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How To Bond With Your Parents As An Adult

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Relationships evolve as we get older, which sometimes means we grow apart from the people we knew as children. However, there are a couple of people who will always be in your life no matter what; your parents. One of the biggest confirmations of adulthood is the fact that you are now solely responsible for your own well-being, and while we certainly value the advice of our parents and elders, we are no longer obligated to take immediate direction from them.

It wasn't until I became a parent myself that I had a much better appreciation for my parents as parents but also as people separate from parenting. I was able to make the shift from seeing them as my authority figures but rather see them as parenting peers. Whether you have a good or difficult relationship with your parents, here are a few ways that relationship can evolve to mutual, but loving respect between adults.

Think of them as equals
While you may always give them a certain level of respect, it’s time to treat your parents as equal adults. If your parents still treat you like a kid, despite the fact that you have kids of your own, you may have to demonstrate your maturity by acting like an adult around them. Set boundaries, talk to them as friends, and soon they will start treating you like a grown up. The best way you can do this is to deal with your own problems yourself instead of always asking them for help; emotional support is always welcome, but as an adult they need to understand that you are responsible for your own problems.

Include them
You may be starting a family of your own, but that doesn’t mean you should leave your old family behind. The next time you plan a family day out with your kids ask your parents if they would like to join you. Not only is this a great time to catch up with the events in their lives, but it’s also great for your kids to see their grandparents.

Offer to help them
Although they may not want to admit it, your parents are getting older. That’s not to say that you should immediately start looking into retirement living communities, but offer to help them out around the house or show them how to work new technology that they might not understand. After so many years of helping you with your homework and offering life advice, it’s nice to start returning the favor.

Be mature in dealing with judgements
You are your own person, so you are likely to have different opinions from your parents. However, there is a mature way of dealing with their judgements. An adult-to-adult conversation is required if they’ve strongly implied they don’t approve of your decisions. If there is no satisfactory resolution, then firm boundaries are needed to protect your life choices.

Know your limits
Even if you love your parents, their constant presence in your life can get overwhelming. To protect any progress you have made in your relationship, you must know your limits for family time and put yourself first, even if it means temporarily upsetting them.

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