10 Ways to Demonstrate to Your Parents That You are All Grown Up
Why They Think You’re Still a Child
If you want your parents to realize that you are now a fully functioning adult person who does not need to be tucked in, hand held or nurtured any longer; then you are ready to learn 10 steps to gently but firm make them aware of the person you are now. In order to be patient with this process remember that they have known you since you were 19 or so inches long, helpless and could do nothing but the most basic bodily involuntary functions. That vulnerable beginning made a lasting impression on them which is hard to erase. It might be best to strive for an updated version of that little human being, because erasure is probably not possible.
1) Speak to them frequently. Express your feelings about the future, hopes, dreams, current aspirations, challenges, and perhaps even a five-year-plan for advancement, to reach your goals.
2) Take them out to dinner, if possible, or do something as a family. Pay for whatever the activity is, instead of having them pay. If you live a distance away, threat them to a trip to your new location. Let them see that you wish to include them in the life you’re building, now that you are on your own.
3) Let go of the endearing names you called them when you were a child, like “mommy” and “daddy”. “Mom” and “dad” sounds better coming from their twenty-something (or older) son or daughter, and when you treat them as adults, they will see that you have truly matured.
4) Discuss politics, economic trends, the “Dow”, and health issues that are currently topical, and demonstrate your varied interests, opinions and knowledge of the real world.
5) Listen to your parents. You don’t have to agree with their point of view, but really listen. Show them that you respect their life experiences and values.
6) If you need advice, ask them. They have lived long enough to know many life lessons. Also, if they don’t have an answer for you, they will probably know who to ask or where to seek qualified information. Don’t assume that because the world has changed drastically in recent years, that your parents aren’t constantly learning and keeping current. People live much longer now, and stay productive and involved. Information is easily accessible for everyone, and their need to know is integral to their well-being, just like you.
7) Help your parents stay involved by encouraging them to learn new skills, such as blogging, speaking a second language, joining a travel club, or any other challenging activity. They will be happier, healthier, and your interest in them is selfless and another sign of maturity, yours!
8) If you find yourself having to discuss controversial issues like you choice of political party, or why you aren’t seeing a certain person that they both know and like, anymore; try to discuss this touchy stuff from your perspective, but without getting too emotional, or being disrespectful and defensive. Controlling these feelings and being open and truthful, is reassuring for parents, who are prone to worry when they don’t understand the reasoning for pivotal choices or decisions you’ve made.
9) Set boundaries about things you are not comfortable discussing and subjects which are too private and personal to share. Again, this kind of courteous, but somewhat limiting behavior lets them know that you value yourself and your privacy as an adult.
10) Finally, and most importantly tell them often that you love and value them as parents, as people, and as human beings. Hug them, look into their eyes and listen to them.
If you want to connect on a truly adult level, let your actions, and interest in them, show your parents that you are a mature, intelligent, value-oriented adult.