Learning to view your parents as mentors or friends instead of as the ones telling you what to do in life is a LARGE mind shift. Some people get this idea easier and faster than others but at some time in our adult life we need to allow our parents to move out of their parental roles and allow them to come back into our world as our friends.

Many people have had difficult childhoods and have had to work through pain as they became adults. Even in that situation it is important that your parents are relieved of their parental job at some point in your adulthood and are given a different power in your life. As long as you view yourself as “the child” and your parent as the “adult” you will hold them to an entire different group of standards. You will expect more from them then you even will from yourself. You will hold them in contempt of “making you feel guilty” of “saying more than they have a right to say” or of “pressuring you to believe a way they believe” or “pressuring you to do what you do not want to do”. The list goes on and on of what we do when we are adults and we see our parents as “our parents”.  We have to eventually accept the role as an adult ourselves. And begin to view our parents as individuals who for many reasons did what they did as they raised us because they were trying their best and were not perfect and eventually allow our parents to stop having to be the perfect role model.

When you FINALLY see your parents as (hopefully) two wonderful people who worked hard at raising their family and who are now working hard at being a couple again, it changes everything. You start to really grow up. You start understanding the meaning of adulthood. You begin to let go of your childish demands for all the attention and desire that everything go according to you. The strong desire that your parents be “perfect” starts to fade. The childish demand that they say things perfectly to you begins to change. And you can begin to allow for imperfections without it hurting you. We always want to keep humans in roles longer than God intends us to do. When you allow our parents back into your life as friends we are able to offer full acceptance. When you take off your parent’s robe of parenthood and graciously robe them with friendship instead you are able to see them as equal friends.

 I personally remember this stage well. I started to call my mom “Ratsy” (nicknamed from Patsy). She was not really a fan of the name but for me it told my brain that she had a different role in my life now. This name reminded me that she could be my friend, one that I could joke with and tell funny things too. I worked at viewing her in a completely different way. As a friend I could allow her to have a different view than I did. As a friend I could allow her to say whatever she wanted and I could not take it as her butting into my business but as her being interested in my life. As a friend I could tell her more of my troubles and philosophies, I could live life by her side without concerns that she would overtake me. I could allow her to speak into my life and I could speak into her life. I could love her like a deep friend.

Strive to move your parents into friends. Work at shifting your mind. Remember that they have had to work at shifting their mind as well. They have had to adjust to you leaving them. Do YOUR part. It will pay you well. You will be released into a new kind of love. It seems like a small thing but it will change everything as you move forward in adulthood. Take new ownership of your adulthood. Give yourself new freedoms, new friendships, new points of view. You will notice this is the key to living in peace with your family. You will not expect to be treated like a child anymore but as the equal full-grown adult. Childhood is a rough thing to shed and it takes a lot of intentional work but it is your work to do in life.