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Are your parents being ‘difficult’?

Express what you are going through, convey expectations and needs, and share each other’s thoughts

education Updated: Jan 11, 2012 11:08 IST
Samir Parikh

Parents tend to go through their own struggles when dealing with their children. A lot of questions plague them when it comes to their offspring. When parents become autocratic and dictatorial, it is a cause for concern for the children. How should a child manage himself and his relationship with his parent in such a situation?

Here’s some help.

1 Do not compare: It is very easy to compare oneself to others, especially to the parents of one’s friends. Making these comparisons only makes things difficult and causes dissatisfaction and unhappiness. So avoid comparing your parents to those of your friends.

2 Do not retaliate: It is easy to become angry and get aggressive in the face of the parent’s attitude that you may perceive to be autocratic. However, what one forgets is that this would only serve to worsen the situation and the parent-child relationship, leading to more distress.

3 Keep talking: Often what is required is an open channel of communication. Express what you are going through, convey expectations and needs, and share each other’s thoughts.

4 Keep parents involved in your life: Tell your parents about your experiences and how they affect you. Make them feel connected to you.

5 Be responsible: Take responsibility. Start doing the things that you need to do and demonstrate your understanding of your responsibility.

6 Do not blame yourself: Self-blame would worsen the situation for you. Being self-critical takes away from the role that the other would play in making things the way they are. So, take stock of the situation without being excessively self-critical.

7 Stay within mutually agreed rules: It is important to try and develop a set of rules that both children and parents agree to abide by. The rules would help delineate what is the expected behaviour and take care of any altercations.

8 Bond with siblings and cousins: Develop good relations with other members of the family. Take support from others as well because that would help you tide over the difficult experiences of everyday life. Talk to uncles and aunts

9 Make life enjoyable: Engage in different fun activities and do things that are pleasurable for you as well for others around you.

10 Talk to a counsellor: If things do not work out, then it would be a good idea to consult a counsellor.

The author is a psychiatrist, and chief, Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Max Healthcare