Dealing With Difficult Parents
A Close Look At Dealing With Difficult Parents
Dealing with difficult parents is a problem you really don't want to wish on anybody. There are many different ways parents can make a mess out of your life, either purposefully, or with all the best intention of doing just the opposite. The greatest challenge may be, that since you love your parents, you simply can't walk away from them, though in some situations you may need to do just that, as a temporary step in a drawn out process.
Learn From The Teacher - Those in the teaching profession spend some time in learning the tips and techniques of dealing with difficult parents. Not theirs, but perhaps yours, when you were of school age. Of course the teacher is not having to deal with a close family member, and has the luxury of being able to act in a very professional matter, showing the offending parents respect, no matter how difficult that may be, but demanding respect from them as well. Seeing what teachers are taught in this regard, may give you some help in planning your own course of action.
The Power Of Silence - For example, the educator is trained to stay calm and professional. You aren't often going to see teachers and parents get in a shouting match. The parents may do most of the shouting while the teacher manages, probably with some difficulty, to keep his or her cool. Keeping your cool can be very effective. Silence, or selective silence as counselors sometimes call it, can be quite effective. You don't have to ignore someone completely to make a point, but you can ignore someone, like a parent, selectively. Silence is not a passive weapon, it can, at the right times, be a powerful one, and it is not a threatening weapon.
Don't Allow Yourself To Be Looked Down On - Another thing educators learn, is the effectiveness of dealing with difficult parents by speaking to them at eye level. When you were very little, your parents might squat down to be at eye level with you, especially when they had reason to praise you, but also sometimes when you were being scolded. In that case, what your parents considered the problem to be would be explained to you. Chances are, if they were simply being harsh with you, they would not be at eye level but towering over you, and that gave them a tremendous advantage. Now that you're grown up, you can look your mother or father in the eye, and not be in a position of being looked down on. If one of your parents is giving you a bad time and you're sitting down, stand up, don't back off, let them have their say, and keep your cool. Whether you want to respond, keep silent, or simply leave the room is up to you. You were not raised to be anyone's doormat! Not even your parent's doormat.
Understand Your Own Feelings First - It's also a good idea to take stock of your own feeling towards your parents and how they've dealt with you. If you've had a bad childhood, accept the fact, and accept the fact you don't like that. Don't try to bury it, but don't nurse bad feelings either. Either one can have negative results. Parents may not change in the way they behave, but they should be smart enough to learn that dealing with you as an adult is different than dealing with you as a child was. They need to know that you expect that, in fact demand it.
Change Will Come Slowly, Maybe Not At All - Now you can't take a little list of tips and advice and carry them around in a mental tool box, expecting rapid results when you put one or more of them to the test. It took your parents many years to get the way they are, and they aren't going to change overnight, maybe not at all. The goal though isn't to change them, but to change the way they look at you, and treat you. Some parents believe in tough love, and continue to believe that, even though you've grown up. That's probably a blessing or sorts, but something they need to get over with. Others may be demanding, forgetful, controlling, or any number of things that makes them difficult to deal with. Some will smother you with love, to the point you have no life of your own. At the other extreme, it can be extremely difficult figuring out how to go about dealing with difficult parents who are that way because they are alcoholic, schizophrenic, perverted, or whatever. In such extreme cases, you may just have to seek the services of a professional, or simply go about your own life, and let them lead theirs.
The Aging Parent - The art of dealing with difficult parents who are that way because of the effects of aging is a special situation. People can sometimes become difficult to be around because they feel they are losing things they've always had, such as good health, old friends, or the ability to do things they once enjoyed. These losses can make people bitter, and at times demanding. Parents will on occasion expect their children to look after them and do things for them, long before they are in a situation where they can't do those things for themselves. They want to become dependent, and in doing so can become demanding and controlling. This is an especially difficult situation of they have given you a life time of love. Here is where patience can be a real virtue, especially of course if a parent begins to become forgetful or depressed. Like the teachers learn to do, you can be firm, and show and expect respect, but also do one thing not expected of the teacher, show love.