As children grow up, they develop their own views, grow their own families, and sometimes even move far away from home. All of these changes can put a strain on a parent-child relationship. For some, distance is simply the result of time and space, while for others, hurt feelings and negative experiences can lead to a weakened connection.
Regardless of your history, if you’re looking to mend or strengthen your parent-child relationship, there are steps you can take to get on the road to healing! Here are seven tips to get you started.
1. Treat each other as peers.
The parent-child dynamic has changed. Everyone is grown-up and should be treated as such.
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2. Set and respect each other’s boundaries.
These will ensure that everyone has the space they need. Find out what their expectations are and don’t push past their boundaries. Doing so could further strain the relationship.
3. Commit to connecting more often.
Schedule regular phone or video calls or establish a monthly meetup if you live near each other.
4. When conflict arises, fight fair.
Try to de-escalate the situation when you can, and apologize whenever necessary. Remember, the goal is to connect, not to be right!
5. Own your part in the current state of the relationship.
Sharing blame and recognizing your mistakes will help the other person feel validated and build up trust.
6. Ask what you can do better moving forward.
Maybe they would like you to avoid politics, honor more commitments, or simply call now and then. Be willing to show them that you’re willing to compromise and do what you can to make them feel seen.
7. Reach out for help.
If the conflict has been going on for a long period of time, connecting with a family counselor could help guide you through the healing process. Not to mention, they can serve as a mediator and help parents and adult children alike work through their frustrations toward a common goal.
Change is hard, but pursuing healthy relationships is so worthwhile! We’re rooting for you!
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