When it comes to having a relationship with your parents, it's nice to have a pretty open and solid one, where you feel safe expressing how you're feeling and sharing intimate details of your life. However, there should definitely be some boundaries, too, as they are your parents, so they're likely heavily invested in your life and wellbeing and have their own sets of opinions (which they'll sometimes offer even when not asked for or appreciated.) So, it's totally okay to keep a few things to yourself without involving your parents and their advice. But since everyone is different and family dynamics vary, use your best judgment when it comes to the following eight things, which, according to experts, are more than fine to not tell your parents.
I Want More!
Get our newsletter by tapping the button below.
By signing up, I agree to the Terms & to receive emails from POPSUGAR.
Keep what you do between the sheets your business. "Your parents do not need to know how, when, where, or with whom you've slept," said psychologist and life coach Ana Jovanovic to POPSUGAR. "No matter how liberal or curious they may be, you are still their child and these details are very intimate. If you feel hesitant or not sure, just imagine how awkward they may feel later when they're in the same room with your partner, or how awkward you would feel if they shared advice with you based on their sex life, she added.
You might think it's cute to reveal how you got away with tricking them when growing up, but if you got away with it, just let it be. "Even those lies that are old and seemingly benign can damage trust," Jovanovic said. "If you have managed to keep a secret to yourself up to this point, why share it now? Unless you find a very good reason for which you should confess, don't take the risk."
This one is just plain mean (and likely wrong). "Parenting is a challenging task and there's no prescription on how to best deal with it," Jovanovic explained. "Going back in time to point out all of those things your parents did wrong and making those mistakes the highlights of their parenthood may not be the most fruitful thing you can do for your relationship." Keep any generalizations like this to yourself and even try to shift your perspective.
Unless you're in danger, you don't really need to keep your parents up to date on your finances. "Parents can worry a lot about the way you manage your finances," she warned. "Sometimes such worry ends up doing more harm than good." Though their involvement, help, and support may sometimes be beneficial, your boundaries need to be asserted well enough that you can make financial decisions independently without having to justify them.
"You may feel like venting to your parents about all those small things that annoy you about your partner, and it may even help you calm down," Jovanovic continued. "However, after the venting is done, and you feel ready to work through relationship challenges with your partner, guess who will never forget the things you said? That's right: your parents."
Why? Because they care about you and want you to be happy with your partner. "They are not likely to see all of the good things, because you are unlikely to call them about the good stuff, and the bad stuff is far more memorable," she said.
Parents switch to panic mode instantly. "They'll show up at your door, alert your friends, and may even call the police to ensure that you're feeling sane enough not to do anything stupid," Jovanovic warned. "It can get really bad if you tell them your dark thoughts out of the blue and without any solid explanation that puts these feelings in perspective. If you're feeling the need to vent, talk to your closest friends; or, if these thoughts are more frequent, share with your therapist."
It's inevitable: parents give advice all the time because they have your best interest at heart. "They believe their way is the better way, but we might not agree and that's perfectly normal," said Adamaris Mendoza, LPC, MA, psychotherapist, relationship coach, and international speaker to POPSUGAR. "Telling them every time we didn't implement their advice won't make them feel useful and that's not what you want." In most cases, they will already know when you didn't heed their advice, so there's no point in rubbing it in.
Sleep in on Sunday until 2 p.m. from that nasty hangover? Order in Chinese takeout four times a week? You don't need to tell your parents. "You[r] parents are older and grew up in a different world or perhaps a different culture. The rules, possibilities, and opportunities were different," said Mendoza. We now have so much more freedom to live our lives the way we want to, but so many of the things we choose to indulge in are often not in agreement with our parents' ideals. "And even though that's fine, it might make your parents feel uncomfortable, frustrated, and even constantly worried for you. You know you're parents. Communicate to them what they can handle," she said.