Imagine you walk into the house way past your curfew time, all mentally prepared for a lecture by either or both of your parents. You see it’s completely dark and there is no one there to welcome you, either to scold or to ask how your day went. Yes they annoy you with their insecurities and paranoia, but you love them, and you are too used to them being around. They are too precious to lose, yet your relationship with your parents is awry.
The deteriorating relationship between your parents and yourself should bother you, and you do not even know when this began or what the root cause is. Maybe because there isn’t just one reason. It can be your lack of attention to each other, both going through different changes in life. You might be starting a career, they might be retiring. There can be health issues or just the mere fact that as you are growing up, they are also growing older. Whatever the reason, the best part is that it can always be mended. They are your parents after all, who gave birth to you, gave up on their peace and sleep for you and brought you up in the best way they could manage. So, if your relationship is going downhill, it is your utmost duty to bring it back up again.
What You Should Do
The key is to begin now! Do not wait for tomorrow, or vacations, when you are done submitting your assignment or back from work.
It is a universal rule, ‘give respect, and take respect.’ It’s as simple as that. Always remember they are older than you, much experienced and they know what the world is about. Respect their experience, age and the love they have for you. Respect the fact that they always think in your best interest and intend no harm.
Do not think of it as a task or challenge. You do not have to build a new relationship. The foundation is already there, the love and memories you have. You need to start living them again. Casually discuss your childhood with your parents, remind them how you spent time together, or how they helped you with your grade 5 assignment. Recollect when your father bought you your first bike or when your mother used to cook your favorite meals for you. Realize that it is not only them who needs a reminiscence, but you do too. Search for positive memories and the time you enjoyed together to rekindle the lost relationship.
#3: Communicate like adults
You may be tired of the fact that they still treat you like a teenager when you have a child of your own. Act like an adult around them. Before you discuss any matter at hand with them, first think of how you will handle the matter if it was your friend or acquaintance in the same situation and then act accordingly.
#4: Effective communication
If you really want your parents to start treating you like an adult, then get beyond talking about your childhood and past. Talk about current affairs, politics, your country, new fashion, songs or sports. You might not agree about everything so, keep your opinions discreet. Do not act judgmental about their choice, respect them for who they are. Similarly, do not ask for their advice or opinions if you do not need them and you think yourself capable enough to choose your own car and the model of your new phone. If they like to give their opinion anyway, always respect it and consider it, who knows it might be the best for you.
#5: Relate to them
While your parents’ thoughts and opinions may seem too retro, remember you are genetically related to them. You do inevitably have traits in common. Find out what your common interests and activities are. Find out which parent you got most of your habits and body language from. This will make you grow fonder of them after all, that’s what we look for when we choose friends, similarities.
In an over-all picture, try to keep them as happy as you can. If they are complaining about something try to amend it. Be expressive about your love for them and apologize immediately for whatever you feel guilty about, and do not let the ill feelings set in.