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14.11.2007 News

Getting Close To Your Parents

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When you were very little you and your parents communicated in different ways. You would hug or touch each other, play together, smile and be pleased to see each other. You express your feelings easily and talk to each other, almost all the time.

When you went off to school, you spent less time together; you had other people to talk to, play with and learn from.

As you get older, you become less dependent on your parents and more dependent on yourself. That's how it should be. It's part of growing up.

But communication between you and your parents is still important. In fact, it becomes more important as you reach your puberty years.

Your parents want to know that you are safe and happy, so they ask a lot of questions. They want to know who your friends are, where you are going, what you are doing, and heaps of other stuff that you may feel they don't always need to know!

Remember that your parents still love and care for you and they are still responsible for your welfare.

Communication is very important. Although the ways in which you communicate may change. You and your parents may need to work out ways to communicate that give you some independence, privacy and the freedom to express yourselves in a positive way.

Your parents want to know what's going on in your life. If you keep them in the dark they won't know when you need their help or whether they can trust you. Tell them what you're up to, share your thoughts and feelings with them, and seek their advice for your problems. Regular communication builds closeness.

You also need to build trust. Trust is your key to freedom. The way to build trust is through honesty and responsibility. Honesty means you don't lie or manipulate.

Responsibility means you are reliable and can be counted on to use good judgement. When your parents trust you, it's a lot easier for them to say "yes" to most of your requests.

If you want someone to listen to you, then you have to listen to them.

Good listening looks like:
• Being respectful.
• When talking to your parents look at the person who is talking.
• Telling them what you think they mean when you do not understand them.
• Making yourself clear.
• Talking quietly and calmly.
• Waiting until they finish before saying anything.
• Being prepared to negotiate — no-one can always have everything his own way so choose a convenient time to talk — when mum or dad is driving in traffic, or back from a busy schedule is not good.

Choose a time when they are relaxed or in a happy mood to talk to them.

Don't ask for something when others are there. No-one likes to be 'put on the spot'! When you practice these, you will definitely get into their 'good books'.

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