Are you struggling to get on with your parents right now? This is a real problem if you are studying or working and living with them. Of course things would be better if you all got along (and they could cut you some slack now and again), but in order to get that to happen you may have to try and understand them a little better. You see, as you are getting older and more independent your parents are probably struggling to come to terms with it all – and this is making them act oddly around you. The trouble is, right now, you probably need to be getting on with your parents better than ever – especially if you are studying and thinking about what you want to do next with your life.
The fact is, your parents will have a great deal of say in what choices you make. Going to university, taking an apprenticeship, getting a job, or taking another route will all likely depend on your parents’ input to some degree. To start with you might want to make sure your parents get some up-to-date information on what choices there are for you after college. But they are unlikely to be too open to your suggestions if you are at each other’s throats!
So, as we said, you need to understand what is going on with them. The fact is, your parents are probably struggling to come to terms with the fact that you are not a little kid anymore. The boundaries are being redrawn, and they are probably unsure how far to go with letting you be the independent adult you are becoming.
The only way to convince them is to act in a mature manner. If you have chores, make sure to do them without complaint, it’s just part of being part of a family and helping each other out. However, more generally-speaking, try not to do immature things and instead focus on the grown-up things that you do. The proof is in the pudding – and talking about being ‘grown-up’ won’t cut it - it is time to show and prove.
By doing this you will start to ease your parents’ fears that you aren’t able to look after yourself, and that they don’t need to protect you as much anymore. Of course, your parents’ fears are pretty well-founded, the world is not always a nice place, and it is only understandable that they want to protect you from it. It’s what they have done for you since you were little, and often your parents will immediately imagine the worst possible outcomes.
If you want to go to a party they may imagine drugs being slipped into your drink or some other terrible occurrence. They may worry that someone will get pregnant, or that you will be arrested. It is easier for them to just say ‘no,’ and keep you safe.
So how do you get around their (irrational but understandable) fear for your safety?
Acting mature will only go so far to reassuring them. No, you also need to offer up some information.
Let them know what that party is going to be like, and if there is going to be alcohol, for example, how you intend to deal with staying in control. Often what your parents imagine is far worse than what is actually going on, so tell the truth – they will probably be relieved!
Your parents need to start seeing you as a young adult rather than a little child, so stop trying to lie about what is going on and instead start looking to the future with them. Talk about what you plan to do with your life, your career options, and reassure them that you will always need their help and guidance as you make your way.
Really, your parents just need you to help them see who you are and who you are becoming. They need to know that you are mature enough to stay safe, but at the same time will love to be involved as you continue to grow.
Finally, your parents don’t want to be arguing with you either (they may have had a tough day at work), so try to recognise their moods and react accordingly. Pay attention to them and what is happening in their lives rather than being wrapped up in your own concerns – it will help you negotiate them much better!
Show that you are a mature and pleasant person and your parents will be more likely to let you do more of what you want – which means less arguments!