How I Bettered my Relationship With a Difficult Parent

University is the time where people start moving out of their homes to embark on a new chapter in their life, and maybe leave some aspects of their life in the past. This also means that you can learn how to better your relationships with friends and especially family. I was fortunate enough to be able to move out of my parent’s home to live on campus, and although I am extremely close with my family, I didn’t always get along with my father. So, moving out allowed me to get away from the continuous fights we used to have. However, the independence helped me realize that maybe I shouldn’t let my stubbornness get in the way of our relationship. Disclaimer: I am aware that I am also very fortunate to have two parents who are very supportive.

 

Understanding that being an adult is hard

My dad has faced many hardships in his life and he, like all parents, wish for me and my brother not to face the same difficulties he had to go through, not only as a child but as a business owner. It took me a long time to realize that being an adult is not as glamorous as it seems, and it is more difficult to face problems that have real life consequences than to get a B on a test. What I mean is that when you don’t pay your bills, you don’t have water and heat, and when you don’t pay your mortgage, you don’t have a house, whereas if you fail a test in high school, in the end it doesn’t really matter. Keeping that in mind, I now don’t take my parents for granted, ever.

 

Knowing they don’t mean what they say in the moment because they are hiding their struggles

Making an income is extremely difficult and having to make enough to support a family is 1000x harder than working a part time job at a mall so I can have money to hang out with friends. Keeping that in mind, I know now that when you don’t have a steady income, like  someone who owns a business may not, paying bills can become stressful. I finally came to the conclusion that when my dad was annoyed, he would take it out in ways where he didn’t have to confess that he may not be able to make payments. In the past, I never understood that, since he always found a way to make ends meet so that I could live the quality of life I have always known. Now, when my dad gets angry or upset, rather than fighting back, I let it slide because he is just trying to watch out for our family.

Appreciating the opportunities I have

My parents have always done the best for me so that I can focus on my goals and dreams. There have been many moments I have wanted to move out of my home indefinitely because of how difficult my parents are being. In the end, I remember that without them, I would not be able to put all my attention to working towards my goals. It is important to not let fights get in the way of the big picture, and I can say I am more grateful for my parents now than I have ever been before. 

 

Forgiveness is essential

One thing I always find myself doing is holding grudges when I should really be letting go. When I would get mad, I would be mad even after I forgot what we were fighting about. These grudges have left me to end many friendships and is a flaw that I am trying to fix. With family, holding grudges is difficult since they are people who are never going to go away. Although some words can never be taken back, learning to forgive ultimately allows relationships to grow and thrive.

And that is how I have improved, and will continue to work on, my relationship with my parents!