How to get your parents to let you go
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.