If your parents regularly say these 10 things, they probably don’t approve of what you’re doing in life

Ever get the feeling your folks don’t totally get your life choices?

It can be really confusing, right?

Parents aren’t always clear about their feelings.

They’ve got this way of dropping hints instead of coming right out with it.

But hey, don’t sweat it! We’re here to help you figure it out.

We’ve got a list of 10 things parents often say when they don’t really understand what you’re up to.

Remember, this isn’t about blaming parents – they’re usually just looking out for us.

Understanding where they’re coming from can help keep the peace.

So, let’s roll up our sleeves and crack these cryptic comments wide open!

1) “Are you sure this is what you want to do?”

This question might seem innocent enough. After all, they’re just asking, right?

But there’s often more to it than meets the eye.

When your parents ask you this, they might be hinting that they’re not 100% on board with your choice.

They could be worried about the risks or have different expectations for you.

But remember, it’s your life and ultimately, you need to make the choices that feel right for you.

Be open with them about your decisions and reassure them where you can.

They just want what’s best for you!

2) “[Insert name] just got promoted”

Others achievements popping up at dinner? Yeah, it stings.

These moments often feel like passive-aggressive comparisons.

It’s easy to spiral into self-doubt, but remember: everyone’s path is unique.

Maybe your folks see unrealized potential, or maybe they just want you “settled.”

Whatever the reason, those comments aren’t helpful.

Your goals and dreams are yours to define, not theirs.

So, smile, nod, and embrace your journey, stumbles and all. 

Be confident walking your own path and who knows, maybe someday you’ll be the inspiring story at the table.

3) “Back in our day…”

We often hear this from our parents, usually with stories about how life was in their time.

I remember when I decided to take a gap year after college.

My mom would say, “Back in our day, we couldn’t afford to take time off.”

She wasn’t too thrilled with my decision.

But let’s face it, times have changed, and our challenges and opportunities are way different from theirs.

We should appreciate their experiences, but they don’t have to determine what’s best for us now.

4) “Are you sure that’s a good idea?”

Parents love to say this as a way to avoid confrontation while expressing their disapproval.

You’ll notice this subtle confrontational avoidance to be a reoccurring theme throughout.

The subtle questioning of your choices might make you second-guess yourself, but remember, you’re the one in the driver’s seat of your life.

It’s okay to do what you think works best for yourself, they will understand eventually.

5) “We just want you to be happy”

We just want you to be happy If your parents regularly say these 10 things, they probably don’t approve of what you’re doing in life

While on the surface, it may seem like an expression of unconditional love and support, in certain contexts, it could signal their disapproval of our choices.

When parents repeatedly utter this phrase, it might suggest a subtle push toward a different path they deem more suitable.

It’s crucial to have open conversations with our parents, understanding that their concern for our happiness can sometimes cloud their acceptance of our chosen pursuits.

6) “Don’t you think it’s time to settle down?”

Ah, the classic! This age-old question can carry various meanings depending on where you’re at.

It might be a subtle nudge towards marriage, homeownership, or a ‘conventional’ career.

I’ve been down this road myself.

After years of freelancing as a writer, my parents frequently dropped this on me.

It was their way of expressing a desire for me to opt for a more stable profession.

The reality is, ‘settling down’ doesn’t come in a one-size-fits-all package!

It’s a unique journey for everyone.

As long as you’re responsible and content with your chosen lifestyle, there’s no rush to conform to the traditional notions of ‘settling down.’

7) “You’re always busy”

The “busy bee” comment can sting a bit! It’s like they’re saying you’ve forgotten about them.

Maybe they miss the old days, or worry you’re burning the candle at both ends.

But hey, their concern could be rooted in love.

They see you hustling, building your future, and it scares them a little.

Are you neglecting yourself, your relationships, that much-needed nap?

It’s a balancing act. Juggling careers, passions, and family is tough.

But their comment is a reminder to slow down, check in.

Quality time matters. Share your journey, your wins and woes.

Let them know they’re part of your story, even when it’s busy.

“Busy” doesn’t have to be negative.

It’s a reminder to pause, reconnect, and show them they’re never far from your heart.

Next time, try, “Actually, I know I have been busy building but always know you’re a big part of it!”

8) “What will people say?”

This phrase is all too common. Especially if your parents are concerned with societal norms and expectations.

In this situations it’s almost always about how your choices affect them and not you.

However, the thing is, we have a tendency to overestimate just how much other people notice about us.

After all, you’re living your life for yourself, not for the ‘people’ your parents are worried about.

Making this clear to them can help alleviate their concerns.

9) “You could do so much better”

Sometimes it feels like no matter what you do, it’s just not good enough.

I’ve heard this one before from mine with my career choice as a writer too.

It felt like they didn’t value my work or see the potential in it.

It was tough, but I realized they were only voicing their fears and insecurities for my future.

The key is not to take it personally.

Instead, understand that they’re coming from a place of love and concern.

Reassure them about your passion and commitment towards your path, and with time, they might start seeing things from your perspective.

10) “We didn’t raise you to be like this”

This one can feel like a punch in the gut.

It’s as if they’re saying that you’ve disappointed them, that you’ve strayed from the path they wanted you to go down.

Maybe you’ve chosen a different lifestyle or career than what they expected.

And it’s hard for them to accept.

But here’s the raw truth: You are your own person.

You have the right to make your own choices, even if they don’t align with your parents’ expectations.

Final thoughts: It’s about understanding

At the heart of these phrases and their subtle implications, lies a bridge between two generations, two different perspectives.

Your parents, with their experiences and wisdom, might have a different vision of what’s best for you.

And it’s natural for them to worry, to hope, and sometimes to disapprove.

But remember, this works both ways, in order for you to understand them they also need to understand you.

Their disappointments often stem from their own fears and insecurities.

It’s not a reflection of who you are.

You’re not failing them by choosing your own path.

It might take some time, but with open conversations and understanding, they can learn to accept and respect your choices.

After all, parents just want what’s best for us, right? 

Picture of Isabella Chase

Isabella Chase

Isabella Chase, a New York City native, writes about the complexities of modern life and relationships. Her articles draw from her experiences navigating the vibrant and diverse social landscape of the city. Isabella’s insights are about finding harmony in the chaos and building strong, authentic connections in a fast-paced world.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.