Every dynamic between a kid and their parent is obviously different. My family dynamic is different than yours, and yours is differerent than the one that your best friend has with their family, or the one your cousin has with theirs. But whether you think your parents are garbage, great, or somewhere in-between, one thing is certain: The older you get, the more… human your parents become.
Like, obviously your parents have always been human, but hear me out. It wasn’t until I was in college that I actually saw my parents as people beyond just mom and dad. They’re their own people, people who have flaws, and fears, and insecurities, and hopes, and dreams. They have dreams that never came true, fears that present themselves in ways that originally seemed like nothing more than a pain in the ass but actually stem from deep seeded insecurity. They have flaws that you might even see in your own behavior, giving truth to the moniker that we all end up like our parents in some way, shape, or form. These revelations shined a new light on the people who have spent a good chunk of their lives raising me. I see both good and bad in them that I couldn’t when I was 13-years-old, and it’s kind of exciting. It’s like slowly but surely peeling away these layers, only to reveal something beyond a parent; they’re a weird mess of human just like you are… just older and saggier.
I’ve learned some invaluable things about my parents recently, which in turn has led me to understand a thing or two about myself too. But I couldn’t have gotten here without understanding some basic principles. Here are nine cold hard truths about your parents that you need to know. Whether your relationship with your parents is good or bad, you’ll find something helpful here.
Your Parents Aren't Your FriendsOkay, yes, it can be great if you and your parents are super close and can tell each other everything. But first and foremost, they're your parents, which means that not every interaction is supposed to be as chill as one you would have with your friends. In fact, a parent who is secure in themselves and their position in your life won't go out of their way to act all young and hip. They'll just be themselves.
You're More Like Them Than You Want To AdmitYes, it's a cliche to say that you'll end up like your parents, but there's truth to it. There really is. The older I get, the more I realize this is true...and I'm both horrified and amused. Look at your parents flaws and qualities and see if you see any of it in yourself. Maybe you'll figure out a way to either avoid having those flaws take over your life, or find a way to put those good qualities to use.
Sometimes They Really Do Know BestYes, I know, I said that parents are flawed and make mistakes. But the fact is that life experience does count for something, and sometimes your parents might have the foresight to see something that you just don't. Maybe they don't dislike your BFF because they want to make your life hell, maybe they dislike them because they see the way they teat you or had a similar friend in the past who was nothing but trouble. Hear them out for a second before rejecting them entirely.
They Really Do Want The Best For YouOf course, them meaning well can lead to things that we absolutely hate. Yes, those extracurriculars they want you to do might be killing you (and you're totally justified in having a talk with them about that). But they're not trying to torture you for fun. Unless your parent is garbage, everything they do is supposed to help you have the best life possible.
Your Parents Do Have FeelingsYeah, your parents might not act like your temper tantrum full of "I HATE YOU"s bothered them...but they DO have feelings, you know. I mean, imagine if your kid ignored you all the time or always yelled at you. That would suck, right? Hell, I can't even handle it if a friend says something snarky to me. I can't imagine how much I'd have to toughen my skin to deal with a kid who gave me attitude every single day. We all argue with our parents, and our parents all drive us crazy sometimes (or, er, all the time), but at least be mature enough to realize when you're being a brat and apologize.
They Might Never Accept Certain Things About YouThis can be a tough pill to swallow, but the sad fact is that some parents just aren't very understanding. So you might have a mom who just can't deal with the fact that you're queer, or a dad who won't accept you dating outside of your race. You need to figure out how to best proceed with these relationships in a way that is healthiest for you.
They Aren't SaintsParents do bad things all the time, and chances are that they did some rebellious stuff in the past. Some parents cheat, some parents steal, some parents used to be druggies, etc. I'm not saying that finding out something vaguely nefarious about your parent shouldn't come as a shock. It will. But that just goes to show that they're human and aren't above vices.
They're FlawedYou might be thinking “duh.” But don’t just see this as, “they’re flawed because they’re awful sometimes.” No, I mean, they’re flawed human beings. They make mistakes, they’re wrong. And while you obviously hold them to a higher standard because they're your parents, it's important to realize that they're not supposed to be super heroes.
Some Parents Are Great...Others Just SuckThere's this idea that all parents are great and good and and angelic, even if they annoy you. Well, the truth is that some of us are just stuck with crummy parents. Like, really crummy. Sadly, some parents don't even show real affection toward their kids or even love them; some parents are abusive AF. If this is hitting close for you, it's important that you find your own community to be a part of and seek out those who will treat you better than your parents did. It's hard, but you need to keep yourself safe, first and foremost. If you're safest without one or both of your parents in your life, so be it.
Which of these truths are hitting close to home? Which don’t apply to your parents at all. Tell us in the comments!