Techie students and 5 ways to talk to parents
Here are some ways that you can initiate conversation such that those problems are not left unsaid and the arms that can comfort you are not pushed away.
Posted on 10-Oct-2020
, by Shivani Manchanda
The super long weekend has long been marked on the calendar as a mini break. Tickets long booked, parents informed and the excitement begins all around. The much awaited goodies that mom cooked have been gobbled and now starts the sleep marathon. Something about going home that hits the spot for all of us. But is there any real conversation? Silences are peppered with long sighs with the unsaid: the tough semester that you are just not getting a handle of or the breakup you have just had or the new project that you have just excitedly started. How to tell? How to share? Will they worry too much? Will they get on your case? It is a tough tight rope to walk on. But not sharing can increase the pressure inside of you and widen the chasm all around.
I don’t have any easy answers because building an open communicative relationship takes time and effort. But here are some ways that you can initiate conversation such that those problems are not left unsaid and the arms that can comfort you are not pushed away.
- Communication about banal things: Help your parents understand your life more. Even though it may seem immature but talk about your friends, the music, the competitions you participated in and yes the subjects you aced or sucked at. Parents want to be part of your journey and your growth. Create as much opportunity as possible to help them see the world through your eyes. The more they are able to see what is “normal” to you, easier it will be for them to understand when you will have a difficult topic to share. Keep those communication channels open and as far as possible fill them with insights into your world. Something’s they will not understand and something’s they will but at least they will have inkling about what is going through your mind. If words are just not your thing be creative about other means of sharing.
- Parents are humans too: The rate of change and excitement in hostel is immense but maybe your parent’s life has seen some changes too. Ask them about their jobs, their relationships and if anything has been troubling them. Try and relate to their human side and not just the parent side. This open sharing of changes helps build a better bond. Parents worry that you will no longer care for them? Or move away from them psychologically? Your asking them about their lives and showing an interest can be your way of reassuring them that you do care. Also this gradual shift can maybe help them see you as a maturing adult rather than a child.
- Discuss your challenges: I know the world is your oyster and they seem so far removed from your world. But parents love you and are very often are willing to spend endless hours understanding your conundrum or at least listening about it. Use them as a sounding board for your ideas. Explain things from a layman’s perspective such that they at least “get you”. Asking for advise does not hurt. Their expertise may not be in the exact area that you are venturing out in and their views maybe datedbut they do have life experience on their side and can maybe share an insight or two. Or just helping them understand may give you an additional perspective that was missing earlier.
- Pick your battles: Even though as I write this I remember the number of slammed shut doors I have been and still am on the wrong side of. But the battles I do win involve taking responsibility for my actions, being honest about my mistakes and sometimes just sticking to the things that are really important to me. The journey towards adulthood is fraught with tempers, words spoken in anger and mega fights. But as they say you have to sometimes lose the war to win the battle. So before losing our temper and saying something you are sure to regret ask yourself is this important and is there a better way of handling this?
- Difficult Conversations: If you have something “big” to share pick a moment when everybody is relaxed and openly chatting. If possible give them some hints before you share the “big” news as a bombshell. Preparing them gradually will help them get used to the idea and maybe make acceptance easier. Seeking prior support from an aunt or uncle can also help you see their point of view and then address those concerns as well. Share your feelings honestly, express your regret for the impact and indicate your willingness to take responsibility for the situation. Part of growing up is taking responsibility for your actions and expressing concern for those who will be impacted by your decision or mistake.But believe me things are never as bad as you imagine them to be. The parent-child bond is one of the strongest in the world so even though you think they will never accept you or forgive you but they might surprise you and be more than willing to put their arms around you and bring you home again.