Many times when I hang out with my friends, the topic of how often you should call your parents is brought to the table.
And one thing is for sure, there are a lot of variables in this discussion, so I will not try to give you the exact number of how many times you need to call your parents; rather, I will try to give you different situations, and how they may affect the frequency, you need to call them.
I will give you an example to make clear what we will touch on in this article: for the exact same parents with the same personality, you might need to call them often when they are older and need more care compared to when they are in their 40s or 50s.
How often should you call your parents?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is: “it depends”. It depends on a lot of factors, and I will try to list a few of them then, we will talk about how the life stage you and your parents are in affects how often you should talk with them and vice-versa.
One important thing to know is that society makes you feel guilty if you don’t talk to your parents more often, but the opposite doesn’t happen. So, I hope the things I will list here will make you understand that sometimes the fact that you are not calling them so often can be their fault, and it is their responsibility to fix it.
1. How close you are with your parents. I know this is a sensitive topic, but we are not equally close with our parents, and I don’t mean like literally distance but rather how much you love and respect them.
Some people are best friends with their parents, and they call their parents every day, in some cases more than once a day, and they talk about every single thing that happened that day. This situation is not wrong as long as both parties feel it adequately.
Other adults respect their parents and love them, but it is not a best friend’s situation, and calling them once a week to check up on them can be perfectly fine.
There are even situations when you should not call your parents at all. But this is a long discussion, and a blog is not a good place to take advice on that.
2. How busy your and their life is. How busy you are will affect how often you call your parent, this doesn’t mean you don’t love or respect them. But after a busy work day and maybe staying with your wife/kids and taking care of the house, it is not so easy to make time to call your parents. As bad as it sounds, it is true, and it happens.
At the same time, if your parents have a busy life, work, hobbies, and social life, it will be harder for you to synchronize your schedules, even for a phone call. So you should not feel bad if you only get to call them once a week or so.
3. How interesting your and their life is. I know many people will disagree with this, but when you have lots of things to discuss with your parents, you will enjoy calling them more often. If the main point of your phone conversation with your parents is the weather, you will not call them excited the next time, leading to calling them less often.
Of course, I’m not talking about very old parents who cannot do many things. I’m talking about parents that are still in power.
Also, how many things happen in your life affects how often you call them, if you love them, you will want to share your life events with them, leading to calling them often.
4. How they react when you call them. If they are happy that you call them, it will encourage you to call them more often. I always imagine my mom happy to answer my phone calls, and I know this is true since she answers my phone calls even if she is at the market or with other neighbors and keeps talking with me like I’ve never interrupted her.
On the other side, if they are angry when you call them and every phone call leads to a fight, of course, you will call them only when necessary and not more.
5. How much do you talk when you call them? You can not put in the same category a 2 hours phone call with a 3 minutes phone call.
Also, when your phone calls usually get longer, it will be harder for you to make time to call very often, if you have shorter calls, you can call them every day.
I call my mother very often. If I count my phone calls and her phone calls, I can say that we talk every day, and this while I haven’t lived with them since high school. I went to high school in another city, then to college, and then the work-life began. However, our phone calls are very short, 3-5 minutes usually. While my wife talks to her mother for one or two hours every time, her mother is busier than my mother, so they have to kind of schedule a phone call and talk about everything when they can. But they talk once a week or once in two weeks sometimes.
6. Personality. Personality matters a lot; some people don’t need to talk as often, and you or your parents can be one of them. The best thing you can do not to get this wrong is to talk with them about how often they would like you to call them and vice-versa. Or at least pay attention when they complain about how often other people are calling them.
Those are a few things that can affect how often you should call your parents and how much you talk with them. There are more variables for each specific person, but I hope those helped you to make a general idea.
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What life stage are you and your parents in?
We will start with how often you should call your parents because most of the time, this is the first time when adults leave their parents’ house.
The first time when you are not living with them anymore for college or not, you will notice that your parents will expect more frequent phone calls from you. This is the most common situation, not always, but the most common since they are worried about you and how well you can take care of yourself.
The next big change is when you are in a stable relationship with future plans for marriage and kids. Usually, this time, most adults start talking more with their spouses and less with their parents. This was the case for me, my wife, and many of my friends. Because the fact that you are in a stable relationship means that you trust your spouse to talk with them about what you would normally talk about with your parents or friends.
Another big life stage that affects how often you talk with your parents is when you have kids since your parents, now grandparents will want to talk more with you and your kids from now on. They will be worried about the kids’ health and curious about how you handle the situation. It can be annoying, but it is a good thing that they care, in my opinion, it is better this way compared to them being uninterested.
Last but not least is how old your parents are and how much they need you to care for them. If they are too old and have a lot of health issues, you need to call them more often to check if they are all right.
Should your parents call you?
Your parents can also call you, so you should not feel guilty for not calling them so often if they are not calling you either. But this is a thing you need to talk with them about, to let them know that you expect them to call you as well as they expect you to call them.
I know many people who answer with” finally you call me, after that much time” like their phone doesn’t work. They are parents for other kids, luckily not mine, but I know they can do that, and it’s annoying.
Is it ok to call only one parent?
Yes, in many cases, we talk more with one parent than the other, for some of us, it is our mom, for some, it is our dad, it doesn’t matter. Usually, you want to know what your parents are doing, and you ask the one you called about the other.
This can be because one of them has more free time or, as it happens in many cases, you feel much more open with one of them than the other. This doesn’t mean you don’t love them both, but it is what it is, and it would be better not to think too much about it if it comes naturally to you to call only your mom or your dad.
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Doesn’t matter if you call your parents once a day, once a week, a month, or never if you feel that is the right way of doing it. Your parents can call you as well as often as they need to talk with you.
It is a weird topic because we are emotionally attached to our parents, and when it is time to apply logic to why you call them and how often, it’s easy to feel guilty. However, sometimes you have to do it since some parents are suffocating their adult children with the expectation of too many phone calls.