While there are plenty of major changes you’ll go through in your twenties, your relationship with your parents is a big one. The age gap between you begins to feel smaller and smaller, and you start to alternate between being their friend and their child. It’s a unique and important transition that I think is worth taking a look at so that it helps rather than hinders your growth. Here are some changes I’ve noticed so far.
They Start Telling You Everything
Even if you don’t want to hear it, your parents start opening up to you a bit more in your twenties and telling you things about them, your family, and more that you never thought you’d hear. For example, “grandpa cheated on grandma and that’s why they got divorced”, or the more fun ones like “mom used to smoke pot”. Lots of intimate details that you may or may not want to hear. But the good thing is, the fact that your parents are willing to share these things with you means they are starting to see you as an adult. Why is that a good thing? Read on…
Your Decisions Are Yours to Make
In your childhood and throughout college, you probably had your parents weigh in on just about every decision you made. Which is totally normal. What you may start to notice in your twenties is a sort of internal struggle as you try to make important decisions — you may notice you want something different from what your parents would want. What makes this easier is remembering that you are now an adult. You get to be your own person and make your own decisions. Only you know what’s truly best for you, so allow yourself to listen to your gut — even if your gut is saying something different from what your parents might say. In the end, these decisions are going to affect your life, so you get to decide. Personally, I find this pretty liberating. At first it can feel difficult to choose a path you know your parents wouldn’t choose for you, but as you get comfortable listening to your needs first, it will get easier and easier over time.
They Turn to You for Support
The biggest surprise to me so far is how our parents begin to lean on us for support and advice. All that time they spent helping us make decisions and talk through dilemmas — we can finally return the favor. Giving your own parents advice is a strange but positive feeling that’s hard to describe. The relationship becomes more give-and-take, more evenly weighted, and I personally really enjoy that. Sometimes, it can feel like you’re taking on more than you can handle, so remember that your parents are adults too, and in the end they can take care of themselves. But being able to offer them support can make you feel strong and capable, and can even bring you closer.
Mom, Dad, I know you’re reading this (because you are so supportive of my blog and I love you for that), so I just want to say thank you for allowing me to grow into my own person, for helping me when I need it, and for stepping back when I don’t. You’re seriously the best.
Have you guys noticed a change in your relationship with your parents?
Has that been a struggle for you?