School Survival

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How to Deal with Parents Who Don't Get It

You’re sitting in your room, staring at the walls, feeling like you’re trapped in a box that’s getting smaller every day. Your parents just don’t get it. They don’t understand why school feels like a prison, why every day is a struggle just to get through. They throw around words like “responsibility” and “future” like they mean something, but all you hear is a bunch of noise. You’re not alone. So many of us are stuck in the same mess, trying to figure out how to deal with parents who just don’t get it.

First off, let’s get one thing straight: your feelings are valid. School isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, and it sure as hell isn’t working for you, otherwise you wouldn't be here reading this right now. The system is broken, designed to crush creativity and individuality, turning you into another cog in the machine. People like John Taylor Gatto and John Holt have been shouting this from the rooftops for years. School is supposed to be about learning, but instead, it’s about control and conformity.

So what do you do when your parents don’t understand? How do you deal with the constant pressure, the endless arguments, the feeling that nobody is listening?

  1. Educate Them: I know, it sounds exhausting, but sometimes the best way to get through to your parents is to arm yourself with facts. Show them articles, books, and videos from people like Gatto and Holt. Explain why the traditional school system doesn’t work for everyone and why alternative education might be a better fit for you. They might not get it right away, but planting that seed can start to shift their perspective.
  2. Express Yourself Clearly: It’s easy to get angry and frustrated, but try to stay calm and articulate when you’re talking to your parents. Tell them how school makes you feel—how it’s affecting your mental health, your motivation, your happiness. Be honest and raw. They need to see the real impact it’s having on you, not just the surface-level complaints.
  3. Find Allies: You’re not in this alone. There are communities out there—like School Survival—where you can find support and advice from people who are going through the same thing. Sometimes, just knowing you’re not alone can make a huge difference. Plus, these communities can offer practical tips on how to handle your parents and find alternative paths to education.
  4. Show Them Alternatives: Help your parents see that there are other ways to learn and succeed. Whether it’s homeschooling, unschooling, getting a GED, or starting college early, there are plenty of options that don’t involve the traditional school system. Show them success stories, highlight the flexibility and freedom these alternatives offer. Make them see that it’s not about dropping out, it’s about finding a path that works for you.
  5. Set Boundaries: It’s important to stand your ground. If your parents are not listening, you need to make it clear that this is your life and your future. Respect their concerns, but don’t let them bulldoze your feelings and choices. You should be allowed to pursue an education that makes sense for you, or at least one that does more good than harm.

It’s not going to be easy. There will be fights, tears, and moments when you feel like giving up. But remember, this is your life. You deserve to feel understood and valued. Keep pushing, keep fighting for what you believe in. And know that there’s a whole community out here that has your back. We get it, even if your parents don’t—yet.

Where to next? Pick one!

Posted in: Blog, Knowledgebase on May 17, 2024 @ 9:36 PM

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