When it comes to making bold relationship goals, people often gravitate towards notions of strengthing their relationship with their significant others or kids. But what about dear old mom and dad? If you’re an adult wanting to change your relationship with you’re your folks, the first thing to know is, yes, there is time to make things better. And while there may be a multitude of things standing in the way–constraints due to time, personality clashes, and maybe some residual bitterness that they didn’t buy you that Nintendo game system you so desperately wanted–at the end of the day, strengthening your relationship with your parents is worth it.
And here are eight tips to get you started on it!
Eight Ways to Make Things Better with your Parents
- Make the decision to start treating them with respect and courtesy. Be kind even at times when you disagree with them. Making that decision is sometimes not easy. Once you’ve made the decision to give kindness and respect to your parents even when it’s difficult, you’ll find it easier to deal with things. One of the best ways to honor your parents is to show people how well you were raised and there’s nothing better than exhibiting good behavior to show that.
- Listen and swap stories. Be interested in their lives. Ask them random questions. A simple “how are you?” can mean so much to them. Listen and don’t rush them when they tell you their experiences. Remember that you owe them that time. Also, parents will always be interested in the lives of their adult children — especially because they’re not living under the same roof anymore. So, open up and keep that conversation rolling.
- Make time for quality time. Hop in your car and visit them today. Or call them if you live a thousand miles away. That’s right —make time, not look for time. We’re busy with our own lives, families or careers, but we should always make time for important people. The key is to make that decision.
- Do an activity that your parents enjoy. Growing up, they’ve supported you through soccer games or ballet lessons. Now that you’re an adult, you can return the favor by doing activities that your parents enjoy. Whether or not you’re all that into shuffleboard or bingo, you can make an effort to explore what your parents like to do — hobbies and all.
- Set aside some spending money. Invest in the lives of your parents — go shopping with your mom, take a long walk and have coffee with your dad. Treat them to dinner. Pick up the tab on the next family get-together. Time spent with your parents does not come with a price tag, and definitely worth more than anything.
- Help around the house. It doesn’t matter if you’re not living with them anymore. Little things like doing the dishes or helping renovate a room in the house, could mean so much especially since they may already have challenges in mobility. You can schedule a time during the month so you can do a little vacuuming or cooking. Ask them what they need help with the most. Chores could be a great bonding time.
- Teach them new technology. Help them adjust to the times. Be patient with them whenever you teach them how to operate a new machine, big or small. Introduce new forms of entertainment such as a PSP, Xbox, or Wii. They might surprise you when you find out they actually have a knack for it. You never really know until you take a shot at showing your parents the joys of new tech.
- Love and take care of their grandchildren. Loving your children unconditionally is a way of honoring your parents. Be the best parent you can be to your children. Raising your children is also a form of tribute to your parents, and a way to acknowledge the way they raised you.
Your parents have done more than just shower you with love. They clothed you. They fed you. They (hopefully) kept you from playing in traffic. It isn’t really a big question of why you should show your parents you love them, because clearly they deserve it. It’s time to give back to those who deserve it.