How to improve Parents & Adolescent relationship?

An article by Relationship Psychologist in Delhi - Shivani Misri Sadhoo,

Walking on eggshells. Parents do love us and want what’s best for us, and doing what they ask will be a great way to have a stable life
The parent-child relationship is one of the longest lasting social ties human beings establish,” said Kira Birditt. Nothing has a greater impact on our lives than our families. It is the most powerful unit of society, influencing and shaping every man, woman and child for good or for the bad. This tie is often highly positive and supportive but it also commonly includes feelings of irritation, tension and ambivalence. Also sometimes there is plenty of pain in families. In fact, people are more profoundly hurt by those in their own family than anywhere else. Parents hurt their children and children hurt parents. Many people carry the wounds and scars they receive in their home for the rest of their lives.

Research suggests that tension is related to a variety of topics, including personality differences, past relationship problems, children’s finances, housekeeping habits, lifestyles, and how often they contacted each other. Actually, the family is designed to be a place where our needs are met and we are able to learn how to love and relate to others. It is within the family we are shaped into being what we are.

Some of us have a great relationship with our parents, while others find it to be one of the most difficult challenges of their lives. Rahul (name changed) expressed this aptly: “I wish I had better relationship with my mother. I love her to death but we have so many differences and we just don’t bond.”

One of the easiest ways to wreck a family is to be irresponsible and blame others when things go wrong. “But Shivani, you see, it’s not me! The bad things in my family are not my fault!” Always remember this, if you are having struggles with your family, neither is it all their fault nor entirely yours. You can’t make your parents change, but you can take responsibility for your part of the relationship. The part you can control the most is your own attitude. Sometimes in my sessions, I hear some horrible stories of what parents have done to their kids. It upsets me so much. Yet it is the truth, blaming others only hurts you and gets in the way of your being whole and emotionally healthy. You need to say, “It may not be my fault I was hurt, but it is my responsibility to do all I can to make peace in my family.” You can’t solve every relationship problem, but you can manage it.

Parents have the ability to see bad attitudes and weaknesses in your life. Everyone has rough edges or bad attitudes that get in the way of being happy. It’s important for you to exchange the bad attitudes for good ones. One of the best ways this happens is through the pressure and discipline of your parents.

Sometimes it may feel like obeying your parents is the most difficult thing possible. And sometimes it doesn’t seem to make any sense at all. But in the end, most of our parents do love us and want what’s best for us. Doing what they ask will be a great way to have a stable life. In fact, I have never met a teenager or young adult who is not at war with his or her parents, and still happy. It’s impossible. That’s why we need to do all we can do to be at peace with them, no matter how flawed they may appear to be.

So, how can you help your relationship with your parents from being a source of pain, to become a source of love and life? Let me share a few ideas:
  • Take responsibility of your part in your family.
  • Communicate on how you feel about each other
  • Mutual respect should be maintained at all the stages.
  • Spend quality time with each other.

About Shivani
A psychologist and relationship counselor, Shivani Misri Sadhoo’s mission is to help people find their own solutions through her organisation Saarthi. She is also working with a leading NGO which is a crisis intervention centre for people in distress. She has worked with Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd, been on the delegations of European High Commission and various bodies of United Nations including UNDP and UNFAO. Shivani has also attended workshops on marital counseling, CBT and counseling skills from VIMHANS and other hospitals. If you are experiencing any irresolvable relationship and other issues, write to her at