Parents are loving, caring, and affectionate. But this is just one side of the coin. On the other side, there can be parents who are toxic, abusive and end up causing stress. In this case, the mere thought of visiting parents can be frightening. To shed some light on this matter, first, let us know for sure your parents are the ones causing stress in your life.
6 ways your parents can stress you out
- abuse you physically, mentally, or sexually.
- want you to live up to their unrealistic expectations.
- over criticise you.
- don’t let you express yourself.
- don’t take responsibility for their negative actions.
- fight with each other all the time.
How to deal with stress caused by parents?
Stress has become part of everyone’s life. It may be provoked by your friend, colleague, boss, relative, or partner. In any of such cases, you can reduce it by limiting contact with them or removing them from your life completely.
Unfortunately, if your parents are the ones that are triggering stress, how to deal with parents that stress you out?
It’s almost impossible and unrealistic to terminate the relationship. You can’t change others’ behaviour, but you can mitigate the effect of their behaviour on you. So let me share 5 ways on how to deal with stress from parents that might help you to free yourself.
1. Put Yourself In Your Parents’ Shoes
There are always two versions of a story. Try putting yourself in your parents’ shoes and understand their version of reality. You might realise, you were the one barking up the wrong tree.
Let me tell you why.
I wanted to be an engineer, so I took science in my intermediate. But in class 12, my interests changed. I wanted to be a fashion designer. And like many other Indian parents, my parents were also against this. They tried to explain in detail why I should go for engineering instead of fashion design.
At first, I thought my parents were too old-fashioned to understand me. So, I didn’t pay attention to them. I concentrated on fashion designing entrance exams leaving science behind. One day I questioned myself, “Am I leading on the right path?” That’s when I understood, I was seeing the world with my half-baked knowledge.
Though you are a teenager, the chances are you are good enough to know what you want. But before you come to conclusions, have a word with your parents.
2. Identify The Cause Of Stress
Do your parents argue quite often?
Do they disagree with you on everything?
Do they treat you as their slave?
Then It’s important to identify the cause of stress and work towards it to minimize the effect.
Practise open communication
Effective communication is the best way to solve a problem. Create an environment where you can have honest and open communication with your parents. Let them know their actions affect you; sometimes they may not be aware that their actions were disturbing you. Tell them how you feel and what they can do to make it better.
The possibilities are they might be willing to accept and change their approach .
Remember it’s not just about you, and your parents’ requirements should also be heard and considered.
3. Set Boundaries
Establishing healthy boundaries is essential for any relationship. If your parents are toxic, it’s even more important to set up boundaries.
You might say “My parents don’t respect boundaries!”
Regardless of whether your parents like it or not, you need to do this. Identify the problem, think of the necessary steps you and your parents need to take to resolve it.
- What is acceptable and what is not.
- You don’t want them to control you.
- You can’t be their puppet.
- You won’t accept their criticism without reasoning and constructive suggestions.
4. Deal With Abuse via Law
Physical or sexual abuse is not acceptable. Period. This can adversely affect the child in leading to mental illness and trauma. Often, it’s not easy for a young child to spot sexual abuse.
Signs you are sexually abused by your parent
- Touched your private parts without your knowledge or made you touch his/her private parts.
- Took photos of your genitals.
- Forcefully inserted his/her body organ into your mouth or sex organ.
If you’ve experienced any of the above, you need to deal with it via law. Immediately report the abuse at a nearby police station.
5. Take Care Of Yourself
Are you focusing too much on the relationship between you and your parents? Are you neglecting your health?
If the answer to any of the above is yes, you need to stop worrying and start caring for yourself to be healthy physically and mentally. Eat right, sleep well, and exercise regularly to stay fit. You need not do anything that is making you guilty and uncomfortable.
Focus on your goals and your career. Find a friend, teacher, or mentor with whom you can vent out your emotions. Try to spend quality time with them.
If you too have faced or handled stress caused by your parents in the past, share your experience in the comment section below. You might just help someone who is currently coping with similar kind of stress.