Take it from a twenty-something: Your parents are more like you than you think

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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?

What are your views on this? Forever “mom” and “dad,” or are you developing adult friendships with your parents too?
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26 thoughts on “Take it from a twenty-something: Your parents are more like you than you think

    1. Stephanie Post author

      Definitely agree – I always try to think back to when I was in high school locked in my room ignoring my parents, and now I can hardly go a day without talking to my mom! She’s become my best friend and I’m so thankful for that relationship.

      Reply
  1. Rachel

    I’ve always been closer to my Dad (Daddy’s girl here!), but as I’ve gotten older I’ve gotten closer to my mother. I think being far away from them during college really helped that.

    Reply
    1. Stephanie Post author

      Rachel, that’s a great point! I think going off to college gives everyone that space and independence they’ve needed, but it also makes you realize just how much your parents have done for you! Being away at college can definitely strengthen the relationship you have with your parents, I can definitely relate.

      Reply
  2. Alyssa

    I will unapologetically admit that my parents are two of my best friends–and I love that! Obviously, I went through the typical teenage “I’m too cool for you” stage (probably around 13, I’d say) but I grew out of that very quickly. I had a lot of heath ailments through middle school/high school, so spending that time at home with my parents really fostered a friendship between us, and then of course, college came and I was no longer “their baby.” Now, I look forward to their visits as much as I do my friends and we have an amazing time together. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

    Reply
    1. Stephanie Post author

      You sound just like me! I’m really close with both of my parents and love spending time with them. When I go home, I can’t wait to go do things with my mom and her friends, and I always have a blast! Same thing happens when I go over to my dads to hang out with him and my step mom. My “too cool” phase lasted for quite some time, but by the time I was a senior in high school I finally shaped up. 🙂 My mom still jokes about it and what a brat I was back then, I’m glad I finally came to my senses!

      Reply
  3. Emily

    This is so sweet. I went through the rebellious phase too where I hated being around my parents, and now they are my best friends. It’s so crazy how as you get older you begin to see them as people and not as your parents anymore. It’s a cool thing, and one that I’m grateful for!
    Isn’t That Charming.

    Reply
    1. Stephanie Post author

      Isn’t it strange? There’s no way my rebellious teenage self would have ever thought my parents would turn into some of my best friends, but I think as we grow up we can just relate to them and understand them so much more. Plus, once you’re able to fully support yourself and become more independent, you don’t have such a dependent relationship on your parents anymore which I think results in us feeling like our parents are our peers/people instead of just mom and dad. I’m thankful to be so incredibly close with my parents now!

      Reply
  4. Always Maylee

    My relationship with my parents have definitely gotten better as I’ve gotten older and really grown into an adult. I now talk to my mom daily and wouldn’t have it any other way. I think as I’ve had to go through all the ups and downs of life and make adult decisions, I’ve realized just how much my parents sacrificed for me. And I’ve learned to really appreciate them. 🙂

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

    Reply
    1. Stephanie Post author

      So true, Yi-chia, and I couldn’t agree more. Once you’re out on your own and facing all of life’s surprises and challenges, it really helps you understand your parents a little more and see all that they do for you. Thanks for taking the time to share your own experience!

      Reply
  5. AJ

    Its crazy to think how my relationship with my parents has changed. I love them more than anything and I’m SO lucky to have parents that have helped and guided me through my life. If you would have told me in high school that my parents were so smart and we would be so close, I would have called you crazy! 🙂 Don’t take any day with them for granted.

    -AJ
    FitTravelerAJ.blogspot.com

    Reply
    1. Stephanie Post author

      You took the words right out of my mouth! I never would have thought I would end up being so close with both of my parents, but now that I am I wouldn’t change it for the world.

      Reply
  6. Natasha

    This is so sweet! As I have been growing and getting older each year, I have been looking at my parents in a different light; I have definitely started respecting them more as my parents and just as two people. They also happen to have the cutest relationship, always flirting and cuddling – even after 21 years of marriage! Thanks for the post; You’re inspiring!(:

    Reply
    1. Stephanie Post author

      Congratulations to them on so many happy years together! And thank you so much for the sweet comment, I’m so glad I can be an inspiration and I really appreciate you reading/commenting. I definitely relate to what you said, I have started viewing my parents as peers/peoples as a result of getting older and actually understanding all that they have done for me.

      Reply
  7. Megan

    I have a really strong relationship with my parents and proudly consider them two of my best friends. As I get older, I realize how similar we are and who I got my best (and of course worst) traits from 😉

    Reply
  8. Lauren

    I could not agree more. There were times I got into it with my mom during high school, but things quickly changed once I hit college age. I talk to my mom on the phone every day about everything from the important stuff to what I bought at Target. She’s definitely my best friend!

    Reply
    1. Stephanie Post author

      You and me both! My mom and I definitely had our fair share of fights and I hurt her feelings more than once, but I too grew out of that phase when I was getting ready to go to college. Anytime something exciting in my life happens, no matter how big or small, or anytime I just need to vent, I know my mom will always be there to listen (and yes, I call her about my Target purchases too!)

      Reply
  9. Jenn

    I like this post a lot. I’m not sure how I missed it when you first wrote it! I can remember the exact moment I realized that my parents are people too. When I was younger it was so weird to think of my parents as kids or to picture them getting in trouble. And to think of them being wrong or not knowing something? Come on! And then I went through the terrible teens and now we’re friends. It’s nice to be able to give back to them a little or at least listen and understand from an adult standpoint.

    Reply
  10. Chelsea

    It’s crazy to think other people went through the same things my mother and I did! We were at eachother’s throats 24/7. I can still remember telling her I hated her, and never following her rules. But now that I am older, my mom and I have a very strong relationship. Not only as mother and daughter, but like you said, as friends as well. I would consider her one of my best friends, I tell her just about everything. Looking back on our bad times, there are a lot of things I would change. Unfortunatley, that just is not possible. I’m very happy with where my mother and I currently stand and I can’t wait to see what we have ahead of us.

    Reply
    1. Stephanie Post author

      Wow, sounds like you and I have a very similar story! I was a total brat in my teen years and really said some hurtful things to my mom. But we are the same as you and your mom now, pretty much inseparable! She is the best friend I have and one of the people in this world I know I can always count on. Thanks for sharing your own experience!

      Reply
  11. Nnenna

    Such a great post and blog. I’m just 21 and I already see my relationship with my parents blossoming into a friendship as well. At the end of the day they’ll be the ones always by your side rooting for you to be great.

    Reply

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