About a week ago, a friend posted on my Facebook page with a blog post idea. She pointed out how interesting it is to see how our relationship with our parents changes as we get older. Truthfully, this is a post I’ve been thinking of writing for a while because it is one of the biggest changes that has taken place in my transition to adulthood. Although I have always been close with my family, the dynamics of our relationship has changed so much as I’ve started growing up.
When I was in middle school I wanted nothing to do with my parents. We all went through that phase…teenage rebellion, despising our parents, wanting to be out of the house 24/7…but what I have realized as I’ve gotten older is just how much my parents are like me. They have finances to manage, jobs to maintain, relationships to work at, and on top of that they have my sister and I, their kids, to take care of. In truth, my parents and I have a lot more in common than I thought. I think for a lot of us this realization is hard to admit, because there was a point in all of our lives where we thought our parents couldn’t possibly understand us.
The truth is, our parents were twenty-somethings once too. They graduated college, had to find jobs, had relationship troubles and financial struggles too. Everything we’re going through now, our parents have been there done that. As I’ve gotten older and started to understand this, I’ve found that I look at my parents as peers and friends much more than I look at them as mom and dad. And that’s what is so great to me about having a strong relationship with my parents – I get all the benefits of “mom” and “dad” but I have some amazing friends, too.
Mom isn’t just “mom” anymore, she’s also my best friend. I’ve confided in her hundreds of times, and she’s always been there to listen to me. Now, it’s my turn to return the favor. She’s listened to my triumphs and problems my whole life, so of course I owe it to her to give back what she has so graciously offered me. I’ve found it has only made our relationship with each other stronger and more wholesome. What’s even more important is that I’m glad to be that person she can really open up to. I am more open with both of my parents now than I ever have been in my life, and in return they treat me with the same level of openness.
So I leave you with this: not only is it important to make the transition and realize your parents can in fact be your friends, but it’s also vital to focus on forming and maintaining a positive relationship with them. Some of the best advice I’ve gotten has been from my own parents, and hey, they have been through all this twenty-something nonsense after all, so who better to confide in than someone who’s been there before?