How to Fix a Bad Relationship With Your Parents
Having a good relationship with one's parents is very important for most of us. However, let's face it, relationships with parents can be quite difficult and complex. There is scope for lots of misunderstandings and conflicts. These basically stem from lack of communication in most instances. However, in other instances, communication itself can be the source of conflicts. For example, you don't want to get involved in a verbal slanging match with your parents. That's certainly not the sort of communication you'd want to get going with your parents. Such verbal insults directed at each other can gradually erode away the goodwill and love present in a relationship between a parent and a child and can do much damage, some of which may last a lifetime.
A bad relationship with one's parents can be the cause of much heartache and stress. Many of us just give up at a point and let things be. We resign ourselves to the fact that we can never have a good relationship with our parents, but should we really just give up on fixing things between us and our parents. No, I don't think we should give up!!
So, how do you fix a bad relationship with your parents? Here are some strategies that are drawn from my own personal experience in dealing with my mom and dad. Needless to say I've had problems with my parents as well.
For a start, you should analyze what the problem areas are in your relationship with your parents. This is very important. Unless you know the problems, you are unlikely to get anywhere near solving them. So, get to work and draw up a list of the recent conflicts you've had with your parents and what triggered them off. Make a note of the things you've said or done that hurt them especially. Of course, there might be some things that you feel you are right about and have no reason to have said differently. You can hold on to those points of view. However, you can hold your views without coming across as being confrontational.
Formulate a Response
Having thus drawn up a list of the recent conflicts you've had with your parents, try and formulate an imaginary response to each of the conflict situations and see which one suits the situation the best. This is important because in the heat of the moment, you respond spontaneously, without much thought, and say things that you may regret later.
Hence, imagine the conflict situation that is most likely to happen between you and your parents and formulate the best response you can give to those. The next time you are faced with a similar conflict situation, put your plans into action. Instead of getting sucked into a familiar routine of verbal or physical confrontation, try being diplomatic or keeping silent. Try perhaps to explain yourself in a sentence or two and then just refusing to get drawn into a slanging match.
You could then seek out your parents when they are calmer and then have an honest talk with them, explaining your point of view (they'd appreciate your doing so). If they are not open to having a talk and are still upset with you, then the best thing you could do is to write them a letter describing your point of view in a respectful tone and they'd surely see your point of view much better this way.
Writing a letter is a very good option because it cuts out the verbal interaction to getting your thoughts across. Verbal interaction can often go out of hand and result in increasing tempers and can even lead into a physical altercation. A letter just conveys your thoughts, not your animosity or anger!! By putting out your thoughts in a letter, you avoid any chances of a discussion between you getting out of hand.
Quick Summary of Things You Can Do:
1. Be patient and be willing to hear your parents' side of the story.
2. Do not bring up past issues when you are trying to solve an immediate issue of concern.
3. Be willing to communicate first and approach your parents first. Don't let your ego come in the way. If you want to fix the relationship from your side, then be willing to make the start.
4. Be willing to accept and acknowledge your faults in the deterioration of your relationship. Honest acknowledgement of your mistakes will be appreciated by your parents and can become the basis of a stronger foundation on which to build your future relationship on.
5. Be totally honest about what you feel and expect out of your parents. Do not be afraid to bring up negative aspects of your parents that may be contributing to the relationship worsening. Let them know, but in a polite and non-confrontational way so they do not get an opportunity to shout their way out of it, but rather have to think about it and reflect upon it and maybe feel compelled to change it to better the relationship.
6. Try to understand things from their point of view and make them see things from your perspective. Try to find common ground when you can and be open towards compromises. Do not be rigid, do not be inflexible and hold on to your position come what may. Talk and find out a way that would be acceptable to both of you. If that is not possible, do it your way but take efforts to explain to your parents why you did what you did and why that doesn't take away from your love towards them.
In general, keep your parents in the loop as to the goings-on in your life - whenever you can. They'd feel involved in your life and appreciate your sharing things with them. Respect them and speak to them politely (even if you don't share their point of view). Keep in touch with them, even though you may have a busy life. It is not impossible to find time to call them up and make them feel like they are a real part of your life. Bad relationships don't happen overnight and therefore cannot be fixed overnight. It will be a work in progress and so it is important that you keep working at it. A few small steps is what you start with, and before you know, you'd be surprised at how things have improved between you two!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2008 Shil1978