Remember the days of no locked door, no phone calls passed 8 p.m., curfews and being grounded because of things like incomplete chores? Yeah me too. I'm glad those days are gone, but it seems as though (for a lot of us) some new issues have risen and to be honest, it's kind of annoying.
We're in our twenties, finally at the age where we have the ability to create ourselves, show the world who's boss, make a little money, experience new places and things, meet amazing people and hopefully inspire someone along the way. Marriage is on the horizon for some, new babies are on the way, incredible career opportunities are opening up and so much more. These are the things we'd fantasize about as kids. This is our world, everyone else is just living in it...right? Everyone except for two people...mom and dad. To them, they're still running the show, you're just a puppet on a string.
Parents are an interesting figure in our lives. We start out totally and completely obsessed with them and never want to leave their side, but then one day, we want them to never say our name in public and just leave us alone. Then five years later, we're calling our mom every second of the day asking questions like, "How do I do my taxes?" or "What color should I wear today?" and suddenly she becomes our best friend. It's weird how we shift back and forth with these two. Depending on what stage you're at with your parents will determine whether or not you'll even be able to relate to this entry. This blog is for the annoyed young adult who feels like they can't shake their parents loose long enough just to LIVE THEIR LIFE!
Growing up, we would hold on to every word our parents would say. We agreed with them to the death and wouldn't dream of challenging a decision they've made. As we've gotten older, things have sort of changed. Thanks to college professors, social media and the world at large, we've literally been handed the opportunity to voice our opinions, speak our mind and shut down anyone who challenges that viewpoint. Unfortunately for us, we may sometimes forget that the power of shutting people down, does NOT apply to those who reign supreme as the literal and physical creators of our beings.
Parents can be frustrating sometimes when they're being nags, sending text messages like, "Don't forget about your Dr.'s appointment" one minute but then totally spazzing when we need help like, "You're grown, figure it out!" I mean, c'mon, do you think I'm 12 or not? Seriously, we've all been here and if not, we will be, but if you NEVER EVER NEVER EVER have to go through this, please email me and tell me your tall tales.
For the struggling young adult who feels unheard, belittled or is trying to find a happy medium in the relationship with their parents, I have some advice for you...
1. Growing Pains Go Away
I know right now it feels like the end of the world because your parents don't "Get You" or always understand how your feel, but trust me, your time will come and soon you'll be telling your own kids to get a job! What's happening right now (whether you're getting ready to leave for college, moving out or still living at home) is that your parents are still seeing you as cute little Suzy at age two. It's difficult for them to accept you as this older, poppin, independent, glow'd up version of yourself. They're used to you being 100% dependent on them and not having any other options. It's difficult to let you go Suz. Just give them some time, eventually they'll realize how well they raised you and trust you to make decisions on your own. In the mean time, stay strong, give yourself room to grow and forgive them, for they know not what they do.
2. Remain Respectful
As I stated earlier, the world has made us feel as though we can say whatever we want, whenever we want, however we want and anyone who disagrees can see the door, but this really shouldn't be a thing when it comes to our parents. It's important to keep things in perspective when dealing with parents. They have been protecting, providing and sacrificing for us since we came into this world so it can be frustrating for them to see us disrespecting, challenging or going against something they say or do. I know it's hard sometimes, but you can do it!, we all can!
3. Understand Their Point of View
If you had a sweet little puppy who followed you around all day, did whatever you'd say, was pleasant to all of your friends, let you dress it up in cute little clothes and then one day, your puppy becomes this feisty little rascal who doesn't do anything you say and starts biting at all of your friends and pooping all over the place, you'd be a little hurt. How could this perfectly pleasant pup (try saying that 5x's fast) that you've personally trained and raised become some menace to society? That's kinda how our parents feel when we start acting out. It's important to realize that even though we are finding ourselves at this point in life, we should do our best to allow things to happen gradually. Imagine a beautiful flower, it doesn't blossom overnight. Good things take time so strive to flex your independence one day at a time instead of just springing the whole, "You're not the boss of me" line on your parents.
4. Pray About Your Situation
The best solution to any problem is prayer, but especially in situations like these where we feel as though we have absolutely NO control, I mean what can we do? These people brought us in the world, they can surely take us out right? Consulting God about our frustrations, asking how to be rational in these circumstances, seeking guidance on being mindful of how we speak, remain respectful, maintain the strength to endure and being understanding of their disposition are all things we can ask God to help us with and He surely will.
I hope something you read here will help you in your journey. If this entry was not at all what you expected, I'm terribly sorry but I wanted to try and give a little perspective to my fellow young adults. I know it isn't easy, but when you apply the solutions above, I promise you'll see a change, if not in them, CERTAINLY in you! Sometimes it feels like they don't understand, but trust me they do. They were our age once and 9 times out of 10, they're either giving the guidance or protection that they had and worked, or they're trying to give you the love that they wished they had. No matter what, remember, you're not alone!
I love you and God loves you!
- FARRAH LARAÉ