Mother and Daughter at Sunset

They're supposed to be the suppliers of unconditional love, the people who support you and care for you no matter what and the ones you can always turn to in a crisis. And yet you only have to look around you to see that quite a few people don't have the best of relationships with their parents. For a number of reasons, the connection can be damaged, but the impact of not being close to your mother or father can be terrible. The good news is, if you feel that you're in danger of drifting apart, there are a number of very simple steps you can take to reconnect and repair that bond.

Show Mutual Respect

As kids, the word of our parents is law, and it's their rules and guidance which set the boundaries of our world. As we get older however, this absolute influence naturally diminishes, and we have to learn how to renegotiate our relationship with them as a fully grown adult. This is often easier said than done. Finding the line between respecting the experience and wisdom our parents can provide us with, and making our own adult decisions can be tricky. Don't make the mistake of reverting back to teenage behaviours. Focusing on mutual respect and making a resolution for calm, rational conversation is key for being treated how you want and also showing mature respect to your parents and their wishes.

Have The Difficult Conversations

There are always certain topics we feel uncomfortable discussing with mum and dad, but there's no reason why we shouldn't be able to approach facts of life topics like sex, death and emotions with our parents. Be as open as you can about both of your feelings and wishes when it comes to illness, later years care and even topics such as having a plan with the funeral directors when they pass away. Of course these topics aren't exactly pleasant, but establishing facts and expectations early on is absolutely key to avoid any huge misunderstandings which could lead to major problems.

Forgive Them For Being Human

As small children, mum and dad are the sun and moon of our existence. We see them almost at infallible superhumans who can swoop in and solve all our problems. Then as we grow older, we begin to realise that being an adult doesn't mean you have all the answers. Even with that, we can find it incredibly hard to forgive our parents for their human fragility. Acknowledging that they are allowed to make mistakes sometimes is a hugely important part of growing up. Accept that your parents are often just figuring it out themselves and have a little sympathy, and you'll find it definitely improves relations between you.

Act Like An Adult

Whether we see them once a week or once a year, somehow it's too easy to fall back into old familiar patterns of behaviour with our parents. We take on a role in the family dynamic - the black sheep, the caring one, the brain - and we feel that we must act up to that. Breaking this cycle can be difficult, but it's a must. Acting like a spoilt, lazy teenager in your thirties and beyond just isn't cool. Take control of the situation and don't excuse bad behaviour in yourself.

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