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Healthy relationship with parents as an adult

(21 Posts)
Imustgodowntotheseaagain Sat 23-Jan-16 16:34:16

I have ongoing issues with my family and I've realised that part of the problem may be that I'm stuck in 'child' mode when dealing with the parents. I'd love to know what a healthy grown-up relationship looks like. Could anyone tell me:

Do you have a successful relationship as an adult with your mum and dad?

Did it come easily or was it a struggle?

What sort of things do you do together as adults?

Marchate Sat 23-Jan-16 17:29:12

Some people manage it!

I guess it depends on the relationship you had with them when young. For example, did they prefer you as a little child but it fell to bits when you were a teenager?

Every family has its own history

TheMouseThatRoared Sat 23-Jan-16 17:55:46

I have a good relationship with my parents, they only live a 10 min walk away. They visit most Sundays for about 4 hours, dm will usually pop round for an hour in the middle of the week too. We don't 'do' anything together.
It wasn't always so harmonious, living with them was a nightmare but we get on so much better now I have my own house- the distance between us has really helped!

Imustgodowntotheseaagain Sat 23-Jan-16 18:14:31

I don't remember ever having a good relationship, Marchate

Do you have Sunday dinner together, mouse? Or just a chat and a cup of tea?

TheMouseThatRoared Sat 23-Jan-16 18:31:13

I usually just make something in the slow cooker or maybe some nice sandwiches,nothing that causes me stress to prepare grin. They arrive at about 2pm and leave at 5pm which sounds quite short but I fine that nice cheery short visits work well.

What's it like

TheMouseThatRoared Sat 23-Jan-16 18:33:38

(Sorry don't know what happens there hmm)

What is it like when you spend time with your parents? What do you mean when you say your stuck in child mode?

TheMouseThatRoared Sat 23-Jan-16 18:35:26

Ignore. All the typos and misspellings -getting dd ready for bed.

Imustgodowntotheseaagain Sat 23-Jan-16 18:48:58

They give me a monologue about a TV show they've seen, or someone at the golf club I don't know, have never met and will never meet. My job is to listen and nod. Or we sit and watch TV but no-one can talk while the programme is on, so it feels like being a kid, seen and not heard!

Imustgodowntotheseaagain Sat 23-Jan-16 18:49:44

I'd like to just chat, about my work maybe, or something I've done, or something I'm interested in.

Joysmum Sat 23-Jan-16 18:50:38

I have always had s good relationship with both my parents (divorced but now best friends).

They saw parenting as raising a strong independent woman with good ethics so I've never had to fight for an adult relationship with them as an adult.

Actually, as we've all grown older, in more and more respects our roles are swapping and I've been taking on more and more of the 'parent' behaviours in terms of money and support. That's been strange.

springscoming Sat 23-Jan-16 18:51:50

Sounds as if they've just got crap social skills tbh. Are they like this with everyone they've known for a long time or is it just with you/your siblings?

FindoGask Sat 23-Jan-16 19:05:24

Far healthier than it was when I was a child! But I've had to let a lot of stuff go. We're quite distant geographically, which helps, so I only see them a few times a year. Love them both and I really believe they did the best they knew how to, as parents, but my childhood was very difficult at times, as many people's were.

My dad is definitely the monologue type that you describe. We mainly speak on the phone, and basically he does the talking, often about stuff I clearly would have no interest in, like a business problem that's very in depth and involves various eosteric points of law. We do properly connect about a few subjects - family, food, etc; but mainly my role is to listen and affirm his views about stuff. When we meet up we go for walks with his dog.

Mum - more of an equal footing probably, more back and forth. We go and stay with her maybe twice a year and she might come to us once or twice. She watches a lot of telly in the evenings and isn't a big talker unless she's in the mood or has had a drink; but she listens more than dad does, I think, although I'm not fully open with her about things because she tends to worry or get the wrong idea sometimes.

Marchate Sat 23-Jan-16 19:06:16

Do you visit the Stately Homes thread? If not, head over there soon!

Needaninsight Sat 23-Jan-16 19:07:43

i'm in my 40's and parents still treat me as if I'm 12!

I'd love to have a more adult relationship but they're stuck in their ways. Lovely people. Lovely parents. But will never acknowledge I'm an adult.

Imustgodowntotheseaagain Sat 23-Jan-16 19:25:36

Thanks, everyone - spring that's difficult to answer as we didn't have much of a social life outside the family (I'm not painting a very good picture here, am I) - people didn't really come round to visit.

findo that sounds very familiar! Are you happy just to let the monologue wash over you?

need are you happy with that? Would you like it to be different?

I've been in Stately Homes a few times but thought it might be the wrong place to ask about positive parental relationships.

Imustgodowntotheseaagain Sat 23-Jan-16 19:26:24

Sorry, need, you've already said you'd prefer a more adult relationship.

Iwanttokillthem Sat 23-Jan-16 19:35:32

Taking your scenario of a sunday dinner for instance it would be something like;
Arrive with kids running up the path ,front door already opened at the sound of the car stopping outside.Being met with smiles and hugs and jokes to kids from grandad.
Ushered in with exclamations about new clothes /shoes/school reports etc and then offers of refreshments all round. A sit down with everyone present and news exchanged and everyone given time to say their important news as necessary.
Then on to the meal which is prepared with individual likes as far as possible. Drinks are poured for all and its usuallyhelp yourself from dishes on the table. Pudding all round even if you dont finish dinner smile
Then after dinner there is more time for chatting and catching up. No TV on at any point in the visit .

This is more or less how it is with the rest of our extended family and friends from our visiting experience with them.

In regards to my relationship with the I suppose its easier as actually we now have much more in common ( work,raising children,cooking etc) than when I was younger but that is about it. We dont fall out or have and frosty silences-too much chatting going on.smile

scandichick Sat 23-Jan-16 19:44:28

I think I've got a great relationship with my parents, arguably more so than DH. Based on the differences between our respective families and what others on the thread have said, I wonder if it's partially due to my parents raising me with the expressed goal to become an independent adult.

I think it's also because we have fun together, always have had - everyone'a likes and dislikes are taken into account, and we do nice things together. Maybe I was one of the whiny teenagers people post about here, but that's not what I remember. I do remember always feeling important, as if I mattered. If you were expected to be seen and not heard as a child, I can imagine it having an impact on your relationship as an adult.

Imustgodowntotheseaagain Sat 23-Jan-16 19:54:52

That sounds lovely, iwant

I'm told the goal for our upbringing was "well-behaved and intelligent children" - perhaps that explains a lot!

Iwanttokillthem Sat 23-Jan-16 23:54:08

Ah -well now. The goal for our upbringing was probably " happy children and adults".
Worked well and funnily enough also ended up with well behaved and intelligent people . Win win for them ( and us). It doesnt have to be painful.

GiddyOnZackHunt Sun 24-Jan-16 00:08:36

I had a slightly difficult relationship with my parents as a teen. Partly because I was a bolshy know it all and partly because my dad was a reactionary know it all. At one point I could have walked away forever but we weathered the storm.
I suspect my parents have bitten their tongues a fair few times as I've made mistakes but I've dug myself out of those holes and built myself a decent life. I know they're proud of me and they know I love them.
We don't live near them but we talk a lot. My mum and I can talk as equals. My dad worked in the same field as me and occasionally asked for my opinion on work matters. I have a similar sense of humour to him and we do stupid childish sniggering together.
When we visit each other the DC take centre stage in the day. Then we have dinner together with a few glasses of wine and chat about whatever. They like DH and it's all terribly relaxed.

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