Our parents are our first guardians and mentors. They’re meant to love us unconditionally, and we should return the same respect and care for them. Unfortunately, not all of us have good relationships with our mothers or fathers. So what can we do about this problem? For those searching for a way to reconcile with loved ones, consulting with a psychologist could be what you need.
From my own experience with an expert, let’s look at how they were able to help me.
Helped Identify Deeper Problems
With strained relationships, it’s difficult to point out what the exact issue is. If you had asked me before, I would’ve given you a dozen reasons why I felt resentful towards my parents. However, many of these problems stemmed from something more in-depth.
Figuring out the root cause wasn’t an easy task. My psychologist was able to guide me to pinpoint the underlying reason for conflict between my family and me. Doing this first was necessary for me to work on mending our relationship.
I found it was a feeling of inadequacy in my earlier youth. I thought I had never been enough for my parents no matter how much effort I put into something. It was continually seeking validation I did not get as a young girl.
University of Illinois researchers discovered girls’ mental and physical health are more affected by family fragmentation than boys’ health although they discovered both genders may have adult health problems. —
Got Us To Open Up About Our Issues
Some people can converse with their parents as if they were peers or good friends. These people find it easy to talk about anything and often go to their mom or dad first for advice. Then there are those like me who don’t have it as easy.
Going to an expert helped me become more comfortable opening up to my parents. This growth also meant having to talk about difficult things affecting our relationship in the first place.
Served As An Objective Mediator
Apologies between parents and children need special consideration and have unique and sensitive issues. — Ann Gold Buscho Ph.D.
Having disagreements with your parents isn’t uncommon. Truthfully, a perfectly happy family who doesn’t fight at all is virtually nonexistent. And sometimes, arguments aren’t easy to resolve. After all, each of us has our own biases and perspectives. Likewise, we may also have differing and clashing views from others.
That’s why with conflict resolution, it’s a smart move to have a third person as a mediator. My psychologist helped me with this. As experts, they’re trained not to take sides. Instead, they make sure they listen to both parties and look at issues through an objective standpoint.
Hearing from someone free of bias gave us a lot of clarity. It provided us with a way of making decisions based on logic instead of emotions.
Helped Identify Common Toxic Patterns
There are certain pitfalls of toxic behavior into which we fall. Even the kindest person we know can exhibit some of these patterns. Some parents can be too controlling, enmeshed, or absent. Likewise, children can become rebellious or too dependent. Chances are, we’ve been one of those to some degree.
Just like how it’s hard for us to settle arguments alone, it can be easy for us to miss these types of behavior. My psychologist was able to help us identify some of these harmful patterns and practices between my parents and me.
I found I had been too dependent on them for validation, and it affected my decisions as an adult. Likewise, they had put too many expectations on me that I had difficulty meeting and were too critical. By finding out what these toxic patterns are, we become more aware of how we treated each other.
The road to recovery is rough, not just because we are struggling with the real loss of a person or a way of life we really loved, but because every painful rejection is fueled by two forces: the actuality of the loss itself and the army of negative, self-loathing thoughts reawakens within us. — Lisa Firestone, Ph.D.
Reminded Us Emotions Are Valid
Another problem during arguments is people tend to discredit the feelings of others. While it may not be my intention to hurt my parents and vice versa, it happens. It was vital for us to remember our emotions are valid. Learning to attune to these feelings was essential for us to start building a caring relationship. It shows we respect each other.
Many of us turn to psychologists to help us with personal problems or issues with our romantic partners. However, they are experts in the field of other human relationships in general. These professionals can help us in repairing or creating a stronger, loving connection with our parents. They guide us in identifying deeper issues leading to our troubled relationship and talk about them. From there, they can mediate with a more unbiased perspective and help us break away from toxic behaviors. Lastly, they create a space that’s compassionate and validating of our feelings.