My parents don’t respect me!
Within the past week, an 18-year-old high school senior, a 20-year-old living at home, and a 35-year-old who has struggled to support himself all made the same statement; “My parents don’t respect me.”
Each one then spent the better part of an hour complaining about one or both parents. “They don’t give me enough money.” “My mom snoops in my room.” “My father won’t listen to me.” “My parents don’t take me seriously.”
Most people desire to be respected by their parents. But the individuals above had not realized that receiving respect from our parents is something we all have a hand in.
If you want the respect of your parents, try the following:
Start by showing some respect for yourself.
Respecting yourself is not just about confidence; it’s about taking care of yourself and your stuff. Do your laundry, shower, and dress. Clean up your living space and wash your vehicle. After doing so, you’ll feel a little more worthy of respect and maybe you’ll be ready to work on reshaping your relationships with your parents.
Be a good communicator.
Tell your parent how you feel about the problems in your relationship, listen to his/her perspective, and try to gain common ground. Good communication is free of outbursts. Don’t react, just talk and listen. If you’re having trouble controlling your emotions in a difficult conversation, ask a family member, clergyman, or a counseling professional to mediate.
It’s hard to respect someone who is complaining and laying blame on others. While it’s okay to discuss problem relationships and attempt to sort out your feelings, if you’re blaming and complaining, you’re probably wasting your valuable time. Instead, try to work toward solutions. If you cannot think of ways to move forward, ask someone wise for ideas, but remain focused on resolving problems rather than running through a list of ways you’ve been wronged.
Kindness earns respect. Little gestures, like making coffee in the morning, or stopping to say “thanks” for they ways your parents support you, go a long way toward a more respectful relationship. Treat them the way you hope to be treated in return.
Earn your own money.
Earning a little bit of money, even a small amount from a few hours of childcare or lawn work on the weekends, can help. Taking care of your own needs gives you more freedom and control, and it’s easier for parents to respect you when you function independently as an adult.
Be accountable for your choices.
Everyone appreciates someone who takes responsibility for his or her actions. If you make a mistake, apologize sincerely and solve any problems caused by your mistake.
And finally, if you have done everything in your power to gain your parent’s respect and nothing is improving, maybe it’s time to get some distance. If you’re a young adult living at home, it might be time to look for another place to stay. Sometimes a little geographic distance helps create better relationships in a family.