“Honey, clean your room!” “Why do you have to wear your hair like that?” “Have you finished your homework yet?” These are words that some of us know all too well! Sometimes it seems like our parents don’t do anything but nag. So what do we do when it feels like our parents rule and just can’t leave us alone to let us live our lives?
1) Check your heart.
Find some time for yourself to think about why you get frustrated when your parents talk to you. Do you feel like they’re putting unreasonable standards on you? Are they pressuring you to be a certain way? Maybe you feel like they don’t trust you when they constantly remind you to come home on time. Ask yourself what you might have done to lose your parents trust. Then, demonstrate your responsibility, and don’t give your parents reason to worry. Most of the time your parents are speaking out of love instead of anger. No need to rebel against them, there are plenty of truly negative issues in our society that are worth standing up against. Try working on things like being extraordinarily trustworthy, finishing your homework on time and taking on additional responsibilities around the house. Blame-shifting is never a good idea, so before you get angry with someone else, make sure you’re doing all you can to help the situation. Don’t do anything in anger, but rather with an open and curious heart.
Communication is the key in most life circumstances, including with your parents (whom you might rather ignore). When it feels like your parents are nagging, do your best to express your true feelings and do it respectfully. Maybe your mom expects you to be a dancer just like she was, but you would rather be a swimmer! Tell her about your passion for swimming and that you feel your desires seem insignificant to her. She may not even know she’s making you feel insignificant, so talk to her in a mature, civilized fashion. Maturity proves a lot to your folks.
Communication also means listening to what they have to say. Ask your parents what may have happened in their childhood that may have caused them to lose their trust in you. Find out what’s going on in their current life situation to see what may have triggered them to lose patience with you. Through this process you may learn something new about their love for you, or something surprising, like they experienced something similar with their own parents when they were teenagers.
3) Understand your parents have the best intentions.
Even though it may seem like your parents just want to irritate you, usually they just want to make sure you’re okay. Your parents have spent your whole life raising you and it’s hard for them to see you grow up. They’re trying to guide you, while also living life with you and being your friend. You may feel like you have everything in your life under control, but the truth is, you still have a lot to learn, whether it’s with relationships, school or life in general, and your parents have lived years longer than you have. Their wisdom continues to grow and mature, too, but they’re years ahead. So understand their intentions: never to harm you and always to provide the best for you.