want to do, and what really makes you happy.

I think most parents want their children to be able to avoid the problems they themselves have had. It may be that making a living was very difficult for your parents in the past and they just want you to have a life without all the true pain and suffering that comes from being poor and jobless. They obviously care about you...because if they did not care, then they would not do anything about your schooling, or push you in any way.

Do you understand why your father pushes you? Maybe he wants you to have respect from others, and the self-respect that comes from working hard and getting excellent results.

Maybe you can ask your father what his goals are for you, and why. Are your parents happy? Do they really know what it takes for you to be happy? Do you?

Parents are like teachers. They have more life experience and should teach you how to live. In the animal kingdom, parents teach their young to hunt, because they know that without food, the young will die. It is a good instinct, but it can be overdone.

A bicycle wheel will roll best if it has all the spokes in place. A well-rounded education, including social life, and physical exercise, and fun, will make a person able to achieve their best in life because it makes them more flexible, more able to function successfully in a variety of situations, not just in the world of learning. Learning is extremely important, but it should not be the only thing.

Try to understand your parents' viewpoint, but try to get them to see your side, too.

There is not one answer here, but any answer should involve all of you getting closer together, to help each other.


I know you say you believe your father would kick you out if you pushed back too much, but that seems (to me) that it would be really strange as children who are displaced from the family home are less likely to succeed than those in stable home situations. If he is so invested in your success it seems totally unreasonable that he would do something so damaging to your success.

Would your father at all be willing to read anything? There is plenty of research showing that pressuring kids too much is detrimental to success in all of it's measurements (happiness, mental health, academic performance long term). I completely believe this. My valedictorian of my graduating class was a lovely girl. She was raised by such strict parents I recall her telling me she had never been allowed to sleep over anywhere, never been to a school function even on evenings (like dances) and had a curfew of 8pm even when we were seniors. She overdosed her freshman year of college and passed away. I was stunned. I'd never known her to even swear, much less drink or do drugs. I had heard before that about some problems she was having, but I didn't believe it. She was such the "perfect" person, I just thought people like to make things up so it sounds juicy.

I would suspect that your father has some fear that is driving this. People who over control others, feel out of control somewhere and that feeling is scary if you cannot accept it. It might also intensify as you get older precisely because he recognizes that very soon he will have no actual control over you at all. I would not suggest you say that to him. People with control issues often aren't at all receptive to hearing so from the people they are attempting to control. I say that only to give a context to his drive in all this.

If you can get him to read, that would be what I would first attempt. You can tell him this pace in life is making you feel burned out and that you have no room to be who you are, to just breathe.

Here are some links you could try to get him to read that elaborate on possible downsides to placing too much pressure on your child academically and otherwise.

https://psychcentral.com/lib/the-paradox-of-pushing-kids-to-succeed/ This next one was done in the USA but on kids in Bavaria. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151117112652.htm

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