The adult parent-child relationship changes over time…
…and the challenges in becoming our parents’ support system may strain the quality of the interaction and communication. Our attachment with our parents in our adult and their elder years range widely. From extremely supportive and loving, a relationship in which we draw strength from their wisdom and experience; we feel so close and the thought of losing them scares us. To a high conflict one, in which we don’t get the validation or credit, from childhood to the present. However, many clients feel obliged to look out for their parents’ wellbeing after the loss of one of their parents, when there is an illness or, when they are becoming more dependent.
Why won’t our parents listen and accept we are adults too?
The reality of our adult interactions stem from the attachment and parenting style which developed in our childhood. It is difficult to reset the dynamic, switch roles and for elder parents to accept our influence or even our help. In other cases, the elder parent may want to maintain the status quo and seek to demand, expect, guilt, criticize or make comparisons to get their goal met. Other factors which strain relationships include family trauma, abuse, alcoholism, grief, detachment or absence among others.
Maribel can help you learn about the origin of the relationship patterns by exploring childhood parenting and attachment styles which result in the current emotional outcomes. Since the past is fixed, we then focus on learning skills for the here and now to interact, problem solve, and communicate with our elder parents in a way which maintains the respect while establishing healthy boundaries and expectations.