How to Improve a Parent Child Relationship

mother daughter photo

A parent child relationship can be tricky thing–for some it brings up feelings of security and unconditional love, but for others it’s filled with resentment and discontent. Maybe it’s aggravating and brimming with tension. For many of us, it’s somewhere in between.

No matter the current state of your relationship, there are steps you can take to improve a parent child relationship.

Examine Your Negative Feelings

If a parent child relationship brings up negative feelings, take a few minutes to meditate on why. What’s the cause of the deep seated aggravation? Have you looked at your parent’s perspective? When it comes to your relationship with your parents, are you taking their needs into account or are you putting your needs ahead of them? When we were younger, we expected our parents to take care of us and now as those roles begin to switch, it can be difficult to absorb.

Respect Your Parents Like You Would a Good Friend

Treat your parents with the same respect that you would a good friend. This attitude helps to stave off any tendency to correct and jump on your parents when they say something you consider offensive. Respect and understand the generation gap.

Improve a parent child relationship by respecting personality differences as you would in a good friend. You wouldn’t constantly criticize a friend for welcoming clutter, for example. So don’t attack your parents for the same issue.

Establish Ground Rules

By establishing ground rules, you avoid the need for awkward arguments later on. If your parents know they have to call before dropping by, then you’re a lot less likely to have to deal with resentment when they pop in unexpectedly. If they know you don’t want them disciplining your children when you’re present, it can stave off unnecessary conflict. Whatever your particular rules, knowing ahead of time relieves tension in the moment.

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Image: Lars Ploughmann