If you have difficulty in getting along with your parents, there may be many reasons for this. The main problem is letting you have your freedom while they seek to protect you. This can last from the teenage years into adulthood.
The key is not to think that they should change their behavior overnight. But many teens feel that their parents are not listening to them. The secret is to build trust, communication and respect. Let us see how you can put these into practice.
Communication is key
I can remember my older brother who was living at home in his early twenties. He was taciturn to say the least, but I think he could have been more communicative. My mother, who rarely slept well until he returned home after a long night on the tiles, asked what time he would be back, he replied ‘half past!’
If there had been more communication, my parents would have worried less and their relationship would have improved.
Expectations and acceptance
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde
Parents often have high expectations. I remember that my own relationship with my father was difficult, to say the least. I crashed his car and I was never any good at golf, his passion. So, I was pretty far down the scale in regards to his expectations for me. For my part, I expected more understanding and empathy so it was a difficult relationship.
In my early twenties, I decided to accept him for what he was and we started to get on fine. Maybe my father realized that I had other talents and I deserved more understanding. We never looked back.
We both decided to lower expectations and accept each other for what we were. Too often, teenagers expect their parents to change and there is not much give and take.
If you are a teenager/young adult trying to get along at home, there are certain principles which are the foundation for any loving and successful relationship. The only problem is that certain flashpoints tend to explode and ruin any chance of understanding and affection.
Ask yourself about the problems. Why cannot you get along? Is there a complete lack of understanding, communication and mutual respect? Making a list of the things that really make you mad can be helpful. It can help you to pinpoint where the problem areas are, such as:
- conflicts about curfews and other restrictions
- carelessness/insistence over chores
- insults, offensive language and lack of respect
- lack of communication on both sides
This helps you to start thinking about how to resolve these issues. You may decide to seek a compromise and you need to prepare your case carefully in advance. Realizing that you have to give and take is one of life’s lessons that you learn at this point. Hopefully, your parents are flexible enough to put this into practice too.
Show that you care
This is the greatest investment that you can make. You can show your care and affection in many ways:
- Don’t take privileges for granted.
- Take responsibility for keeping your room in order or caring for pets
- Show an interest in your parents’ work/problems/friends.
- Say ’thank you’ every now and again for meals/treats.
- Bond with them by doing things together, such as watching their favourite TV program or doing sports together.
- Don’t forget birthdays and anniversaries and give them presents.
- Call them or text them to let them know where you are or what you are doing.
“We never know the love of a parent till we become parents ourselves.”- Henry Ward Beecher
This is the greatest treasure trove of all. If you are honest and never manipulate or lie, then your parents begin to trust you because they know you are displaying reliability. If you can show that you are capable of making sensible decisions about the company you keep, your finances and your studies, then you will find that freedom to do what you want will be so much easier.
“One of the greatest titles in the world is parent, and one of the biggest blessings in the world is to have parents to call mom and dad.”– Jim DeMint
Let us know how you get on with your parents in the comments below. Was there a key turning point which helped you gain your freedom?
Featured photo credit: Trust/Sharon via flickr.com