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How to deal with busy parents

Empathise with them to minimise friction at home

education Updated: Nov 16, 2011 10:37 IST
Samir Parikh

Modern day life places demands on everyone, be it children or adults. Everybody is busy in something or the other. A lot of time and energy is spent in this, leaving little or no time for our loved ones. Children often find their super-busy parents seem to have no time for them. What should they do to handle such a situation? Here’s some advice

1 Empathise: When we look at things from our perspective, it is not always easy to understand why another person is doing things the way they are. Understand the worldview of the other individual and empathise with him/her.

2 They too wish to be with you: Understand that your parents would also want to spend time with you. All parents want to spend as much time as they can with their child/children. It would give them equal or even more pleasure as you do by being with them. Don’t doubt this fact because it would only cause a lot of distress in the family.

3 Maximise family times: Try and spend as much time as you can with your parents. Grab as many opportunities as you can to be with them and do things that are enjoyable to all as a family.

4 Share your feelings: Talk about what you are experiencing. Discuss the thoughts coming to your mind and keep open the channels of communication with your parents. Help them understand what you are thinking and convey your understanding of what needs to be done.

5 Don’t criticise: Discussions are the best way to approach a difficult situation. Becoming overly critical and confrontational does not help at all. And it acts as an impediment to bringing about the changes you desire.

6 Don’t create a ruckus: Throwing tantrums does not help anyone. It only serves to exacerbate the problems rather than help determine a workable solution. It is important to have a problem-solving, realistic approach.

7 Structure your schedule around them: One of the things that you should try and do is to build a schedule around that of your parents. So, if they get back home in the evening, avoid scheduling your classes or study time around that. Or if it’s not feasible, then try and have some free time at the same time as they do. Having meals together is also a great way to spend time with each other and connecting to each others’ lives.

8 Don’t compare them to others: Everybody has their own responsibilities to fulfil and their way of working which by and large tends to be incomparable to another individual’s. Comparisons only enhance discontent and make it difficult to work towards solutions.

9 Keep calm: Make your home a pleasant place to be in. Turn it into a relaxing place where one would want to spend as much time as possible.

10 Take responsibility: Learn to do things and be proactive in and around the home. Make your presence felt by being more responsible towards yourself.

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