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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Developing a healthy relationship with your parents

Today I read an article from a mom of two young children, telling readers not to take advice from their parents.  I could take issue with the content of the article (it wasn't well supported) but I think the author has deeper issues than she realizes.

Developing a healthy relationship with your parents (especially your mother) can be a tricky endeavor.  Although you are still (and always will be) their child, you are also an adult who has children of your own.  You and your husband establish rules and practices that you both feel is best for your family.  Hopefully, these decisions take into account the successes and challenges of the families you were raised in, as well as things that are uniquely your own.

If your relationship with your parents is solid, you won't dismiss the advice they give but will listen with respect and consideration.  They might have some good ideas.  Hopefully, you are comfortable talking with them, discussing your problems and concerns, and not intimidated by their suggestions.

The problem arises when you haven't developed a healthy adult relationship.  It's understandable if your parents were truly horrible.  In that case, it might be necessary to distance yourself and your family from their toxic influence but that is extremely rare.  In most instances, your parents were loving, although imperfect, people who tried their best.   It's to your advantage to accept them and their efforts.  You are no longer a child and shouldn't react to them as a child.  It's ok to disagree but it's not ok to be rude and insensitive. It's time to put childish insecurities to rest for the sake of your own children and your sanity.

The adult relationship you develop with your parents will have a big impact on your family over the years.  They are the grandparents of your children.  Try to work with them.   This is an opportunity to create a new, healthy relationship with the people who loved YOU as a child, just as you love YOUR children now.