Opening up to your parents is difficult, it was never easy since it is a different relationship compared to the one with your friends where you are on the same page, on the same level, with almost the same experience. But opening up to our parents can help us a lot with our problems since they will often be there for us and want to help.
All we have to do is to make the conversation more natural, to understand each other since the bond is already there. However, in this case, is not easy at all, we will talk in this article about why it seems easy to open up to our parents, but it is not.
Why is it difficult to open up to your parents
It is hard to open up with our parents because they treat us like their babies even if we are not a baby anymore. Most of the time, parents don’t take seriously the problems that their kids’ problems because they consider them insignificant.
I bet most people know what I’m talking about, you break up with your first boyfriend/girlfriend, and they act like it is a minor problem that happens to anyone and talk to you like you lost 1 dollar on the way home from school, that level of importance.
But for most people, ending the first relationship is traumatizing, at least for the moment, and you really need some help and support in those moments.
This happens because most adults are not emphatic enough, not only parents. Empathy is not one of the most common qualities people have, and it is certainly not one that is promoted enough.
Most parents don’t put themself in the kid’s shoes when they give advice, and their advice sounds very logical and helpful for them without thinking about how it was when they were your age, what was important and difficult for them then, not now when they have much more experience.
Let’s get back to the example above with the first relationship, it is obvious for most people that you will probably have more relationships from now and this will be just one of them, but when you are in that moment, this is the last thing you want to hear from your parents even if looks like the best advice.
If they are emphatic, they will listen to you, ask more questions to understand really the situation, and help you figure out how to get through this moment in your own way.
I’m not saying that all the parents aren’t emphatic, but I notice this to be a real problem for most people when opening up to their parents and also their parents.
How to open up with your parents?
Before talking about how to open up with your parents, you should know that opening up with them is more challenging than it might look since there is an emotional bond between you that will override the rational action that you and your parents should take to make this possible.
There are a few things to consider and have in mind when you plan to open up with your parents. I will list 7 of them here, but certainly, there are more, depending on your situation.
1. Realize that you need and want to open up
Not everybody wants to open up with their parents, and not everybody understands why it is important. We all know kids that hide way too many things from their parents for different reasons, it might be the kid’s fault it might be the parent’s fault, it might be both.
I want to congratulate you that you are here, which means you made an intentional effort to improve your relationship with your parents.
This is the first step toward a better relationship with your parents, to want to open up and talk to them more honestly. You should start this journey with no big expectations at the beginning, it will be a lot of work and effort to end up at a stage where you talk with your parents like they are your best friends,
2. Time and plan this properly
You know your parents’ schedule better; it can be pretty busy. You should be reasonable and expect them to rush things and don’t pay close attention to your problems when they are busy with work or other things.
Try to set up a time with them when they are free to talk with you. Then they will be focused on the discussion they have with you. Otherwise, you might end up telling them something really important to you, but they are in a hurry and do not pay attention to what you say. This can be one of the situations where you end up with advice from them just to get rid of the situation rather than really helping you by understanding your problems.
Having a plan and a time set when you will talk with them about your issues will help keep them focused on you.
3. Understand that you have to take it step by step – it’s not easy
When you think about opening up with your parents means that you are not open with them and most probably are not something that is recent, so there is quite some time where you weren’t open to them.
Any drastic change to your behavior will be weird for them and you, so you must take this process step by step, not all at once.
Start talking about small problems that bother you more honestly, let them know exactly what you think about little things, and see how they will react. If their reaction is ok and they don’t ask what is wrong with you, you can go to more important things. You might scare them if all of a sudden you are open and honest about all the things in your life, and the result will be them worrying about you rather than having a nice, honest discussion about what you have on your mind.
4. Make sure they understand the importance of your problems
If your parents undermine your problems all the time and this is an obstacle for you in opening up with them, you can insist on explaining to them that what you say is really important and you need their help in solving it.
You can tell them that you know it seems like a non-problem for them, but for you, it is, and you have difficulties passing through, and explaining your actual struggle in more detail will help them take you seriously.
5. Be honest
Talk to them like you would talk to a friend, if the answer they give you doesn’t solve your problem, try to explain to them that this is not how you want to solve the problem.
Being honest with them will help you open up without overthinking what you would say; sometimes, you will say things that will embarrass you or them, but it is the truth, and that’s fine, no one has perfect communication with no awkwardness when we are for real. The thing is that even if you think every word you will say and you are not honest, you will end up in awkward situations and embarrassing moments as well, so in the long run, it’s worth being honest.
6. Appreciate them for paying attention and helping you.
It’s weird to think that you have to appreciate that your parents made time to listen to you and honestly answer your question, after all, they are your parents, and it is their job to do it. But they are human at the same time, and seeing that you appreciate their effort will encourage them to do it again.
Most people lack appreciation for what they do. You would enjoy it if someone complimented you for being honest with your parents, even if it can seem like this is your job. They will enjoy someone complimenting or appreciating them as well for listening to you and doing their job properly, and YES, that someone can be you.
Read Also: Being Too Open-Minded
7. Opening up is a two-way street
Most parents don’t consider it necessary to open up to their kids. But if they are not open to you, and you only know what they have successfully done in life, not the moments they failed, you will not see them as equal since you fail at many things.
That doesn’t mean that your parents should throw all their problems to you, but step by step, it should be a more open discussion so you can encourage them to be more open to you.
It will feel weird at the beginning, but it will happen if you are open with them, and they start seeing you like a grown-up person with real problems, not like a kid.
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Why it is important to open up to your parents
It is very important to do our best to open up to our parents, they want our best and will be there for us most of the time.
Our parents and we must understand that this is a relationship like all other relationships, for better communication, we have to work for it and put some effort into talking about it.
It doesn’t always come naturally, and one thing to know is that communication with your parents can improve over time and deteriorate, so we have to pay attention to it, not take it for granted.
Read Also: How Often Should You Call Your Parents?
Try to be patient with your parents as they should be with you. Communicating properly when the soul overrides the mind is not easy.
I hope this article helped you, and now you know that sometimes it can be your fault that it is hard to open up with your parents, sometimes it is their fault, and sometimes it is both. However, you should do you part as best as you can since you can control another person, what you do is the only thing in your power.