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The basics
Malaysia: Before you leave - Must read

What to do when your parents don’t support your choice of course

Disagree on course picking

Our parents love us. But sometimes they don’t understand us as well as we would love them to. Especially when it comes to the area of education, things become slightly more sensitive and serious. This is because our parents will always want us to make the best decision when it comes to education because it determines our future. But what happens when your parents insist to have you study the course that they want, when it’s not the course you had in mind for yourself? Don’t panic. When the usual first response would be to get upset, why don’t you try out these steps and see if they help. After all, it’s best to keep calm and solve it wisely rather than getting upset and leave the issue unsettled.


Take a deep breath!

Count to 100, and you will be calmer than you were a couple of minutes ago. Very often, when we get a negative feedback (be it from anyone) our natural response would be to react negatively. But when you calm yourself down, you will find yourself being more rational and that is the first step to solving any problem! Never react when you’re angry or upset. Always stay calm and remind yourself that “it’s not the end of the world”.



Take a step back and try to understand where your parents are coming from. One thing’s for sure, your parents will never make a decision to harm you – almost everything is done out of love and “for your own good”, just that perhaps the way your parents express their love to you in a different manner.

Also, we ought to take into consideration that our parents and us are from a totally different generation/era altogether. What seems to be the best course to study may not be the best in our current day and age but they have yet to grasp this change. So, give your parents some time to sink their thoughts into understanding this generation’s market and interests.

Take time to understand yourself too. Why are you upset? What are you upset about? If you are able to answer these two questions, then you are ready for the next step.



Talk to your parents – face to face. Never do it over a text message or email – where miscommunication often happens because you tend to misunderstand the usage of words or assume the tone of their voice. When you meet face to face, you eliminate all those possibilities of miscommunication.

When you approach your parents, do it with a positive attitude, ready to listen and explain. Don’t talk as if you’re going for a war. There’s no need for too much self-defense, only self explanation.


    1.Ask questions

-          Ask them if they have any good reasons for choosing that particular course for you (or is it just purely based on general stereotype that one course is better than the other one)

-          Ask them why they disagreed with your choice of course

-          Ask them what are their concerns regarding your choice of course


    2.Your turn to speak

    Now that you’ve heard from your parents, it’s their turn to hear from you.

-          Tell them why you chose a particular course (it can be passion/interest, or because that particular course can lead to you climbing the career ladder of your dream…etc.)

-          Tell them your plans. Most of the time why parents take up the role as their children’s decision maker is because they are afraid their children won’t know what they are doing – in other words, they have no plans for their own future. If you can assure and convince them in this area, your parents will find it easier to trust you better to make your own decisions.  


If you are passionate about the course that you want to study, chances are – your parents will see it through the way you talk to them. Remember, though the choice of course may be important, it is not final. Always confront and approach your parents with a good and positive attitude, and never major on the minor. Every issue can be solved. 

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