We are because of our parents, yet many a time we may be caught up with our chores and in our individual spaces. Today many families are disjointed ‒ siblings are in different cities or countries and parents are living in another place. Add on to it the time lag, and communication goes for a toss. These days both children and parents confront newer challenges ‒ retirement or career changes, health issues and concerns about the future. This may cause issues but as you change, your relations with parents will also undergo a change.
But no matter what, children are and will always be the source of strength and happiness for their parents. Maintaining this emotional bond and showing them care and affection is very important. And I don’t mean just a status update on your Facebook stating “I miss you, Mom and Dad”, on certain occasions.
We are, in a way, in a long distance relationship with our parents. And keeping and maintaining a long distance relationship is never easy – it requires efforts. Understanding their issues and being supportive at a time when they need you is the bedrock of a healthy relationship with parents.
Here are a few things you can do to show that you really care and improve your relationship with your parents.
- First and foremost is treating them with mutual respect and valuing them. They may be concerned about their children being alone and would like to check or give suggestions, reassuring them that they are right or listening to them gives an emotional empathy.
One of my client ‒ let’s call her Neha ‒ makes it a point to always listen to her parents even when she knows the details about something, for example, where to invest. She values their advice, and the underlying concern and care behind it.
- Whenever you can say I love you, mom or dad, do also check on their health issues, etc. Fixing a doctor’s appointment or sending medicines is another way to show you care and love them.
Similarly, keeping track of their whereabouts and their safely is another important thing you must do.
- Communicating care and sharing love & shared memories create a positive interacting cycle. Sharing day today events make them feel included even though they may be very far.
- You must think of your parents as fellow adults rather than as your parents.
Feeling and acting like an adult around your parents is the cornerstone of having a healthy adult relationship with them. Communicating not only about personal life, family memories or gossip, but talk on a variety of subjects like sports, games, events or work.
- Expression of appreciation for what they have endured to help you reach your current position is important.
You should strive to create opportunities for exploring and uncovering memories by asking them for stories about their own or encouraging them to talk about their accomplishments, and other high points in their lives.
Here are a few other things you can do for them:
- To further keep them engaged and involved, you can create a family picture with a quote and put in your thoughts and share them through mobile or email. Likewise, sharing jokes or humorous remarks keep the communication going. You can also help them record their memories on videos.
- In an online era sending gifts is very easy. If they have a liking for a particular thing, do gift them or send them without occasion. or sending surprise holiday tickets or sometimes even surprising them by landing up home are small ways to greater happiness.