6 ways to have a healthier relationship with your parents

Healing the relationship we have with our parents can be a complex, lifelong journey. There can be so much grief, anger, disappointment, and fear involved (and lots of guilt and shame around feeling this way as well). Every parent-child relationship is unique and there are many routes we can take when it comes to coping with conflict. It is natural for adult children to lose touch with their parents as they get older and stop depending on them for everything. However, maintaining a positive relationship with your parents is important throughout your life. Every effort should be made to keep your relationship with your parents strong especially when they are ageing. (Also read: Ways parents and adults can rebuild connection with kids, teens, older children )

Sharon Peykar, Licensed Psychotherapist and Relationship Educator suggested six ways to have a healthier relationship with your parents in her recent Instagram post.

  • Stop comparing your parents to others’ parents

Stop fixating on the ways that others have it better. Every family has its own flavour of dysfunction and comparing yourself can leave you feeling more isolated.

  • Stop punishing yourself for being triggered by your parents

It is inevitable that we will be triggered by those who raised us, no matter how much healing work has been done. Self-compassion is necessary when we are working on changing relationship patterns.

  • Re-assess your expectations

If you are feeling repeatedly let down by your parents’ emotional limitations, it may be time to check in with your expectations and be honest with yourself about what they are not capable of.

  • Stop parenting your parents

The more we try to change or force our parents to take accountability when they are in denial, the more we feel stuck in a cycle of anger, resentment & victimhood.

  • Learn to be okay with having mixed feelings towards your parents

It is common to feel guilt for experiencing anger towards your parents or wishing they were different. You are not betraying your parents by feeling disappointed or struggling to feel grateful.

  • Stop judging yourself for not wanting a relationship with your parents

Sometimes a relationship is just not possible, no matter how many boundaries you set or how hard you try to make it work. Dysfunction rewards dysfunction and you don’t have to subject yourself to further harm “because they are family.”

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