Parents. One of the greatest mysteries you are stuck with for the rest of your life will be figuring out how to understand your parents. We all have them (how else would we be alive, right?). We all have different relationships with them. Some of us have either one or both not active in our lives (like me – my mom is technically also ‘dad’ in our family).
Whatever the case may be, we will still have adults in our lives that act as our guardians. In more relatable terms, the people who give you rules and tell you what to do. LOL This blog post should really be called, “A Complete Handbook on How to Understand the Adults In Your Life.” That was a little long, though, so I stuck with ‘parents’.
I really love my mom. She’s awesome and I know she has great intentions. But, in all honesty, sometimes I do not understand her – because of my darn stubbornness and pride *cough cough*- and I wonder what is going through her mind.
We are teenagers growing up in a confused and complicated world! And dealing with the adults in our lives can add to that confusion. Trust me, I get it.
Before I get to the tips I’m sharing on how to understand your parents, I want to clarify something. Like I said above, all our situations are different. Some of us really do need a different perspective. We can solve communication issues we have with our parents. We have things within our control.
Others don’t have that possibility because of more complex situations. Let me cut to the chase. Abuse is abuse. It’s not your fault, and it’s not really something to be ‘solved’. Go to someone you trust. Report it. Most important of all, get help!
Without further introduction, here are 5 tips on how to understand your parents:
As in, really listen. I know there are times I fade out and start thinking instead of really hearing what the other person is saying. It is a bad habit, and I’ve come a long way even though I slip every so often.
Listening doesn’t just involve the words coming out of their mouth. It also includes body language, facial expressions, and voice tone. Put all those things together and certain phrases will take on a whole different meaning.
Be willing to admit you may be wrong! Teens don’t have all the answers. Trust me, I know I don’t. It can feel annoying and upsetting when someone tells us what we are doing wrong. Deep down, though, we want to be good people and change!
So, even though it hurts in the moment, taking responsibility is the first step to bridging those communication gaps. Know when you did something wrong (or something right) and assess it. Don’t make excuses, they don’t help anyone.
Relate to Them
Alright. I get you may be thinking “ok, how could I possibly relate to my mom/dad/(insert name here)?” Believe it or not, they were once our age. Yeah, it’s hard for me to envision, but I have photographic evidence so it must be true. xD
They also made mistakes when they were young. I know my mom has. She wants me to avoid the pain and unhappiness certain mistakes cause. Of course, we have different weaknesses and have made different bad choices, but we can meet at the level that we both want to get along and be happy. Start at that point and grow from there!
- Think Proactively
In other words: C-O-M-P-R-O-M-I-S-E! Think about how you can both win. There doesn’t have to be a loser in the conversation. You can benefit from each other. Since I was little, I’d make ‘deals’ with my mom, and it’s been incredibly helpful.
Another tip is not to be 100% set on what you want. We can’t always have what we want. Be open to flexibility, changing your plans and not being in control. That is a personal struggle for me, because I love predictability. It’s not reasonable, so I keep working on it.
- Show Compassion
Parents are people, too! They have feelings. And they have to deal with a lot, too. Taxes *shivers*, bills, kids, family, work, and countless other things. We can take a bit of time to think about how we can help. Usually, what helps them helps us too! I’m sure you’d love it if your parent was less on-edge, stressed, and snappy. lol
It comes down to compassion and gratitude. Think about what your parents have done for you, and how you can really appreciate them. I know I can do a lot more to show my gratitude for my mom. She does so much. I don’t know how exactly she does it all.
And that is it! I hope that as you follow these steps you can truly not only understand your parents, but become their friend. It’s possible, and there are so many benefits to building a strong relationship with your parents early. Plus, you will have joy in your life, and nothing is better than that!