Navigating your new relationship with your parents now that you are a grown-up
We all grew up differently. Some of us had married parents, some divorced. Rural, urban, only children, or one of many. Some of us had lots of independence, some were nearly smothered. No matter who you were or how you grew up, at a certain age there is a shift in the parent/child relationship. That is, when the child of this scenario becomes an adult, but the parent is still a parent. Can you navigate that without anger, hurt feelings, confusion, and miscommunication? Well if there was an easy answer to that, we all would have heard it by now. It can be tough dealing with parents. Maybe they let go a long time ago and you are still feeling lost. Maybe you were independent from the moment the clock struck 18 (or 21 or 16 or, or, or…), and your parents are having a hard time letting you go. The only consistent problem seems to be communication. Sometimes one party has a harder time admitting and accepting that kids grow up and often move on or away.
What to do? Talk about it. Allow your new status as an adult to give you the confidence to approach your parents.
Make sure you’re honest about where you are in your life. Show them that they are still such an important part of that life that they deserve to know about it. Career, relationships, milestones are likely to be important to them too, and they may bask in your successes and have sage advice for your struggles.
Speaking of advice, it may be more valuable than cash. If you are having financial trouble (or any other kind), ask them what they think before you ask to borrow. Not only will they appreciate being used for their wisdom more than an ATM machine, you may even get something more valuable out of it.
Set boundaries. Both parties need to know what’s appropriate in your new dynamic, and this is different with every family. Try to tell them one thing about your relationship that you love for everything that you have an issue with. Be honest and direct, but kind.
Thank them. Profusely. Just do. And mean it.