How Can I Get Closer to My Parents?
In the family legacy process, I sometimes have kids come to me and ask, “How can I get closer to my parents?” Sometimes the question is phrased, “How can I understand my parents better?”
It’s a great question.
Usually, the question is marked by some past wound or scar that the child has. And keep in mind that these are adult children still trying to navigate the way of a relationship with their adult parents.
I tell them something pretty simple: Parents typically need gratitude. Children need respect.
Put differently, parents want their children to express gratitude for the sacrifices they made for them—to acknowledge the work and dedication they made. On the other hand, kids need respect—to be treated as adults. So many times parents still see their kids as 12-year-olds and offer advice freely whether asked for or not.
So back to the question—how do you draw closer to your parents? Reach out to them. Take them out to lunch and pay for it too! Then ask them some of the questions about the past—what it cost to get there, the sacrifices made. And then say, “Thanks, I appreciate all that you did for me.”
It’s the first step as part of the journey.
Photo by Raychan on Unsplash
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Published March 28, 2022
Topics: Family Legacy