As an independent, unique nontraditional girl, you likely have hopes, dreams, and aspirations about what you want to do in your future. As a nongirly girl, you might have career interests, passions you want to pursue, or educational goals that may seem ambitious or nontraditional to others. These dreams are important to you. However, your parents may have different goals in mind for you or not agree with your dreams. What can you do to get them on board as you follow your dreams?
Have a Conversation
Talk to your parents. Explain why you have these dreams and why they are important to you. Building a strong relationship with your parents is the first thing that will increase the likelihood that they will support your dreams. Regularly talking to your parents about most things going on in your life–your hopes, your fears, what is going well, what you need more support with–will help you build a better relationship with them, which will help them understand you as a unique person.
Mother-daughter relationships are particularly important, as mothers can share the wisdom they have learned. However, not all daughters and mothers are on good terms, and that isn’t your fault. Find other family members who want what is best for you while you chase your dreams.
To Follow Your Dreams, You Must Make a Plan
If you talk about your dreams but don’t have much action behind the talk, your parents may not believe that you are really invested in making your dreams come true. Write out a plan of action to show your parents that you have researched how to make this dream come true–and that you know what steps you need to take to get there. For example, if you want to become a doctor, make sure you know every step along the way so you can share the plan with your parents. This could include steps like “graduating high school with a 3.5 GPA,” “getting into a good college,” “studying hard to get into medical school,” and other specific steps. Creating a plan of action will show your parents that you are serious about achieving your dreams, which will further convince them to get on board with you.
Don’t Forget to Talk to an Expert!
It may be helpful to learn more about your goals and dreams by talking to an expert. In turn, provide that information to your parents to help ease their minds. Parents can be hesitant to support their child’s dream if they don’t know anything about that dream. You can help your parents learn more (and learn more yourself) by talking to an expert who has achieved your goal. For example, if you want to become a chef, go to a local restaurant and ask to speak to the head chef about their experiences and their career trajectory. If you can find a person like you, a nontraditional girl, you can understand their path even more. Share that information with your parents to help them understand the reality behind your dreams.
When You Follow Your Dreams, Remember to Stay Confident
In life, people will doubt you. In this case, it may be your parents! But stay confident in your dreams and your persistence will show that you are serious about reaching these dreams. While you are spending the time getting your parents on board with your dreams, connect with someone who can support you, such as a sibling or a good friend or another nongirly girl who may have experienced this. Listen to the advice of others, but stay true to yourself and to your goals. Your dreams may be nontraditional, but they will happen. Believe in yourself, and eventually your parents will believe in you, too!
It can be hard to get your parents to understand you and your dreams, but it is possible to get them on board. Spend time building your relationship with your parents, explain to them why your dreams are important, learn how someone reached the same goals you have, educate your parents about how you are going to reach your dreams, show them your action plan, and believe in yourself! If you want inspiration of nongirly women who have reached their dreams, read our Nongirly News or visit our Instagram page. Ask your parents to gift you something nontraditional that will show them your passions and make you feel more confident. With time and effort, you will be able to get your parents on board with your dreams.