How to deal with a controlling parent

Written by ehow contributor
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While all children believe that their parents are too controlling, there is a line that, when crossed, indicates unhealthy behavior. Until adulthood, when you are out on your own, you must find a way to deal effectively with that overbearing control and not let it affect your choices. Single parents often feel less control than a married couple that can share responsibility. Adult children of the super controlling have other options available to deal with the domineering mother or father.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Recognize the problem as belonging to your domineering parent. It's a problem deeply rooted in his or her own background and personality.

  2. 2

    Depersonalize the issues as they arise. You are not causing the controlling behavior in the people who are supposed to care for you.

  3. 3

    Identify the behavior with the help of a therapist or through reading. Some helpful resources can be found at

  4. 4

    Talk to your parent calmly about your concerns. Enlist the help of the other parent if possible. People will respond to loving concern more easily than to yelling or arguing.

  5. 5

    Understand that some of the controlling behavior may be coming from fear. News of abductions and rampant crime send many people into such a state that they only feel safe if they are in control.

  6. 6

    Reassure your domineering parent that you are all right. Both single and married parents are often motivated by guilt because of long working hours. They feel the need to control your life more than if they were more relaxed about their own decisions.

  7. 7

    Leave when you can. As an adult, you can disengage from the controlling atmosphere more readily from a different address. You can more easily rebuff their interference with kindness. Refuse them permission to continue with their controlling actions.

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