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I'm 16. From India. Not yet a major. I've read & I admire Ayn Rand's works. I have difficulty dealing with my parents. Most of my ideas are in conflict with theirs which is not a problem. The problem arises the moment I'm denied freedom. For instance, I'm reading a book on philosophy. My dad notices, snatches the book from me & asks me to rather go for the mag "Competitive Success".

Such instances occur all the time. How do I deal with them in such situations? How should I negotiate?

asked Jan 28 '11 at 15:48

HarPea's gravatar image


edited Jan 28 '11 at 16:19

Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Greg Perkins ♦♦

If you're just looking for practical day-to-day advice then read in the bathroom. Get audiobooks and listen to via headphones.

(Jan 28 '11 at 19:29) snailskin snailskin's gravatar image

A possible few months solution (to help pass the time until you're older and leave home more permanently and have more freedom): try to get into a student foreign exchange program. You could live with a host family in the U.S., or some other country, for a few months. Host families are usually very flexible allowing guest students to explore the world of ideas that interest them.

(Feb 20 '11 at 07:28) Joe Egan Joe%20Egan's gravatar image

That sounds so frustrating. :(

What would happen if you asked for your book back? If you think you and he can discuss this problem and work out some kind of agreement, then do that. If you think he won't even hear of it, if you approach him and he refuses to discuss it, then you have a couple of options: defy him and deal with the consequences if you're caught, or wait until you move out and do what you please (when is the age of majority in India? It's 18 in the US.).

Even if he won't be reasonable, you can think of something calm and direct to say each time he does this, such as "I really wish you wouldn't take my book away." or "I'd like to read what I choose to read." Even if you don't get the book back, you can still make your point about how you feel or what you'd like to happen.

Honestly, I can't think of any other options for you. Maybe some of the other posters can offer other ideas.

I know that sometimes parents feel threatened when their children are attracted to ideas that are different from their own. My own parents were less than thrilled when I first read The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. I was 18 and still living with them. Then I went off to college and found an Objectivist group there. When I returned home for the holidays after my first semester at college, I talked to my younger brother and sister about Ayn Rand and her ideas and the things I was excited about. My mother was furious and forbade me from mentioning Ayn Rand or Objectivism to my siblings. Ayn Rand was "banned" from their house. For me, it made less of a difference because I was off at school (though still accepting financial help from them). I made sure that any time I mentioned Ayn Rand to my siblings that my mom wasn't around.

My parents felt threatened too, but eventually, we all grew up and moved out of their house and were able to do as we pleased. I know it might feel like a long time before you can experience that level of freedom, but one day you will be out on your own and can do as you please. When things get frustrating, try to remember that this won't last forever. I hope this helps a little.

answered Jan 28 '11 at 18:28

rationaljenn's gravatar image

rationaljenn ♦

edited Jan 28 '11 at 19:01

It sounds like your parents want you to be focused on your studies and career, and see everything else as an unnecessary distraction. If you think they might be willing to hear you out, you could try to find some common ground - explain why ideas and philosophy can contribute to your success and aren't necessarily a distraction, use a few entrepreneurial celebrities to make your point. I think Narayan Murthy would make a good example, not that he is an Objectivist at all but he might resonate with Indian parents.

You should plan on going to a university or college outside of the city you live in, being 18 won't help you very much if you still have to live at home. In the meantime, you could also try to find a few extra-curricular activities at school that could give you more time to yourself and to read. They help build a competitive resume, after all :).

answered Jan 30 '11 at 14:44

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mnarayan ♦

edited Jan 30 '11 at 14:45

You could point out to your dad that your philosophy book and the magazine are not mutually exclusive. You can read BOTH. It doesn't have to be one or the other.

answered Feb 01 '11 at 12:18

Roger%20Theriault's gravatar image

Roger Theriault ♦

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Asked: Jan 28 '11 at 15:48

Seen: 1,507 times

Last updated: Feb 20 '11 at 07:28