In my previous post, I discussed how parents can improve their relationships with their younger children (10 and under) through play. Click here to read about that post.
Maintaining healthy relationships may not always be an easy task…and will continue to require daily effort.
In honor of my Fix My Relationship series, I wanted to focus on a topic near and dear to my heart. I wanted to focus on my own growth regarding the relationship with my father. This is a personal blog post, and I hope that this can inspire, encourage and motivate you to mend your relationships with your loved ones. I will also share this letter with my father. So, wish me luck!
As a child, I’ve felt like I couldn’t catch a break. We were always bumping heads, for one reason or another. The fighting, the arguing and disagreeing seemed endless. I was not at all confident in expressing myself, and admit that I was pretty horrible at communicating my concerns.
I’m pretty sure I challenged almost every request that you mentioned…maybe out of spite, but also because I had so much on my mind, without a clear way of how to communicate these things to you.
We suffered a huge loss at such an early stage in our lives, leaving you to take on raising six children on your own. Life wasn’t fair, and I did blame you for not making things any easier.
I was the “middle child”, and have always used this as a crutch when things didn’t go my way.
Why do I have to do the dishes…again?
Why do I have to do my homework, when I don’t even have homework?
Why do I have to eat dinner with you guys, when I can just eat with my friends?
Really? I have to baby-sit…again?
Like I said, life was simply not fair. As a result, our relationship continued to suffer, and I spent more and more time away from home, or just ignoring you.
Fast forward 15 years.
I get it now. Each of us were doing the best we could back then. I love how far we’ve come, and that we are able to communicate more openly. I think back on my childhood years, and I realize that many of the things you did, were only for our benefit.
You pushed each one of us to pursue an education by any means necessary. All of those days spent studying, and learning…even when we didn’t have to, actually paid off!! Each of your kids has been extremely successful. All have graduated from college, with the exception of the youngest sib who is well on her way to entering into college within the next couple of years.
Thank you for pushing me to be better. I know that you were still learning how to raise all of us on your own, and didn’t always have the right things to say either. We were all grieving and were trying hard to fall back into a routine, all while missing a significant puzzle piece. I feel as though I have a new pair of eyes looking back on these earlier years together.
In the past, I just knew that we would never grow close, and that I would probably always interact with you as minimal as possible.
That has changed.
We speak all of the time now, and I am thankful for that. What stands out for me is that we’ve never completely given up on one another. There would always be a birthday party, or a holiday that brought us back together. Personally, I feel as though it is too much pressure and unnecessary stress keeping up my “attitude” or bad vibes towards another person. I just don’t have the time, nor the energy.
We may not always agree, but I am more willing to consider your perspective versus shutting you out completely.
I wanted to let you know that I love you, and appreciate you for not giving up on me. I needed this in my life, and still consider your feedback when making important decisions. All of those family dinners, and family outings in the past have brought us closer together. Now, my siblings are honestly my best friends, because we learned early on how to look out for one another. All of those summers you forced us all to go to camp, have kept trouble from finding us.
You’re a great example of how it’s never to late to learn how to forgive, and how to find happiness again. We still have some catching up to do. I want you to continue seeing who I’ve become as a woman. I look forward to these opportunities.
~With Love From Your Favorite Child,
What are some challenges you’ve faced within your relationships with your parents? How were you able to move past them? Still feeling stuck?
Please share, and hopefully find new ways of how to get “un-stuck”