How To Bridge The Gap Between You and Your Parents.
By: Beren Sabuncu
(Note: Article was written in May 2017)
Being a parent is tough. Although I wouldn’t know from personal experience, I believe it to be a pretty difficult job. Imagine taking care of a child from infancy all the way through to young-adulthood, guiding them in the right direction for the years to come. Parents might be trying at times, but it’s no easy task to raise another human being. They are constantly worried about your well-being and they almost always put you before themselves, because having a child means a lifetime of devotion and sacrificing their own social lives for your sake.
I know it can sometimes feel exhausting trying to bond with your parents. While some individuals do have extremely solid relationships with their parents, others don’t. This group tends to associate their parents with either strict authority, or incompetence. This group of people feels as though they can’t communicate with their parents. They feel like it’s too late, even though it really isn’t. If your parents are alive and well, reach out to them.
Nowadays, life is exhausting in so many aspects. We are constantly bombarded with bad news. Politics, war, famine and consumerist capitalism are just a few things that stress us in our day-to-day life. We are systematically conditioned to value material capital. We value ‘things’ as opposed to relationships. Dating apps are all the craze, and although there is nothing wrong with that, it does make face-to-face run-ins less desirable. How does this connect to your relationship with your parents? Your phone becomes more desirable, and you can get dozens of messages from new people. It is the novelty that attracts you instead of substance. Under all this stress and the easy escape technology may provide, you don’t feel like mending what could be wrong in any sort of relationship.
Your parents are the people that get the worst end of the deal. They usually end up playing the bad guy, and because you might only choose to see their ‘bad’ sides, you may not care enough to spend quality time with them. It is easier to swipe, like and text than it is to say “I love you” to your parents. It is up to you to see what is actually happening. Bridge the gap. I’ve seen many friends break down because they didn’t bridge the gap when their parents were alive. You should realize that your parents are just like you. No one has everything all together. Parenthood is one of the more tricky jobs a person can have. We as “kids” are undoubtedly impressionable.
There is not one parent out there who is perfect. How could there be? That would be like saying a perfect student or a perfect worker exists. There are great students and workers, that is true, but we are human. We make mistakes. There isn’t a parenting guide with rules set in stone. You don’t consequentially become perfect when you become a parent, in the same way you don’t become perfect when you become a student. If you feel as though the relationship is irreparable, and at some instances it may be, then forgive them. Forgiving them may not be the same as bridging the gap, but you are forgiving for your sake as much as theirs. Seldom is anything more rewarding than establishing a loving and respectful relationship with your parents. If your parents have your best interest at heart, and some sadly don’t, then have theirs in yours. Try to be constructive in your relationship. Try and tell them how much you love, care for and appreciate them. Being understanding pays in so many different ways, and costs nothing.