• Ruth

How to have a Better Relationship with your Parents


We don’t get to choose our family but, if I’m honest, I’ve sometimes we wished we did.

Parents are not always the easiest to get along with. My relationship with my parents has looked different at different seasons of my life. When I was in secondary school, I barely spoke or chilled with my parents. When I was in college my mum was annoying. When I went to uni, I got closer to her because I relied on her and missed her more than I thought I would and she learnt to trust me + leave me to my own devices more. My point is, your relationship with your parents and even family members can always change and can look different at different points in your life.

Also, one thing to bare in mind is that your relationship can still be a good one, even if it doesn’t look like what tv shows portray or like your best friend’s. As long as you’re happy with it & there’s love and care-that’s a great relationship to me! But if it isn’t here’s some things to think about to maybe help it get better:


Building Trust

I feel like this always a constant battle. It feels like our parents never trust us! Never trust our decisions! Never trust our truths. And it sucks. They seem to always side with adult, the teacher or the younger sibling. Which causes fights because no one likes to feel like they’re not being believed or making things up. But building trust takes time.

Sometimes you have to show them that you’re trustworthy.

For example: When I was in year 10, I was getting more freedom to go out with my friends after school. But my mum would be texting and calling my phone all the time asking me where I am, who I’m with etc. So you know what I started doing? I’d text first. I’d let her know where I was and who I was with. I’ll tell her when I’m leaving, when I’m en route and my eta. This showed her that I respected the fact that she worries about where I am-because she’s my mum & responsible for me. It also meant she needed to call me less. Over time, as I got into the habit of doing that and got older, she didn’t need text me so much.


Be reliable and responsible too. The more you do this, the more evidence you can use to leverage an argument and let you go to the dinner that’s at 7pm on a school night.

(Obviously if you have a habit of lying to your parents, it’s going to be harder for them to trust you.)

Put yourselves in their shoes.

This doesn’t apply to abusive behaviour. I remember one day when it hit me that; wow the only thing that makes you a PARENT is having a CHILD. That’s it. That’s all the qualification and training you get. As soon as they’re born, every day you have to learn on the job. That’s really crazy when you think about it. Of course they’re going to make mistakes. There’s virtually no way they can be perfect 24/7 because they’ve never had to raise you before. So when they do something you like, don’t forget to say thanks. When they do something you don’t like (in a nice way) let them know so they can learn. Also, remember that they are responsible for you. So it’s natural that they will want to protect you and be weary about other people and different places because if anything was to happen to you-it’d ultimately still be there fault.

Especially if you’re a child of immigrants. Mine are and I feel like they’re very weary of everything because this country is different to their homes back home.

Also, as you get older, you’ll realise that adults are just big babies with more money and more responsibilities LOOL.

Putting yourself in their shoes sometimes helps you to see why their NO is a no. Doesn’t make it any less annoying sometimes, but helps you to get over it a lil faster and reconsider if they actually hate you haha


Don’t ignore/overlook your emotions.

That being said, you can still be upset about missing your best friend’s birthday party even if you understand why your dad doesn’t want you staying out at 11:30 in a house with no adults. Pick the right time and emotional state to be in, to communicate when you’re not happy about something. I wouldn’t recommend it being at a time when you’re angry and want to scream at them.


Compromise/Middle Ground

I know this doesn’t always work with all parents but this can help with you take into account point 1 and 2.


Common Ground

You know that scene in Matilda where the day says “I’m smart you’re dumb, I’m big you’re small!” - sometimes that’s all our parent relationships feel like. But I way to make it more than that is to try figure out what your parents are interested and see if there’s anything you’d kinda enjoy too. If your mum loves cooking, maybe find a new recipe for you guys to try and prepare together one evening. If your dad loves sport, ask him about the first sports match he watched Live. If you love Youtube, send a funny video that reminds you of your parents to them, out of the blue. Small things like that can help you to get to know your parents and vice versa. It can also help to make things a little more pleasant at home. Over time, you might just realise that they’re not horrible people that never want you to have fun.

GIVE IT TIME

Don’t give up on your relationship with your parents. Like I said, it can always change and get better with different seasons in your life. Some people have amazing relationships with their parents once they become parents themselves (probably due to point 2). Some, when their parents work less-their relationship improves. It can take time.



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