My dad doesn’t let me socialise; can you give me some advice?
my dad never lets me go out with my friends or to their houses at all even for projects or birthday parties or if its a hang out in town, im 17 now turning 18 next year and i can’t believe him no matter how much i tell him im growing and i need to socialise he tells me im making excuses and i need to stay at home he never lets me go anywhere and i feel so left out when my friends talk about how much fun they had and everyone makes fun of me for never leaving the house ive became so anti social and find it so hard to talk to people now
Hi there, and welcome to Ask Ale.,
We’re glad you were able to contact us and ask your question today as it’s important for you to feel that you can reach out for help and support when you need it.
From what you’ve said, it sounds like things have been tough for you as you say that your dad never lets you out to socialise with your peers and this has led you to feel that you’re missing ou,t and that it is more difficult for you to talk to people. It’s understandable that you’re upset about this as it sounds like you feel you’re being treated unfairly compared to others your age who can go out and do things that you feel you should be allowed to do too. It must be really tough if you feel that this is something people can and do use to make fun of you. Remember, no one has the right to make you feel “less than”.
It sounds like this might be an issue that needs calm communication in order for both sides to express their points of view to see if there is any room for compromise. Having a conversation with your dad or with another trusted adult in your life might help to bring some clarity to the issue or give you the chance to talk through any ideas or solutions you feel you may have. Bearing this in mind, what would it be like for you to talk to your dad about how this situation is impacting on you? Perhaps this is an issue of trust and if so, it may be helpful to ask your dad for ways in which you can show him that you are indeed trustworthy. On the other hand, he may be worried about your safety, it might be worthwhile to inform about the ways that you and your friends keep safe when out and about – stay together as a group, always have a charged mobile phone on you etc.
It’s important to avoid blame when having a difficult discussion so it can be helpful to use “I” statements – try beginning your sentences with the words “I feel”. By doing so, you’re focusing on your own feelings and emotions rather than passing judgment about the situation and/or your dad. It’s helpful when having this conversation with your dad to pick a timeframe where you both have the time to have the talk, without distractions, so just before bedtime or if he’s about to leave for work probably won’t yield the best results.
Maintaining a connection with peers and feeling like we are capable of interacting socially is an important aspect of life for young people; is there anything else you could try during school time that might help you to feel more included? Maybe exploring options around school-based extra-curricular activities and discussing these with your Dad could be an option to consider.
It’s important to remember that you’re never alone, as there is support there 24 hours a day and 7 days a week from Childline anytime you need to talk. You can contact through our freephone service by calling 1800 66 66 66 or by web chat that you access through the website www.childline.ie.