Sunday, September 28, 2008


Many students feel pressured and stressed by their relationship with their parents. I'm here to tell you that there is hope at the end of the tunnel. I have some stellar ideas on how to reduce the stress in your relationship with your parents.

So what do parents want? They want me to
  • have better grades

  • be healthy

  • be safe

  • be polite

  • spend time with them

  • be successful

  • manage money better

  • not date losers

  • get a job

  • yada, yada, yada

Is it any wonder you are stressed out? Truth is, most of us want to please our parents but we also want to be true to ourselves. Most of us aren't experienced enough to get all that stuff right all the time. So we make mistakes, we screw up, things slip through the cracks, we make some bad choices.

So how do we repair and improve our relationship with our parents? I got two easy steps for you:

  1. Call your parents from time to time to simply say, "Thank you." Parents want to know that you genuinely appreciate the sacrifices that they have made for you, that you realize all that they have done for you. When you say, "Thank you for sending me to college." Or, "Thank you for coming to watch my soccer game." Big or small, when you say thank you, you are acknowledging to your parents that you appreciate them. That is music to their ears and takes such a small amount of time and effort on your part. Plus these thank you phone calls will pay big dividends when you need to make the "I need some money" phone call. Parents will feel much more inclined to hand over the money when they feel you are grateful for what you receive.

  2. If you screw up, recognize that you have made a mistake, come up with a plan to correct the mistake, and then call to inform your parents of what you have done and how you plan on correcting it so it never happens again. Parents want to know that you are mature enough to correct mistakes and learn from them. The worst thing that can happen is to make a mistake and not to learn anything from it. Then you are doomed to repeat your mistake over and over again. If you are able to communicate to your parents how you plan to never make that mistake again, you will tamp down the anxiety that parents feel when their child has done something wrong. You will be dealing with them as an adult would.

Hopefully your phone calls to your parents will only be filled with "Thank yous", but it is good to have a plan in case you need to make that difficult "I've screwed up" call.

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