How to Be Friends with Your Parents

Wouldn't it be nice if everyone got along with their parents better and saw them akin to friends rather than authority figures? These steps will help build a more amicable and less traditional relationship with your mother and father.


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    Treat your parents the best way in which you can.
    • Treat your parents the way you want them to treat you. If you want them to listen to you, then listen to what they have to say. Giving respect gains respect.
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    Do something social with your parents and get to know who they are as people. Just as you might try a sport with a new friend, why not join your parents in their hobbies and let them take part in yours?
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    Don't take advantage. Children (and sometimes adults) often see parents as a bank clerks, chefs, or house keepers. Instead of letting your parents do everything for you, share in tasks and be responsible for your actions.
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    Take part in family activities, such as birthdays or visiting elderly relatives. Doing things together makes relationships stronger.
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    If your parents are both alike, make sure to get one-on-one time with each of them, not just time with them as a couple. It's a good way to break down old habits and styles of interaction; plus, it's more intimate. You may find that a parent opens up to you more, or opens up in different ways, when the other parent isn't present.
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    Agree upon areas where you are open to suggestions and ideas from them. Inform them "politely and diplomatically" the issues which you are not comfortable talking/sharing with them.
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    Do something special for your parents. Sometimes, showing mutual appreciation is the best way to build and maintain relationships.
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    Communicate! If you act ashamed of them when your friends are around, how do you think they feel? If you chew their face off because they call you to see if you'd like something, how you're doing, or what you'd like for dinner, do you think they'll be friendly for long?
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    Be honest. Telling the truth goes a long way in gaining your parents trust. You may be tempted to lie about a mistake you made, in order to avoid getting in trouble, but it will only make matters worse if they DO find out what you did. And parents pretty much ALWAYS find out about this stuff. If you confess your mistake and apologize in a mature way, they may still be angry, but they will be proud of you for dealing with things responsibly. Being mature doesn't mean not making mistakes. It means handling your mistakes responsibly.


  • One simple phrase that works with overbearing parents well is "I'm sorry you feel that way." Show concern for their feelings but do not allow yourself to be drawn into feeling guilty for whatever transgressions they feel you may have committed in the past. Accept that your relationship hasn't always been the best and move on. Resist the temptation to try to "make up for being a bad child", remember: "Adulthood isn't an award they'll give you for being a good child." (LM Bujold). As an adult you may have had to make some choices your parents didn't agree with, but they were your choices and you made them as best you could.
  • It is easy to become over emotional when dealing with close members of family,and this often leads to short tempers and raised voices. Take a deep breath, and try to express yourself in a calmer manner.
  • If your parents are elderly, don't treat them like children. Instead, seek them out for their wisdom from a lifetime of experience. Show your love and appreciation for them every time you can. The walls that may exist can take time to tear down, but if you refuse to give up, they will tumble.
  • What's been said here is the ideal way to communicate, so to improve better these ways you should learn to know more your parents, sometimes the parents act with more sensibility with their kids. Remember that no matter how old you are, you are still a child for them, so to get a better relation is to know them well outside the parental relation, thus they'll feel like you are responsible and so they'll trust you as a grown up person.
  • Show interest in what life was like for them when they were growing up. Try to relate their experiences to your own. Also, show this same interest in what they do now. Does your parent work? If so, ask about their work.
  • Small talk always works when you want to communicate.

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Categories: Improving Relations with Parents