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Should You Always Listen to Your Parents’ Advice?

Humans are programmed to need one another. We crave interaction, novelty, attention, and so much more. As we learn and grow, most of what we adopt comes from the interaction with our parents. It can prove to be the most formative relationship in a child’s life. However, are they always right? I know, it’s a hard thought and it feels like treason to even think of such an idea, but just entertain it for a moment. Typically, parents have a wealth of knowledge and life experience that is important for raising a child, and for the most part, this is very valuable to a kid. Also, for the most part, they want what’s best for you. However, sometimes parents can hold you back or pressure you to make a “safe” decision for a comfortable future instead of pushing you to take a risk. I understand that what I am offering here can be taken the wrong way, so let me be clear, I think parents are a good source of advice and support, but I urge you to remember that your parents aren’t infallible. 

I am lucky to say my parents and I have a great relationship and sometimes that makes it difficult to look at their advice critically. It’s not their fault that they can’t know the right answer in every life instance I happen to struggle upon. Sometimes I find myself frustrated with their advice because a lot of it only comes from a place of being at an older age. Just last week I was talking to my mom on the phone and we grappled with this same idea. I had been wrestling with some friend drama and pouring my heart out on the phone, her response: “don’t even worry about it, this is college drama and it will all blow over.” Is she wrong? No. Is that what I wanted and needed to hear? Also no. We both knew that in 20 years none of this would matter, but as I explained to her, I was still going through it. It isn’t fair that a parent can dismiss a child’s problems just because they have been through it already and are okay. 

As you grow up, you’re not always going to listen to or agree with your parent’s advice and you shouldn’t. It may be hard to hear, but they aren’t always right. The most important thing is disagreeing respectfully and making sure you keep open communication with them. In a way, parents should be swelling with pride when their child disagrees with them because it proves they have taught their kid to think critically and be passionate in their convictions. It can be easy to forget that your parents are human and that they make mistakes too, but I urge you to keep it in mind. They may have your best intentions at heart but that doesn’t change the fact that you are your own person who is going to make their own mistakes and learn from their own experiences. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice, but also don’t be afraid to question it. 

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Emma Keane

U Mass Amherst '23

Emma is a Senior this year at Umass Amherst. She is in her third semester of Her Campus and loves it. She is happy she made the decision to get back into reading and writing. In her free time, she likes to hang with friends, jam to Post Malone, and tan on the beach until sunset.
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