The relationship between parents and children requires a delicate balance. Through the course of a lifetime, roles can change dramatically. This can sometimes be a source of stress for everyone involved. It is not uncommon for adult children to lose the connection to their parents as they grow up and are no longer dependent on them for all of their needs. However, every effort should be made to keep this relationship strong.
- Tell your parents what bothers you
Be honest with your parents, even when their actions drive you crazy. If you keep your negative feelings bottled up, they can quickly begin to cause feelings of resentment, which can be damaging to the relationship. Communicate your feelings gently and with respect.
- Be appreciative
Consider all your parents have done for you; all the ways that they have helped you, all the ways they have influenced how you think. You may find yourself feeling grateful for your parents and more willing to improve the relationship or compromise or be more forgiving when your parents annoy you.
- Share Mutual Interests
Chances are you share mutual interests with your parents. They are the ones who taught you about your hobbies and your favorite sports teams. Spend time with your parents reminiscing about old times when you shared those interests. Then, make time to create new memories by renewing your interest in these activities. Also, spend some time talking to your parents to discover if you have any new shared interests that you did not have when you were growing up.
- Give them some Independence
As we grow up and become adults, we require less nurturing from our parents. However, it can often be difficult to break those ties. Monitor your own behavior and make sure you do not depend on your parents to solve all of your problems. Although your parents will always be there for whatever you need, there are times when their own needs need to be a priority in their life. Even as our parent’s age and begin to need more assistance, it is important to refrain from treating them like children and allowing them the independence to complete daily tasks on their own.
- Eat meals together
Eating together as a family can often lead to great conversation and bonding time with your child. Encourage everyone to put their phones or other devices away and simply enjoy each other’s company. Mealtime is also a great opportunity for you to teach your children the importance of a healthy and balanced diet, which also affects their overall mental health.
- Keep your sense of Humour
As an adult child of your parents, it is easy to become frustrated when you deal with aging parents. Keeping your sense of humor can relieve the stress for you and them. Try to find the humor in everyday actions as well as more uncommon issues that crop up. Have an arsenal of jokes at the ready so you can tell one whenever a situation needs a little levity.
- Take their Perspective
Accept that your parents are different. They grew up in a different generation with different social norms and rules of conduct, with different technologies and ways of thinking, with parents who treated them in certain ways that were probably much different that the ways of parenting today. Think about the ways that their lives may have been different from your life, and how these different histories may be contributing to issues in the relationship. Try using this information when you talk about improving your relationship with them. Remind them that times change and ask them to think about their relationship with their own parents. See if they can recall any issues in their relationship with their parents that were due to these ‘generational’ differences.
- Think of them as other adults, not parents
If you continue to see them as your parents, you may unthinkingly behave in a way that is child-like and promotes a relationship dynamic that you are trying to improve. If you continue to expect them to support you financially, you may be leaving the door open for your parents to give you too much-unwanted advice or guilt you into spending time with them.
- Be honest and honest
One way to improve your relationship dynamic is to be more willing to talk to your parents about things that you may feel are uncomfortable. This will help to build trust in your relationship with your parents, which will improve your relationship with them. Keep in regular contact so your parents can get a better perspective on your life, what upsets you, and what makes you happy. If they do not know you that well, it will be difficult for them to try to improve the relationship. If you listen to your parents they will be more likely to listen to you, opening the door for you to try discussing improving the relationship.
- Be positive
Smile at your parents. Stay positive and warm. Let them know with your body language that you are happy to see them and that you care about their well-being. This will set the tone for your communication and will help to improve the relationship. Without thinking, your parents may even mimic your positive emotions. This emotional mimicry will aid in setting a mood that will foster positive relationship change.