As we settle back into schoolwork, tests and the latest fall trends, I thought about how frequently our parents get left out of the mix. While we juggle meeting their expectations and coming into our own as adults, the stress is often a little too much and we end up selling ourselves short for fear of disappointment or shutting our parents out completely. So parents, here are 3 tips to help you meet us somewhere in the middle.
1. Doctor or Dancer, our dreams are always valid.
Naturally as our parents, you want us to have “stable” jobs. To be financially protected and be able to provide for ourselves. While that's reasonable request, who says we have to sacrifice our passions in exchange for funds, when both are possible? We know that you have our best interest at heart, but thinking we will fail because our lives didn't turn out the way you thought they should is one of the quickest ways to drive a wedge in our relationship.
2. Your past can be a guide for our future, share your struggles.
Young adults don't feel like we can relate to our parents because we seem to be on opposite sides of the spectrum. Don't hesitate to share your past with us when we ask for advice or when you see us going down a road you know leads nowhere. If we follow it anyway, we learned a lesson from that choice, but we also earned a deeper connection with you. As much as you want us to let you in, we want that 10 times more.
3. Encouragement goes a very long way.
Sometimes, we make the mistake of assuming people know how we feel about them based on the title they hold, like a father or mother, son or daughter. We also assume that if a person fits the requirements of a parental role, (such as feeding them or housing them) then the children should know they are loved and supported. Though actions do speak louder than words, it fails in comparison this time. Parents, your children want to hear that you love them, you believe in them and you're proud of them. You are the support we need to keep flourishing and though it's not impossible without you, your stamp of approval holds the most weight for your children.
I encourage you to share this post with you parents/guardians and get a conversation started. Add some things you desire from your parents and receive the things they desire from you as well.
Relate. Release. Rebuild.