Dealing with problem parents is a considerable challenge. They can be difficult even when you've been married for years and have children of your own. So what do you do when you have interfering or dictatorial parents? Unfortunately, you can't divorce them, so you have to learn how to handle them. Here are some tips on dealing with problem parents
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Don't Let Them Buy You
One essential tactic in dealing with problem parents is to avoid allowing them to control you using money. Parents may try to get their way with the promise of leaving you money in their will. They may imply that they will change their mind if you don't do whatever they want you to do. Don't let your parents buy you. Is that money really worth giving in for?
Problem parents must be treated with firmness. If you give in just to keep the peace you will find yourself doing so time and again. Make it clear when something they do is unacceptable and bothers you. They may not like you standing up for yourself, but persist so that they get the message.
You're an Adult
Parents often find it difficult to accept that their children are now independent adults with opinions of their own. Perhaps this has something to do with the lack of a word to describe adult children (other than son or daughter). When your parents treat you as if you were still a young child, remind them that you are a grown adult and make your own decisions.
We all have our different ways of doing things. But do your parents firmly believe that theirs is the only way? They may tell you how you're mishandling your finances, children, household or career. Make it clear to them that you have your own methods that work for you, and ignore any attempts they make to tell you what you should be doing.
Ignore Emotional Blackmail
A parent's job should be to prepare their children for independence. Yet some are so against the thought of their offspring flying the nest that they try to sabotage their intentions to leave home. Emotional blackmail is often used in this situation ("how will I manage if you move away?"), and in others. If your parents try this, don't let it change your plans. You have to live your own life.
You Don't Owe Them
Emotional blackmail is also often used to imply that you owe your parents in return for anything or everything they've done for you over the years. You don't. Caring about them doesn't mean that you should do what they want. Your life belongs to you, and you should live it the way you choose. Anything your parents do for you should not have strings attached.
If your problem parents are really too much to handle and causing you endless stress, the only answer may be to limit contact. Some parents are so difficult that you even have to end contact completely. This is a difficult decision to make, but sometimes vital for your well-being - unfortunately there are a few parents who are just too destructive to have around.
Parents should be the people you can rely on most. They should love you unconditionally and support your choices in life. However, it doesn't always work like that. For example, if parents don't like your partner, they can make it all too obvious, rather than accepting that you have chosen to be with this person. Have you experienced any parental problems that made your life difficult?
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