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Getting Along With Your Parents Is Easy If You Follow These Steps

Getting Along With Your Parents Is Easy If You Follow These Steps

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!’

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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.

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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.

Identify flashpoints

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.

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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:

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  • 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

Build trust

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

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on September 15, 2020

4 Ways to Deal With Big Life Changes in a Positive Way

4 Ways to Deal With Big Life Changes in a Positive Way

Life changes are constant. Whether it’s in the workplace or our relationships, nothing in life ever remains the same for long.

Regardless of the gravity of change, it can always be a little scary. So scary, in fact, that some people are downright crippled by the idea of it, causing them to remain stagnant through anxiety.

Have you ever noticed how much of life’s transitional periods are riddled with anxious vibes? The quarter life crisis, the mid-life crisis, cold feet before getting married, retirement anxiety, and teenage angst are just a few examples of transitional periods when people tend to panic.

We can’t control every aspect of our lives, and we can’t stop change from happening. However, how we respond to change will greatly affect our overall life experience.

Here are 4 ways you can approach life changes in a positive way.

1. Don’t Fight It

I once heard one of my favorite yoga instructors say “Suffering is what occurs when we resist what is already happening.” The lesson has stuck with me ever since.

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Life changes are usually out of our control. Rather than trying to manipulate the situation and wishing things were different, try flowing with it instead.

Of course, some initial resistance is natural if we’re going into survival mode. Just make sure you are conscious of when this resistance is no longer serving you.

If you’re feeling anxious about impending life changes, it’s time to practice some techniques to address the anxiety directly. These can include meditation, exercise, talking with friends about how you’re feeling, or journaling.

If you’re worried about a big life change, such as starting a new job[1] or moving in with your partner, do your best to control your expectations. It may help you to talk with people you know about their experiences going through similar changes. This will help you form a realistic picture in your mind of what things will look like post-change.

2. Find Healthy Ways to Deal With Feelings

Whenever we’re in transitional periods, it can be easy to lose track of ourselves. Sometimes we feel like we’re being tossed about by life and like we’ve lost our footing, causing some very uncomfortable feelings to arise.

One way we can channel these feelings is by finding healthy ways to release them. For instance, whenever I find myself in a difficult transitional phase, I end up in a mixed martial arts studio.

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The physical activity helps me channel my emotions and release endorphins. It also helps me get in shape, which generally increases my mood and energy levels.

Exercise is important in cultivating positive emotions, but if you’re struggling with anxiety in particular, it’s important to cultivate a regular exercise routine as opposed to a one-off workout. One study found that “Aerobic exercise can promote increase in anxiety acutely and regular aerobic exercise promotes reduction in anxiety levels”[2].

If exercise isn’t your thing, there are other, less intense ways of cultivating positive emotions and reducing anxiety around life changes. You can try stretching, meditating, reading in nature, spending time with family and friends, or cooking a healthy meal.

Find what makes you feel good and helps you ground yourself in the present moment.

3. Reframe Your Perspective

Reframing perspectives is a very powerful tool used in life coaching. It helps clients take a situation they are struggling with, such as a major life change, and find some sort of empowerment in it.

Some examples of disempowered thinking during life changes include casting blame, focusing on negative details, or victimizing[3]. These perspectives can make awkward transitional phases much worse than they have to be.

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Meanwhile, if we utilize a more positive perspective, such as finding a lesson in the situation, realizing that there may be an opportunity for something, or that everything passes, we can come from a greater place of ease.

4. Find Time for Self-Reflection

Having time to reflect is important at any stage in your life, but it’s especially important during transitional periods. It’s quite simple really: we need our time to step back and get centered when things get a little crazy.

As a result, big life changes are perfect for doing some self-reflection. They are opportunities to check in with ourselves and practice getting grounded for a few minutes.

Take a look at this reflective cycle adapted from Glibb’s Self-reflection guide (1988):[4]

Use self-reflection when facing life changes.

    Self-reflective exercises include meditating, yoga or journaling,[5] all of which require some quiet time to get yourself together.

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    One study found that journal improves “self-efficacy, locus of control, and learning”[6]. A healthy sense of self-control can make the process of change easier to bear, so that in itself is a great reason to try self-reflection through journaling.

    To learn how to start journaling, you can check out this article.

    Final Thoughts

    Big life changes may rock us for a little while, but they don’t have to be as bad as we initially perceive them. If handled in a positive manner, transitional periods can pave the way for some serious self-growth, reflection, and awareness.

    Cultivate a sense of positivity and find ways to diminish the anxiety around life changes. Once you make it to the other side, you’ll be grateful that you made it through in the best way possible.

    More Tips on Facing Life Changes

    Featured photo credit: Alora Griffiths via unsplash.com

    Reference

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