3 Ways To Cope With Demanding Parents
How to deal with painful parentals.
Family 23rd Dec, 2020
We all know someone with demanding parents. Whether you love them dearly, struggle to speak to them, or try to avoid them all together, your parents have a role in your life. Whatever your background, culture or nationality, it is likely that at some point your parents have expected you to do, or say something you felt was unreasonable. If you did not know what to do, or how to deal with the situation, the following tips and ideas may help.
Remember Your Parents Are Human:
You need to accept that your parents are not perfect, or superheroes, with no life or feelings as an individual. We’re all human with failings, which means they are just as capable of misunderstanding, bad communication and knee jerk reactions as everyone else, including yourself. People often subconsciously hold their parents to higher standards and are far more disappointed when they make mistakes than if a friend had done, or said the same thing. However, we should remember they are a product of their own upbringing and have hangups and failings.
If you know your grandparents look at their relationship with your parents. Are they supportive, do they treat all their children equally, the list is endless. While we are all capable of evolving and growing, your parents will have inherited certain attitudes and behaviours that they may be unaware of. Take this into consideration and it could improve your relationship with them.
Understand You Can Not Please Everyone:
It is a fact of life that no one can please everyone all of the time. Attempting to do so can cause more problems than it solves, as well as exhausting you. Whether your parents have loaned you money, helped you move, or are your primary childcare option, you need to remember you do not owe them all your time/effort in return.
There will be some give and take, however, it needs to suit all parties. If you are too busy or stressed to do something, say so, then, if possible, provide a solution. Perhaps you can do the job or go for dinner a different day. Equally, if you care for your parents, do their shopping, take them to appointments, they won’t be able to do everything you ask of them.
Try to find a balance, talk about compromise, for example, perhaps you can start doing the grocery shop online, which will save you time. If they are not comfortable online, get them to write a list as normal, then read it to you over the phone and place the order yourself. It is better to find middle ground now than get slowly more frustrated over years.
Learn To Put Yourself First:
Putting yourself first can be a hard lesson to learn. However, when you start to do this, you may find you actually have more time to do the things your parents expect of you. When you follow your own schedule, it is much easier to fit jobs, meals and time spent with them into your life.
Sit down and work out when you have free time for your parents, where it differs from your current timetable, talk to them about changing it. If you will be able to see more of them, talk about that when you bring it up. If not, focus on other positives, for example you may be less stressed and therefore more relaxed when you see them.
No relationship is ever perfect, however, it is possible to find ways to improve time spent with demanding parents. We must remember they are individuals, not just parents and also that their behaviour was learnt in a different time and generation. Whereas this generation has a much better understanding of mental health and ability to improve themselves, they could be unable to change.
Therefore, focus on what you can control, you can not control your parents or their actions. However, you can control your reactions. When you need to, count to ten, don’t shout back, take an extra minute to respond. When you are calm, you may find your parents start to calm down too, leading to a better outcome. This, in combination with the ideas above, could improve your relationship and may ultimately make your life a little easier.