Your parents don’t always know what is best

Our parents will always have influence over our lives, but they aren’t always right.

Our parents always advise us while we are growing up, but that doesn’t mean they are right. The truth is they don’t always know what is best for us.

Parents are people, and like all people, they are flawed; they make mistakes and sometimes get people wrong.

But that doesn’t mean we should ignore our parents; instead, listen to their advice and make your own decisions.

Our parents love us and want what is best.

For the most part, our parents want what is best for us, so when they give advice, they believe it will lead to the best outcome for us. That said, not all parents have good intentions, but for the sake of this article, let’s assume that is the case.

When we have a hair-brained new idea, our parents might be quick to judge and direct us towards something else. When I was in university, I wanted to drop out and attend art school; my dad told me that was a terrible idea.

Sometimes our parents have a better sense of the long view.

When we are young, we might want to make significant changes quickly, but that isn’t always in our best interest; often, we can’t see it. This is where parents might be a little more coolheaded than us.

Our parents want us to have the best possible future, so when they give advice, that is what they have at the top of their minds. The problem is that parents are just like us; they don’t know all the factors.

Parents don’t always know our true intentions.

Sometimes we can’t tell our parents why we are doing what we are doing. Often we let them decide on their own why we are doing what we are doing.

Because our parents can only see what we show them or what they think they know, they might make suggestions without realizing there is a good reason for us to act differently.

Our parents only know what we tell them.

Adding to this complexity, we are more likely to tell our friends our true intentions, so they would often be better equipped to help us make crucial decisions.

To make the best decision, someone needs access to all the information. And our parents often don’t know what is going on.

Parents have ideals about who we should be.

Even if our parents don’t tell us, they probably have some hopes and dreams for us. They also hope we will have a better life than they did, so they try to direct us in the right direction.

The first problem is that our parents don’t know what we want; they only know what they want and what we have told them. The second problem is that parents will see things with rose colour glasses, meaning they might see things more positively than they are.

Even if our parents say something is for us, it might be for them.

People are people, so parents, like everyone else, have a reputation to keep up, and while this might be a more potent factor in different cultures, it is always a part of the picture.

Would your parents be proud to say you were a homeless drug addict? What about a doctor or lawyer? I’m not saying this is their only motivation, but it does play a role.

Our parents come from the past.

A massive problem with our parents’ advice is that they came from a different time, sure some things have stayed the same, but lots of things have changed.

It used to be a thing to hand out your resume; now, if you don’t submit it online, there is no way for it to be sorted by the algorithm. While this is one small example, many such changes have transformed how the world works.

Our parent’s advice comes from the past when things were different.

When I was younger, my dad told me how he became a police officer and bought his first house. He did that in his early twenties; that wasn’t possible for me till my late thirties.

Our parents are not purely wrong; they are just using old information upon which they make their suggestions.

Are your parents as reasonable as you are?

I’ve always been addicted to information; I’ve spent thousands of hours searching the internet and reading all kinds of things

I was the first person in my family to attend university, where I studied science, which inevitably taught me critical thinking skills.

On the other hand, my mom is an avid TV watcher with a high school education. I don’t mean to put her down with this; she has had a life filled with experiences, paid her mortgage and retired.

Millennials are the most educated generation, so we must know something our parents don’t.

With social media, there has never been more pressure to do things for attention. If you spend time on the internet, you will quickly discover how stupid some young people appear to be these days. But that doesn’t mean these people aren’t intelligent; they have different motivations.

Are your parents as smart as you? They might have more experience, but they don’t understand reality the same way as you.

Haven’t they made mistakes too?

Everyone makes mistakes, even our parents, so it is our right to make some mistakes ourselves. Even if your parents know what is best, they might not know what is right; after all, they did bad things when they were your age too.

Older people have learnt from their mistakes, so they certainly have some valuable information to pass on to us. But at the same time, things are different, so maybe we need to make those mistakes too so we can learn from them.

Our parents made mistakes at our age, but we need to learn from our own.

Making mistakes and learning from our mistakes might be as important as making better decisions in the first place. You could probably live a better, or at least safer, life if you always listened to your parents, but wouldn’t it be as funner if you didn’t?

Being wrong is part of life; if we always listen to other people’s advice, we will never get the chance to develop and build our decision-making skills.

No one knows all the answers.

In the grand scheme of things, no one knows the right choice; some people might have differing opinions, but no one knows for sure.

Your parents might have had more life experiences than you, or they might have gone through the same things, but that doesn’t mean they are right now.

Things are constantly changing; what was correct yesterday may no longer be right today.

Even if your parents have answers, in most cases, they might be just as right as you would be making the decision.

As we dig deeper into the post-truth reality we find ourselves in, it becomes harder and harder to know the answers to our questions.

Rather than relying on someone else to tell us what is right, we must make that decision ourselves.

Ultimately the weight of our decisions is on our shoulders.

Regardless of what choice you need to make, ultimately, it is you who will have to live with the consequences. Regardless of what your parents say, you are the one who will have to deal with what happens next.

With anything in our lives, we have to deal with it; sure, when we are younger, our parents can help us out, but at some point, it becomes our problem. And so, we can’t blame our parents or anything else when things don’t work out as planned.

What you do is up to you, but even if you let your parents decide, you will live with the consequences.

No one ever knows what is best, and when our parents offer us advice, they suggest what they think is best, but often their guess is as good as yours.

How you live your life is up to you.

Do your parents try to give you advice all the time? Do you listen to them and take what they say seriously, or do you automatically do the opposite? What advice would you give to someone having trouble deciding with their parents constantly pushing them one way or another?

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Robert Carr

Over the years, I've learnt to see things in a different light. This website is my place to share those insights and give my unique perspective on living a meaningful life.

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