We all probably have at least one dream that seems pretty crazy, like there’s no way we could achieve it, or that we’re crazy to assume that we can do it. I want to tell you to not give up on that crazy, out-of-this-world dream of yours. Because, who knows what might happen as you try to achieve that dream?! As I will be starting my last year of college come August, I have been thinking a lot about what I will want to do after I graduate. Where do I want to live, what do I want to do for a living, how do I want a typical day in my life to go? It’s stressful, guys.

It can be discouraging to have parents that don't support your dreams in college, but we're here to encourage you and give you some advice on where to go from here!

What do I want to do? Well, I’m not totally sure, but I would love to work for myself and have the flexibility to pursue multiple different things. As soothing as a routine can be, I would love a career where each day is a little bit different. That way, there’s no monotony to make me crave Fridays and groan over Mondays.

My parents? They’re a little less sure about me working for myself. I still love them, and they still love me, but they don’t really understand why I would want to be an online business owner or what I would do…especially when it comes to health insurance and retirement plans. Don’t get me wrong, those plans are great to have in place, but to me, they’re not worth taking a job which makes me unhappy.

So, what should you do if your parents aren’t supportive of your dreams? Read on, friends.

EDUCATE YOURSELF.

It’s important to learn all that you can about what your dream job, school, or life will entail. How much does it cost? How much can you make? What are the hours like? These questions and many more are good things to ask when considering a specific career or school choice. You want to learn all of this so that you can know, with as much certainty as you can, that this is the choice for you. That way you can…

EDUCATE YOUR PARENTS.

It might take a little bit of effort on your part to actually talk to your parents when you already know that they’re not exactly enthusiastic about your dreams, but it’s necessary. Tell your parents everything that you have learned about what it means to follow your dream. You can either sit down and have a talk all at once, write a letter, or even break it up into little chunks as you go about researching everything yourself.

When you go to talk to your parents, be sure to tell them everything. Not only will they appreciate how dedicated you are to this dream, they will also probably want to do some research themselves. If you leave out the bad stuff (you know, the lack of health insurance, or the location that you might have to live in to do your dream job), they will find that out. If you tell them upfront, you can defend yourself and tell them how you will get by.

Taking the health insurance example, research prices for health packages in your country or state (if you aren’t lucky enough to live in a country with universal health care, that is). See what the prices are, and determine how you will pay for that. If you don’t make a ton of money, you might qualify for some assistance. Check with your state or city.

MAKE A PLAN.

There can often be a lot of costs associated with pursuing your dreams. Write up a plan with a budget, all costs, how you will fill those costs, and what you plan to do if it doesn’t work out at first. Will you get a part time job? Work odd jobs? Think about this, and then report back to your parents. They will see you as even more serious about your dream.

ACCEPT THAT YOU CAN’T CHANGE PEOPLE.

If your parents are still weary about your dream, that’s okay. You have done a lot to try and convince them or lessen their worries, and it didn’t work. That doesn’t mean you should give up or look for something else. You might have to work a little harder if they are unwilling to financially support you, but if it is what you really want, it will be worth it.

DO WHAT YOU CAN TO PURSUE YOUR DREAMS.

Your dreams are important. You have probably invested a lot of time into working on your dream, whether that is practicing your instrument or writing. That time shouldn’t be wasted in order to please someone else. If you really want to do something else, that’s one thing. If you do something for your parents or friends, you won’t be as happy as if you did the thing that you want to do.

I hope you found these tips helpful. Your dreams are worth it, and you are worth it. Don’t try and change yourself to fit the mold of anyone else. If your dreams seem a little crazy or unrealistic, that’s okay!

What is your crazy dream and how did your parents react when you first told them about it?

Let me know in the comments or on Twitter at @HannahHaefele, and be sure to check out my blog at www.killerharmony.com!

48 thoughts on “What to Do When Your Parents Don’t Support Your Dreams

  1. I want to open up my own bakery and at times I feel my parents don’t support me or believe I can do it. This helped me believe in myself thanx!

    Like

  2. Thank you for this inspiring post! It is hard for kids especially to accept that they can’t change their parents and probably not their beliefs about what you want to do but in the end you have to do what you want to do, it’s your life and your learning experiences. I’m glad to see that it’s okay to pursue my dreams no matter who supports (or doesn’t) me!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I want to learn tarot reading
    But my parents seems it’s a waste of time,money and energy

    But ur article was useful it helped me to know I can deal with my parents and my dreams thank you

    Like

  4. Hii..
    Can you help me …?
    I am graduated and pursuing post graduation.
    Which is going to be completed soon too.
    I am topper of my university and i want to make my future in abroad.
    But my parents are not supporting me.
    And i m loosing my hopes and confidence.
    Can you suggest me something so i convince my parents …please.

    Like

  5. This is such a great topic. I’ve noticed that the advice people have given me over the years really didn’t have much to do with me at all. My parents told me to be an engineer because that’s the job they wanted. My professor told me that opening a private practice isn’t realistic because she gave up on hers. And the people who told me to go for it had successful businesses of their own. It’s helpful to hear people out, but ultimately we just have to do what feels right for us.

    Like

  6. I want to be an actress and have everything it takes to be one. Acting means the world to me but my parents aren’t very supportive at all. My mom says that im not allowed to do it at all because she thinks that I’m going to do drugs and that I “,have the intelligence for a different career,”. Then my dad just avoids the topic completely and says that I’m not going to make it and I’m not right to be an actor. I’m still in highschool, honor roll, class president, and very responsible. And according to my research, becoming an actor is easier the younger you start. What can I do? I want this so bad but I dont know how to get it.

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    1. Hey ! Prove it to them, show them that you can do it, create your own stories! Try to convince them as much as you could and I hope that your dream comes true!

      Like

  7. I am currently 16 and I want to be a full time youtuber and my parents are not supporting me,they think that I am over confident and that I’ll fail and ruin my life !!
    Plz help I need advice

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  8. HI! I’m a 17 year old boy. I want to be a MotoGP rider, I practice everyday by taking(SNEAKING OUT) my friends bike and keep my riding positions, riding style everything in place……BUT my parents don’t support me. My parents keep putting me down and never let me take my friends bike. I have tried everything in my power to make them understand how much I love riding. I have a struggle everyday. I have gotten into different vices like drinking, smoking etc. I am depressed. Can someone help me out? I would really appreciate that.
    Thank you!!!

    Like

  9. I wanted to be a ballerina like a real one when I was about 12 I started training by myself I had no trainer / tips completely nothing, no one supported me, they made fun of me and I gave up that time but now I came back to my dream still I don’t have a trainer or classes ( there are no stuff like this where I live ) YouTube is kind of helping me to achieve it but still I’m a beginner and when I read this article it made me more confident, I hope that my dream come true one day, although my parents still don’t care but it doesn’t matter anymore, I’m dreaming to move somewhere else in the future just to make it happen. Thanks a lot darling you’re amazing.

    Like

  10. my dream is to be a horse rider i have been begging them all my life but they don’t care. we can afford to get a horse and money is not the problem its my parents. my mom was a horse trainer and my dad doesnt even go on trail rides with me he can ride and likes horses but he doesnt want to ride with me. they let my brother enter shooting competitions and dont even let me get a lesson. I feel like my parents dont care about what i want to do even though it is all i ever wanted. any advice.

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  11. another thing is i wanted to be a dancer, they wouldnt let me. i wanted to be a gymnast, they wouldnt let me. Then i wanted to be a singer and that never happened either. they tell me these are all dangerous? yet my annoying brother gets to do whatever he wants (shooting competitions) so unfair. i am running out of time if i want to be a horse rider this is because i havent even had a lesson. my mom and dad both owned like 7 horses and i cant even get a lesson. I know its dangerous but isnt shooting and its my dream how do i get them to listen.

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    1. I can relate. stop beeing to nice, and start telling them how you feel. then say that no mater wat, you will be a rider and they can not stop you

      Like

  12. I am skier but I am always wanted to be snowboarder. I just feel it is more for me and i can associate my future with it. But my parents don’t support me. And they say that I don’t need snowboard and that i will be realy bad at it . But i know that thats not true, they laugh when I speak about snowboarding and my plans . Please help me.

    Like

  13. Wanna be a “news caster” but my parents don’t let me do what I want,,, they have bad image of media n itx people so they always take it easy n stubbornly refuse to support me which is really too depressing…. 😦 don’t know they do this everytime may be they r over pocessive or may be they r conservative it always put me in confusion….

    Like

  14. I’m about to complete mahh… Graduation in microbiology n itx hight time to switch to another field but they didn’t let me choose any media science at the time of admsion also now they r doing the same at times they become too liberal n supportive but at the same time they refuse me straight forwardly I have no job yet sometimes I think may be they r doing this all cause I depend on them n may be I’ll be able to change their thinking after becoming independent…

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  15. I used to live happily I’m not a boring kind of person but this attitude makes me feel so depressed n sad,,, the feeling of being stuck in a field of “no_interest” makes me feel more n more depressed every morning it feels like I can do many things else but I’m wasting my talent but at the same time I think this too that may be I’m dreaming something wrong may be im going totally out of the context …. :/ 😦

    Like

  16. To join armed forces is my crazy dream.
    When first time I said to my parents there response was no and no only.
    They didn’t want to listen anything.
    I tried my best but they doesn’t want to understand.
    By the time I came at point I should learn to be the guy every parents crave for.
    But I know I m killing my dream.
    My weakness – being emotional.
    Yes I m emotional fool.

    Like

  17. I’m in middle school, but I have the career I want set in stone. I want to be a Broadway actor. Before anyone berates me, yes, I know how hard it is and that not many people make it. But my dad has continuously told me that acting isn’t a real job. He also told me that I should be a lawyer or a doctor. I feel horrible because I know that he won’t support me if I pursue my dreams someday.
    I don’t know what to do.
    ps. My mom is the same.

    Like

  18. i have had trouble having my family believe in me. a few years ago i wrote a few novels, but never had them self-published yet. this year, i said “I WILL!” so i plan on doing that even if my father won’t accept it. he always tells me the bad sides to things. i can’t find a job, so this is my final resort. if things go well, i’ll shout to my family; “IN YOUR FACE!” Show them i can do things. but i still want my dad to accept me and be proud of me. GOD, please help me!

    Like

  19. I want to open my own online business. I’m still a high school teenager. But my parents don’t understand why I should be paying attention to a business which no one know’s if it will ever grow. But deep inside of me, there is a voice which is yelling at me that I can do it, and I will be great. Becuase I have this burning desire to become the person I want to BE, to DO what I want to do, and to HAVE what I want to have. My parents feel its a dumb belief I have and say to me that life is a struggle. But I believe , that when you do something that you love to do, then that life doesn’t seem to be a struggle to you, but a beautiful journey of success. I hope my dad could understand that. He just wants me to get a simple job and lead a simple life. Well, I hope he could understand my dreams….

    Like

  20. being an actress is my crazy dream
    i want to be an actress but my dad said acting is full of nonsense and it is not a real job, he wants me to become a lawyer but i will pursue on my dreams and inspire people to follow their dreams and i feel very sad that he doesn’t support me and i hope he would in the future
    this helps alot thanks

    Like

  21. Hello!
    I am a 13yrs 8months old girl.. I finally Decided to become a kpop idol..For that I am thinking to audition online..The only problem is that what if My parents won’t let me move to korea if I get selected..They may give me many reason for not letting me go to korea like “You are too young to move to another country or we can’t take u there becoz we have to look after ur siblings too or We can’t speak english (But I can..Because I know tht I will need to learn it in order to make my dream come true)” I am from a middle class family.. But This is not the problem because if i will be able to make it as a trainee in any kpop company.. The company would pay for my living and education and training..I know that When I will tell it about my parents.. They will simply refuse..They will even not get ready to listen me…Because I am Very good at studies They Want me to do a Goverment job(Almost every indian parents want their Children to do a government job) This makes me worried and think that should I Quit my Dream(I really don’t want to) And Do everything according to my parents (But I don’t want to regret for my dream in future.. I want to enjoy my dream life)..What Should I do..Should I audition or Quit because I know they aren’t going to support..I can’t Do anything without their help..I can work hard and do everything for my dream life But This will not work if my parents are not agreeing after all I am really young to move to another country and manage my education by my own..I am a beggar if my parents won’t provide me everything..This is not at all easy to persuade my Parents.. They are very different from other parents.. I know Letting me move to another country (korea) isn’t easy for them..But The company will take care of me..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you should give the audition because pursuing your dream is something you should always follow..
      No matter you go against them…
      this is because you have your own life they had theirs ;]

      Like

  22. So here’s my story…..i’ve been preparing for jee (if you’re an indian you do know it….and yeah its one of the toughest college entrance exams of the world) for almost 4 years…..but i always knew this is not what i want to do….i want to persue my carrier in some kind of anchoring job…a talk show host to be accurate, but i can accept other related jobs too….but as soon as i start to talk about my dreams and about the path i’ll take to achieve it, my parents completely ignore me moreover they are like” do what you are doing right now…. we’ll see what will happen afterwards….”one of the biggest problem is that i am a straight A student and in India if you can clear JEE advance its like you have a very bright future(you know the name fame money kind of) and so im really afraid if i clear it they are definitely not gonna let me change my streams…. I know whatever happens i’m gonna persue my dream carrier….its just i’m a verrry emotional girl….its kinda hard for me to go against them….but yes! I have regrets (too deep and painful) because i had to obey my parents….so this time i’m gonna fight with all i can,Work hard, Plan,and succeed……i know i can and i will …i definetely will!….wish me luck….and all the best to all of the dreamers!Lets shoe the world that we can and we will!

    Like

  23. hay I am from India
    I want to become an actress
    I am sure that my parents will never agree to it..
    so will leaving them be a good option? { i am not so much attached to them because they relly havent ever supported me and motivated me for anything }
    i am confident on my self and my skills but i am concerned about my career and my parents thoughts,…

    Like

  24. I want to go to ASFA, a boarding school for teens, but my parents don’t think I can do it. What they don’t know… I WILL WORK MY BUTT OFF TO GET THERE NO MATTER WHAT THEY SAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can make my own decisions in life and they don’t have a say.

    Like

  25. I want to get into the volleyball team for MCCS at my high school. My parents won’t buy me a ball for it, and show what they REALLY don’t care about what my dream or wish is. I guess I’ll just use my older brother’s really old soccer ball. I’m gonna train my a** off in my bedroom when they sleep, because, if/when I do get in the team, it’ll be such an AMAZING feeling. I will know that I accomplished my goal all by myself with absolutely no support from anyone, not even friends. BUT the thing is that this is all for next year (due to the global pandemic), so I have a lot of time i guess. That is, if the trials are next year too. m unsure of when the trails will be.

    Like

  26. I want to become an actress and my parents find it kinda sudden and weird. When I first told them, my dad kept laughing and my mom got disappointed. She said that acting is not fit for me, but I still believe that I can achieve my goals.

    Like

  27. I’m 24 of age my is a trader she always whats me to work for her all the time but I don’t feel comfortable working for her, I want to live an independent life start working for myself but non of my family members wants to accept me living home and working else where while my parents have business I’m really confused now weather to please them or go start a living for myself.

    Like

    1. When I was young, I was never quite sure of what I wanted to be. Especially in my early years of high school, which I regret dearly because I didn’t involve myself in extracurriculars or sports because I knew too little about what it takes to apply to college and I had very limited transportation.
      Now I am 17 years old with a dream career. I want to go into the STEM field, specifically engineering but I am not sure “what” engineer I would like to be. There was a short period when my parents actually supported my dreams but its over now. They desperately want me to work in the medical/health field and if I don’t, I would not have their support (financially and personally) for any other career. It’s completely heartbreaking and I gave up trying to convince them because they both are very single-minded and think that there is no better career.

      I eventually gave up and pretended to be happy when they allowed me to be a pharmacist which at least has something to do with science. Plus, it’s the only career in health that I can see myself doing or something similar. I was wrong, I’ve never felt so trapped and unlucky, mainly because my passion for engineering has not faded at all. Reading your article was helpful but by remembering that I have few friends who I don’t keep in touch with, reminded me of how alone I am.
      Please may you give me some advice, I would be so grateful.

      Like

      1. Hey Faustina, I do not know who you are, but I see you need help, so I’m here to help you ok? * please read the following and indulge in every single word* Don’t listen to them, don’t listen to your parents. it is your life, I know you love them but tell them they need to accept what you want to do. Here’s the thing “You only have one life, only one, don’t spend it being something you don’t want to be”. cause one day you are going to be laying on your death bed, and imagine around your deathbed are the ghosts of every CRAZY dream, every CRAZY idea that you NEVER used! you never acted on them! and they will say to you “we believed in you, you could have used us, you could have had your dream! but you never did.” and the feeling of regret you will get in that moment my friend, will be the worst pain you will ever experience. and take it from me, achieving that dream is gonna be hard, there will be times of no hope, but you will need to look at how far you have come, you need to look inside for that burning passion, and if you stay strong and true to yourself you will get your dream. there will be times when people tell you “have something to fall back on honey you need to fall back on some job” but no. cause if your going to call you’re going to fall forward. and those doubters? the ones who say “dude that’s impossible you can do that” you walk straight up to their face and you say “watch me” and that will be your motivation to go further. and one day you will be on that winning stage my friend, one day you will be on that stage, proud. cause you never gave up. you will have your dream in your hands. and all of those doubters, everyone who doubted you and said you couldn’t do it will see and you will tell them “well guys I did it no matter what you told me, i still did it” they will feel sorry for themselves, but if you are pure of heart, you can forgive them. you will inspire others to get their dreams even if their parents don’t approve of it. I very much hope this has inspired you to go now to your parents and tell them what you’re going to do with your life, if they aren’t happy with it that’s their issue, not yours. cause you aren’t doing anything wrong! you just want to live the life you want, not them. they already had the chance to achieve their dreams, maybe they did maybe they didn’t. but they need to let you do what you want. people were laughing at my dreams saying I couldn’t do it, and this wise person told me “They laugh cause they cant do it, they cant keep up, so all they “Can” do is laugh” so no matter what they say you need to go and get that dream, my friend. you can do it if you actually try. I know that you will do Remarkable things! “The Devil whispered in my ear: ‘You’re not strong enough to withstand the storm.’ I whispered back: ‘I am the storm.” – Adharanand Finn, The Rise of the Ultra Runners: A Journey to the Edge of Human Endurance
        *copy and paste this comment into somewhere you can keep forever, come back ad read it whenever you need to* NOW GO GET THAT DREAM EVERY SECOND countsss!!! GET OFF THE COUCH AND GO RIGHT NOW!!! CLOSE YOUR DEVICE, DONT WAIT NOT in a few minutes!!! not tomorrow!!! NOW!!!
        you can do it. I support you.
        – lyss

        Like

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