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My parents seem like they donít care about us anymore.

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My parents seem like they donít care about us anymore. They always think about business, and Iíve started to hate them. What should I do? óDenny, online


Tiffany Answers:

Dear Denny,
 
Let me start off on a note of assurance. Please believe that your parents do care about you. The fact that they are working hard to take care of you is a testament to that.  Granted, there are some fences that need to be mended in your family, but do not let that shake your confidence in their love. Parents are human, subject to faults just like all of us. 
 
When I approached middle school/high school age and became more knowledgeable about my parents’ weaknesses, it was a very startling and disturbing discovery. Even though our parents are not perfect, God wants us to honor  and respect them. Remember, parents are in need of the same unconditional love that God calls us to extend to everyone. 
 
Hating our parents for the mistakes they make can be dangerous because it hardens our hearts and blocks the opportunity for the Holy Spirit to mold and change us. By turning to hate, you may think you are punishing your parents, but in reality you are actually punishing yourself.
 
You and your parents seem to be long overdue for a good heart-to-heart discussion. The key word here is discussion, which does not mean argument. You and your parents may have had heated words in the past. You may have strongly expressed your point of view to them. If your past conversations have descended into brutal arguments, it’s time for a change in communication.
 
Arguments never take the place of calm discussions because thinking and mental processing skills tend to be impaired during hot, furious exchanges. The first step to healing the break in your relationship with your parents is to ask God for guidance. 
 
Then, set up a time when you guys can talk calmly, undisturbed. You might sound them out on the subject while helping them prepare dinner, doing chores, or taking a drive. Look for opportunities to talk  after, say, a church service. If it’s too difficult to find a spontaneous time to chat, ask your parents for a time when you can sit together and talk. If you are not the only one of your siblings that feels this way, talk to the other siblings that do, and go to your parents together, calmly. 
 
When you talk to them, begin by telling them what you appreciate about them. Highlight what you love about them. That will ease the pain they may feel from the “heavy” stuff you’ll be sharing with them. After telling them what you appreciate, tell them specifically what concerns you and why.  
 
You might say: “Mom and Dad, I (we) feel that your business seems to occupy most of your thoughts, and I (we) feel that I’m (we’re) not that important to you right now.” Give them specific reasons for why you feel the way you do. 
 
Be open to hearing their perspective. Most parents who are consumed by work are trying hard to care for the needs of their families. This sometimes means less quality time spent with their children. Try to come up with solutions that allow you to spend more time with your parents. 
 
If you feel that you are not getting through to your parents, try consulting another wise adult family member or a trusted adult friend who knows your parents well. Tell them what your concern is and ask them for suggestions or help.  It’s always better for parents to hear concerns from their children directly, but in some cases, when that fails, another adult may be better equipped to share your concern with them. I’m praying for you!
 


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