Ah, freedom! That’s all you crave as a teenager. You are eager to live a life with no rules, no parents to tell you what to do, and finally feel the freedom to do what you want. When the thought of moving out crosses your mind, you become so eager to leave home that you completely forget an incredibly important part of your life, your parents. You forget that you are their whole world and leaving for school can be devastating to them. You become so focused on gaining freedom that you do not realize you might be leaving them behind. Then, one day, you are sitting in your small dorm room by yourself. You feel as if the weight of the world is on your shoulders, and then you realize that you have to take care of everything yourself. As tears begin to fill your eyes, you start to wish that your parents were there to hold you and tell you everything will be alright.
So, what’s the problem? As much as you may push your parents away as a teenager, college is the time when you need family support more than ever (Raising Children Network, 2017). However, in college you need them in a different way. For example, when you were a child your parents were there to nurture and guide you. Now, as a teen/young adult you are starting to become equals and you look to your parents for guidance (Raising Children network). As a teen, you start to become moody and hormonal, which is normal. But your parents may begin to feel you are pushing them away. Your behavior and body language may come off that you do not want them around, but you can’t keep pushing them away. Your parents are your emotional base. They are some of the very few people that can make you feel loved and accepted, no matter what. Without this steady base in your life you can begin to feel run down, self-conscious and unmotivated (Raising Children Network).
It’s really quite simple, do not push your parents away! They brought you into this world and they want you to come to them for help when necessary. They need you just as much as you need them, especially while you are away at school. Keep them updated on your life, tell them when something’s wrong. Let them know when you’re doing well. Give your parents that one on one time and it will allow you to stay connected and enjoy each other’s company (Raising Children Network). It’s important to have times like this with each of your parents, if possible. These moments can give you a sense of security while you are away, and can make you feel as if you are still there with them. Your parents to are always a short call away, even if it’s for something stupid. Because hey, that’s their job!
A new study suggests that a strong and healthy bond with one’s parents may help protect their health for decades (Healthday News, 2017). Another study, conducted by Baylor University, found that a well-off home also benefits long-term health, but only if the children also have a warm and healthy relationship with their parents (Healthday News). So not only can a relationship with your parents benefit you emotionally, but it can also benefit your physical health as well. I guess all the chicken soup, cold towels, and forcing cold medicine down your throat when you were sick can pay off in the end. Children with a good relationship with their parents also have better communications skills, which is necessary for healthy eating, sleeping, and activity routines starting at a young age (Healthday news). Because of this you will be less likely to be, in other words, “out of control” for the future allowing you to be more put together in the end.
In life, your first example of a relationship is your parents. They’re your models for what a relationship should look like. A new study suggests that how well you get along with your parents in your teens, influences your romantic relationships a decade later (Rachael Rettner, 2010). Your parents are the first people to ever show you love. They show you what a relationship should look like and they also taught you how to love. They taught you how to not hit or slap, but use words, to be kind, and so much more. Relationships with both parents are important. But one with your mother is especially important. It was determined that a child with warm and close relationships with their mother had more satisfaction and less conflict with their significant other (Rettner). A mother’s touch to their child is unlike any other. They can make you feel safe and very comfortable, allowing you to spread that same love and care to your partner.
A healthy parent to teen bond helps to build strong relationships for the future (Rettner). “Parent’s’ relationships with their children are extremely important and that’s how we develop our ability to have successful relationships as adults, our parents are our models” said study researcher Constance Gager, of Montclair State University in New Jersey. “So, if kids are not feeling close with their parents then they’re probably not going to model the positive aspects of that relationship when they reach adulthood” (Rettner). Without this important relationship with your parents, you could easily misinterpret love or completely look past what could have been.
After reading this I want you to think about the relationship you have with your parents. Is it something you are happy with? Is it a relationship that you think is the best it could be? If it is, never change that. If it isn’t, work on it. The relationship you have with your parents is too important to lose. So, don’t be stubborn or think you’re “too cool” now that you are in college. You will always need them. Give them a call, tell them you love them, ask them how they are. Because in the end, they will be there for you over anyone else.
Raising Children Network (2017). What parents mean to teenagers. Retriveded Febuary 8, 2017, from http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/family_relationships_teenagers.html
Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc. (2017). Parent- teen relationships – at a Glance. Retrieved February 8, 2017, from https://www.plannedparenthood.org/parents/parent-teen-relationships
Healthday News (2017). A Good Relationship With Your Parents Is Good for Your Health. Retrieved February 8, 2017, from http://www.health.com/family/close-bond-between-kids-parents-has-long-term-health-benefits
Rachael Rettner (2010). Close Relationship with Mom Leads to Better Romance Later. Retrieved February 8, 2017, from http://www.livescience.com/9926-close-relationship-mom-leads-romance.html