1. Ask your parents about their childhoods
You weren’t there for your parent’s childhoods, and you might learn something especially interesting or cool about your parent’s experiences. Knowing about their experiences and childhoods will also help you to understand them better currently. Here are some questions you could ask:
- What was your childhood like?
- How would your parents have described you when you were in high school?
- What advice would you give to yourself when you were my age?
- Which family tradition did/do you love the most?
2. Ask their opinion
Exploring your parents’ beliefs and opinions can give you insight into how they see the world. If you are watching the news together, try asking their opinion about some of the stories. Find out their political views and their stance on current events. If something is going on with a friend or at school, ask what they think about it. For instance, you could say something like, “There’s a new rule at school that says girls skirts have to go past their knees. What do you think about that?”
- Don’t stop at asking their opinion — ask them why. Understanding why they take a certain position can give you more understanding on how your parents reason through things and how they see the world.
3. Share things with them
Even if these everyday things are small, such as what you ate for lunch or a funny thing that your friend said to you, your parents will love hearing these details about your life. They might even start to share the same type of information in return, and you will then understand them better. The more you communicate with your parents, the more you will, in time, begin to understand them.
- You could say something like, “Mom, the funniest thing happened to me today, and I want to tell you about it.”
- Or you could try, “Dad, I’m so glad you’re home! I taught our dog a new trick today that I want to show you.”
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