It can be tough living with your parents. There are definite perks – like not having to pay as much money out for food, rent, bills, and so forth (if at all!), as well as having someone there who will do at least some of the washing, cooking, and cleaning for you. However, as you are no longer a child it can also be tough to manage your wishes and desires against the expectations of your parents. They may object to you going out late, getting up late, or any other number of other things you choose to do with your life. Even if these confrontations don’t result in full-blown, door-slamming arguments it can be tiring when all you really want is an easy life and to do what you want.
Moving out of home may not be an option either, if you are not working right now, or are in full-time study you probably won’t have the money needed to set up on your own. Besides, you may also quite enjoy the home comforts that come with living with your parents. There is certainly something to be said for being well fed, warm, and getting lifts to places, for example! With moving into your own place not really being an option right now, the best solution, therefore is surely to do what you can to ease the stress and pressure of living with your parents.
You will certainly want your own space for starters. Somewhere where you can retreat and relax, or study quietly. But did you ever think that your parents may want a little privacy too? By seeing things from their perspective too you can start to see where conflict could arise. With this extra empathy you can then start to think what you could do to help out a little more. Life is all about give and take, and if you are constantly taking people will get fed up with you. Are there some jobs you could do to help out at home? Even offering to do the dishes is far less than what you would need to do if you lived alone and had to work to keep a roof over your head. Rather than complaining about your chores, just see them as your way of giving back and paying into the running of the household. Don’t forget to pay attention to all the things that are done for you at home too!
Paying attention also means looking out for how your parents are feeling. If they seem stressed after a hard day at work, it might be worth keeping a low profile, or just asking if there is anything you can do to help rather than instantly making demands on their time and money. A little bit more awareness can go a long way, but this does not mean there won’t be any disagreements at all. When these arise you need to try hard to stay calm and stop them turning into full-on arguments.
Rather than hitting back out in anger, it is much better to take a moment to calm down – even if it means you have to go to another room for a few minutes. Try to explain, calmly, that you need to take a minute to cool down, but will be happy to talk things through later. Perhaps you could organise a time to sit down and discuss matter properly, when you are all a bit less agitated or in a rush.
Such discussions are, of themselves, something of an art. You need to make sure you listen at least as much as you talk, without interrupting. Conscious listening is a skill that can take years to develop, but you can show you are listening by repeating things people say back to them (using different words), or simply acknowledging them as they speak. If you pay attention to others you will be far more likely to reach a compromise too.
So, rather than going straight in, all guns blazing, calm down, think things through and talk over the situation – like the adult you are!