Parents are an interesting bunch. If you’re like me, you were in the unfortunate position of compare and contrast with your cousins and/or other children of family friends.
“…your cousin Sally is so smart! She went to UC *blah blah blah*”
my mom says to me for the fifth time. FIFTH TIME MOM!
(Sally is not my actual cousin, not saying my mom hasn’t said something like this to me before though).
I hear stuff like this all the time, and it’s frustrating. To some parents, their actions and words indicate that you’ll never be “good enough” to them. It’s hurtful to you, though sometimes they may or may not realize it.
Let’s just put it out there, parenting isn’t easy, and I’m not even a parent. Just the thought of it seems daunting and perhaps one of the most difficult of things to do in life.
I can say, I am indeed a child of two parents that didn’t have any kind of plan to raise me, they merely had a vision for me, which set the tone for the rest of my life. However, this isn’t about a how-to parent by Jonny, this is how to connect with your parents, by Jonny. If there is one thing that I could tell you, it’s this one and only rule,
connect with their love language.
Love language? There’s an excellent book written by Dr. Gary Chapman called The Five Love Languages that goes into detail about how different people respond to various forms of love. It’s an absolute must read for everyone because it pinpoints each of the five ways we can love others.
For instance, one of the love languages is giving gifts. There are some who love gifts and will go absolutely insane when you gift them something. Others, don’t care for gifts as much and may even feel a sense of guilt when you give them a gift.
You may not be up to your parent’s “standards and expectations” that they may be unfairly imposing on you, but you can impose your love onto them in them because, they did, of course, raise you.
Here are the five love languages:
- Acts of Service
- Do something nice for your parents. Perhaps clean up the living room, wash the dishes for starters.
- Receiving Gifts
- Buy your parents a random gift from time to time. Don’t let it be complicated, something simple will do to let them know you’re thinking of them.
- Quality Time
- Spending time with your parents. Focus on the word quality
- Words of Affirmation
- Telling your Mother/Father, you love them. Give them a card with words that show you really do appreciate them.
- Physical Touch
- Giving your parents a hug from time to time.
Note that one person can have a mixture of these love languages. For instance, I know my mom loves acts of service and right after that is quality time.
Of course, these love languages apply to all people.
I’m only using this for parents because it takes the focus away from you and onto them when you know that you can’t always be what your parents want you to be. Be yourself but be someone who can love.
Also, know that your parents aren’t perfect, and they can’t always get it right with you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t connect and love them unconditionally the way they did when you were just a baby.
Go out there and find out what your parents’ love languages are and act on it! Do it at least twice a month, put it into practice and make it a habit. Show your parents you love them!