How to get your par­ents to let you go

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - HT Education - - Front Page - Proy­ashi Barua

Un­der­stand them: Par­ents at times are against your de­ci­sions be­cause they think they have your best in­ter­ests at heart. So it is crit­i­cal to as­cer­tain what ex­actly it is that makes them ap­pre­hen­sive. For in­stance, if you want to go and study abroad, they could be con­cerned about safety is­sues or feel that you are too naïve to face life alone in a for­eign coun­try. Know­ing the ex­act rea­son can help you al­lay their fears and anx­i­eties and as­sure them that there is noth­ing to worry. On the con­trary, if you start adopt­ing a de­fen­sive ap­proach mat­ters only get worse Let them know that you are not alone: It al­ways helps to in­tro­duce your par­ents (via email if not in per­son) to other In­dian girls who are al­ready study­ing in the univer­sity or col­lege that you wish to study in. Hear­ing how th­ese girls are fac­ing and re­solv­ing ev­ery­day chal- lenges, ad­just­ing to a new en­vi­ron­ment and cul­ture and gain­ing from the course can con­vince your par­ents that the op­por­tu­nity will aid your over­all growth and devel­op­ment. In ad­di­tion, it al­ways helps if you have any rel­a­tives in the city or town where

your univer­sity is lo­cated It’s all about pas­sion: Fi­nally, it al­ways helps when you truly man­age to con­vince your par­ents that the course that you want to pur­sue abroad is crit­i­cal to your pas­sion/ goals. In other words you should be able to tell them why you want to pur­sue a par­tic­u­lar course and how it con­nects to the life that you en­vis­age for your­self in the coming years age. And this age is usu­ally any­where be­tween 23 and 27. I speak to many par­ents of young girls who come to me for ca­reer coun­selling. Many par­ents I have ob­served feel that dur­ing this age their daugh­ters should be un­der their close su­per­vi­sion so that they do not end up mak­ing wrong choices in terms of life part­ners. They are open to their daugh­ters pur­su­ing un­con­ven­tional cour­ses and ca­reers but want this to hap­pen while they stay in their home towns.”

“It is not just the fear of their daugh­ter get­ting stuck in a bad mar­riage that de­ters par­ents from send­ing them for stud­ies abroad,” says 26-year-old Sheetal Ram­s­ing­hani. “I am a skin spe­cial­ist and wanted to spe­cialise in cos­metic surgery from a US univer­sity. My par­ents, how­ever, were com­pletely against the idea of my liv­ing alone in the US. They felt that I would get into habits like drink­ing and fre­quent late nights – things that they strongly dis­ap­prove of. Plus, they were also con­cerned about safety is­sues,” says Ram­s­ing­hani.

Talk to us What do you think one should do to con­vince one’s par­ents?

So is all hope lost for girls like Madan and Ram­s­ing­hani? “Frankly, it is very un­fair when par­ents re­sist a daugh­ter’s de­ci­sion to go and study abroad. That’s also be­cause the same set of par­ents wel­come and en­cour­age their sons when they take a sim­i­lar de­ci­sion. In­ter­est­ingly, when it comes to choos­ing univer­si­ties and cour­ses abroad, girls are much more fo­cused than boys in terms of their re­search,” says Sarkar.

Things can change and are grad­u­ally and slowly chang­ing. There are some girls who have gone abroad to pur­sue their stud­ies and ca­reers af­ter con­vinc­ing their con­ser­va­tive fam­i­lies. “How­ever, in my ex­pe­ri­ence, I have seen that par­ents are usu­ally more ac­com­mo­dat­ing of such de­ci­sions if the course of study is in a con­ven­tional field such as medicine, en­gi­neer­ing, man­age­ment or law.

For cour­ses in de­sign, wildlife sci­ence, pho­tog­ra­phy and oth­ers, the re­sis­tance is usu­ally stiffer. Since th­ese fields do not trans­late to ready earn­ing av­enues, par­ents feel that the in­vest­ment of go­ing abroad is not jus­ti­fied in the first place. Hence se­cur­ing a schol­ar­ship really helps in such cases,” she elab­o­rates.


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