Feeling unaccepted or disapproved of by your parents (or those adults you live with who look after you)?
Welcome to growing up!
Not seeing eye to eye with Mum, Dad or other people in authority over you is often unavoidable as you adjust to changes in yourself and sometimes begin to see life differently from them.
It may be harder to fit into the family the way you did as a child and finding a new way is going to take some experimentation and alteration for everyone. This can create more abrasive relationships all round.
Deep down you want to be pleasing to your parents and approved by them but at the same time to be defined and treated differently from the way you were as a young child.
It might help if you understand something about the nature itself of pleasing. Not being able to please others doesn’t mean you love them less. It just means that during your adolescence you may sometimes act in ways harder for your parents to like and you may find yourself becoming more critical of them.
Don’t confuse pleasing with loving.
Pleasing is just about approval. Love is about much more. Approval is conditional on liking or not liking how another acts in the moment and so it is temporary. But love is committed, unconditional and here to stay.
It is often challenging and confusing to navigate between pleasing parents at all costs and going out of your way to never be pleasing... both of these extremes can have negative effects on your life into adulthood.
Points to consider:
1. Realise that criticism is not intended to destroy you and can stem from your parents’ fear for you and desire to protect you.
2. Learn to communicate how you feel without it becoming an accusation. Have the courage to disagree respectfully on matters that are really important to you while working to keep your relationship with your parents as loving as possible.
3. It’s a good idea to talk to another trusted mature person – a school chaplain or counsellor – to get a fresh perspective and better understanding of yourself and your parents.
Just remember – “Whenever you talk to your parents, always think they were in your place some years ago and you will be in their place some years later”! – Tasneem Hameed.
Can you think of times when it was hard for you to get along with your family? How have you made it through those times?
by bella rae's very own trained counsellor – Anne