Ugh, parents can be so hard to get along with sometimes. When your mom isn’t trying to embarrass you by dancing to muzak at the grocery store, your dad is making you blush by wearing a Donald Duck hat in public. Not that my parents have ever done anything like that… ahem.
While my folks can be cringe-inducing at times, we’ve developed a pretty great friendship over the years. I’m really not sure how it happened, but once I turned 20, I stopped seeing my parents as caregivers, and began to view my parents as friends. Maybe it’s because we’ve always had a pretty comfortable relationship. Maybe it’s because I’m an only child… I don’t know! But it happened.
After reflecting on my family’s strong, totally weird friendship, I’ve gleaned the following bits of… information? Advice? Anyhow, this is why I think I view my parents as friends. Emulate these tips if you want to take you and your parents’ relationship from “ugh, as if,” to, “let’s get coffee.”
1. Advice for parents and kids: Listen
I don’t know about you, but I tend to have pretty crummy relationships with people who don’t listen. And it’s really hard to listen to what your parents (or kids) have to say sometimes. You all have different opinions and life experiences, so, when you hear your kid say something like, “I think sex work should be considered a viable way to make money!” You just hear, “I want to have sex for money!” Instead of freaking out about what your parent, or kid, has to say, listen to what he or she has to say. You don’t agree with everything your friends say, either, but you probably do give them more time to talk…
2. Advice for parents: Space
Just because your kid is your friend doesn’t mean you can pelt him with questions all the time. No one appreciates a nosey acquaintance. If your kid gets to the point where they want to talk to you about everything it’s because you’ve allowed them to communicate with you in a way that they are comfortable with.
3. Advice for kids: Ask questions
Questions lead to conversations, and conversations lead to friendship. When you show your parents that you are actually interested in what is happening in their everyday life (rather than just interested in how they can help you), your overall relationship will improve and deepen.
So, do any of you view your parents as friends? Are they your enemies? Tell us about it in the comment section.
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image: katya alagich
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