Broken Relationship with a Parent: Peanut Butter Without the Jelly
High school can be an exciting and rewarding experience. During this time, parents tend to take a back seat to your friends. It is often not intentional. It is just a natural process of becoming young adults. However, through this process, it is important not to neglect the relationships with your parents (or guardian). Sure, you can have amazing relationships with your friends. You can be making straight A’s. You can be crushing it in sports. No matter how much success you experience, your level of overall happiness will be limited if you neglect the relationship with your parents. It’s like peanut butter without jelly.
What Does Peanut Butter and Jelly Have to Do With Success?
You get home for school and all you want is your favorite snack. You grab two slices of bread. You pull out the peanut butter and fill one slice. You reach for the jelly, but it’s not there.
“Mom!” you scream. “Where’s the jelly?”
“We are out honey.”
So do you eat a peanut butter sandwich or do you save it until you find jelly?
Parents: The Jelly to Your Peanut Butter!
A relationship between teens and parents is one of the most difficult relationships that you may experience. Parents will always see you as a child, but you see yourself as an adult. This can often lead to a relationship full of eye rolls, screaming competitions, and door slams.
So how can you improve your relationship with your parents?
- Take their advice.
Your parents are the perfect resource. They have known you since the day you were born and whether you care to admit it or not, you are a lot like them. So they are the best resource you have to make good decisions. Your parents can help you brainstorm ideas, discover other resources, and create action plans. They can also help you avoid mistakes that could delay your success.
- Be honest.
Honesty is one of the most important gems in any relationship. I’m talking about being honest regarding your feelings. If you don’t like something your parents said, then share that information with them. Most likely, they did not mean to hurt your feelings (see What’s That Interpretation? ). Try not to keep that information to yourself because it will only create resentment. Let your parents know whether or not you felt their decision was fair. Your parents are doing the best they can, but they cannot read your mind. The more you share with them, the more they can understand you and the person you’re becoming.
- Spend some quality time with them.
The easiest way to improve any relationship is to spend time together. I’m not talking about texting your friends while you’re sitting next to your parents. I mean talking and interacting with them while your phone is in another room. Give your parents your undivided attention. Don’t be afraid to call them out if they are not giving you their attention as well! What you will discover is that your parents are kind of cool and they can also be fun! Just try and get to know them. Learn one of their hobbies and teach them one of yours. The more time you spend together the more the relationship will grow.
A peanut butter sandwich will never taste as good as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Do not settle! Always add lots of delicious jelly!