At one point in every girl’s life, she will look at her friends and ask “Have my parents gone crazy?” Your friends will laugh and roll their eyes because they know, they have. It is a strange occurrence, a kind of push-pull that makes getting along with your parents nearly impossible. They spend the majority of your life filling you up with ideas that you are bright, beautiful, and capable of achieving your dreams then turn around and panic every time you want to take the car. What is going on? How can you handle the stress of your parents on top of creating your own amazing life?
First, let’s look at what is happening for your parents. They really are going a little crazy but let’s understand why. Your parents have poured everything about themselves into raising you. You have been their life and their main purpose for everything that they do. Your independence triggers the letting go process for them. While you start to let go with some fear and much excitement, they start to let go and grieve the change in their jobs aka purpose of being. Every time you move forward is a small loss they must adjust to. On top of the emotional rollercoaster of preparing for you to leave, they have fears and insecurities just like you. They begin to question whether they have done everything they could have done to prepare you for the big world and just in case they haven’t, make a point to cram it all in. Underneath the crazy, they really do want you to take risks and have your life.
It all makes sense. Now you know, it’s them not you. As they say, “knowledge is power”, and as Spidey’s Uncle Ben reminds us, “with great power comes great responsibility”. Let’s break down your responsibility in this adult to almost adult relationship. You have the opportunity to create this relationship in the same way you are creating the rest of your life-with total fabulocity! There are four simple things you can do to curtail the crazy and gain your freedom. We are going to look at one a week!
Let’s start with offering plenty of understanding.
Knowing that they are freaking out is a big key to how you are going to choose to respond in different situations. When they are having a bit of a parental fit, and your mind is going to the idea that they don’t understand or trust you, you will most likely throw a fit back. I am not even going to go into the irony about how difficult it is to be understood or taken seriously while you are acting like a two year old yourself. However, if you imagine the same parental fit, and your mind goes to the possibility that they are scared and having a hard time letting go, there is an increased chance that you will act with compassion (a very adult quality) and give them a chance to be heard. Understanding simply means that you are choosing to understand that your parents are not obstacles to overcome but instead human beings that just love you a bit too much for what you had in mind in the moment. Understanding also demands that you remind yourself that it is not all about you. This is a relationship; you get what you put into it.