Make your parents your friends

My folks just don’t understand me.’ How many times have you heard that? Times have changed and so have the rules of parent-teenager relationships. Yet, the generational clash treads familiar grounds — be it on matters of dressing or issues like career and friendships.

Your parents don’t approve of black nail paint, tattoo, belly piercing or Pink Floyd posters on your wall, don’t crib. Most parents believe, children cross the line in the name of experimentation. To handle this, undertake one change at a time. Do things differently.

For example, if they have a problem with you sticking posters on the walls, frame them up. Also, instead of piercing your belly or sporting a tattoo, try out their fake alternatives. Do not be a rebel without a cause.

If your parents frown upon your girlfriends or talking to women, win their confidence over by inviting your friends home. Once they get to know them, their apprehensions will reduce. You could also make them talk to one of your girlfriends’ parents. Also, with youngsters increasingly getting sexually active, parents get worried. Don’t lie about your relations. Instead, assure your parents that you are aware of the repercussions of a reckless sexual behaviour.

Your late night job gives your folks the jitters. But you can’t blame your parents for not favouring your late hours. Have them talk to your boss or colleagues to get to know your work schedule. Also, keeping in mind their concern, try opting for events or tasks that do not require you to stay out late.

Since you have done well in Class 10, they insist you only take up Science. Parents want your intellect to be harnessed to the maximum. And given the stereotypes attached to each field, their demand is not unusual. Your best bet would be to take an aptitude test and let the results decide your strengths. Attend a post-test counselling session explaining the scope of your desired profession.

You may be accused of not spending family time or attending marriages, engagements, etc. Many parents don’t understand the concept of space. Give them time to realise that you’ve grown up and have different priorities. But after doing something for your parents, don’t ever show off. Saying things like ‘Now are you happy I had dinner with you?’ or ‘I came to Rima’s engagement only because you asked me to,’ is unwarranted. As for social outings, work on a formula where you accompany them at times and skip on other occasions.

You are asked to reduce your expenses and save more. Explain to them calmly as to what you wish to do with your money. If they see the benefits, they won’t stop you. This is the beginning of your career and if things go wrong, you will need them.

You want to move out of house to experience life first hand but your parents refuse. How old is old enough to move out, is a conflict point in many cultures. Have a heart-to-heart discussion with them. Chart out a plan and get their approval. Promise them regular visits and keep your promise.

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