Oh, parents. You can’t live with them and you most likely would not be here without them. Whatever kind of relationship you have with yours, they’ve likely poked their way into your personal life at some point. It’s usually well intentioned, but it can feel so very overwhelming sometimes. When you were younger and depended on them for food, housing, and basically everything else, you sort of had to answer your parents’ questions. It was essentially the price you paid to have a home and someone to sign you up for school and take you to the dentist. But once you’re a grown-ass adult, that relationship changes — a lot. And when you’re over 25 years old, there are certain questions from your parents that you don’t have to answer anymore.
This is might blow your mind once you start doing it.
It really depends on how you get along with your parents. Some people consider their parents friends and enjoy sharing their lives with them. For others, it can take years of therapy to break bad habits with their parents. And a lot of us fall somewhere in between. But no matter where you fall on the Parent Scale, there are some questions that you really do not have to answer after you’re 25 years old.
1Any question about your whereabouts at any given time.
When they were responsible for you, you kind of owed it to your parents to check in, stick to their curfew, and not fib about where you were headed after school. But you don’t have to do that when you’re an adult. If you want to take a trip they might give you grief about (or super stress you with their own worries), you don’t have to tell them anything.
Same goes for explaining what you’ve been doing for the past week in detail. This doesn’t mean you’re up to no good or have to hide from them, but if there’s a reason you don’t feel like coming straight out with it, feel free to be vague.
2Any question about your mistakes.
You don’t have to snitch on yourself. When your mom hears the worry in your voice over the phone (HOW DO THEY DO THAT?), you don’t have tell her that you got fired from your job or had an awful Tinder date or spent $300 at Sephora instead of buying groceries. No one has to know, and you aren’t obligated to talk to your parents about things you’re working through.
3Any question about your successes.
It might seem like a weird thing to not do. Why shouldn’t you call your parental units every time you get a promotion or score a gig at an open mic club, and have them cheer you along? Eh, for some people, having to report back the “good” stuff can set up a weird dynamic, where you’re always looking for validation from them. At 25, you’re allowed to be your own person and start to get that validation from inside (or, ya know, social media, if we’re being real).
4Any question about your mental health.
Of course your parents want to know “how you’re doing.” But sometimes how you’re doing is a little more complicated than they make it sound. You don’t have tell them about your anxiety, depression, or anything else you’re dealing with. This is even true — and this is important — if they’re being kind enough to help you pay for treatment. There’s no obligation to talk to them about what’s going on if you don’t want to or if you know in your gut that it’s not going to help the situation.
5Any question about your love life.
“Are you seeing anyone?” is the question some single adults dread from their family. Why is our self-worth so tied up in our ability to keep a partner around? Luckily, even if you are in a relationship, you don’t have to answer any questions about it. It’s none of their bees wax.
6Your career choices.
Some parents pressure their kids into doing certain jobs. Some are totally content to let you make your own choices. Both situations can create special kinds of tension when it comes to talking about your job. Your parents aren’t special prosecutors, and you have no obligation to discuss your career situation with them.