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

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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

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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 November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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Simplify

I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

Absolutely.

And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

  • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
  • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
  • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

Be Mindful

You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

Reflect

As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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