When YOUR Parents Don’t Understand You

How many of these boxes can you check?

Your parents or those who raised you seem to shame your “new” parenting style.
They seem to run over or ridicule the boundaries you attempt to set.
There are parts of you that you can’t share because you’re afraid of being criticized for your new ways of thinking and being.
You fear that if you talk to them about the ways you want to parent or partner differently then they did they’ll feel hurt of shamed.
When you find yourself in those tense family discussions, you feel like a kid again.
Conversations about any of the above lead to awkwardness or arguments.

If these describe you and your parents, you’re not alone!

As adults, navigating changes in the relationship dynamics with our parents can feel like trying to sail rough waters without a compass. As an adult child, you might be experiencing a personal growth transformation as a parent or a person that your parents don’t quite understand. 

Maybe you’re setting boundaries to protect yourself from toxic or negative relationships, shifting patterns of behavior that have caused you pain in the past but met the needs of others, or breaking generational cycles that were unhelpful for your growth and development. 
While it can be challenging to navigate these changes with your parents, it can ultimately skyrocket your growth and – dare I say – lead to a healthy, updated parent-child relationship with your parents.

This short 4-minute audio will help you:

  • Recognize the signs that you are transforming in your life and relationships.
  • Reflect on behaviors and beliefs that no longer serve you.
  • Learn to compassionately deal with family members that seem to undermine or minimize your personal growth journey.
It’s important to remember that setting boundaries with people, including our parents, is essential for building healthy relationships. When we validate our needs and establish clear lines of communication, we can break free from negative patterns of behavior modeled for us growing up and transform our interactions with others. This can be especially important in our relationship with our parents, who may have a powerful influence on our lives and sense of self.
Interacting with a parent who doesn’t understand the changes you’re making in your life and relationships, may require some uncomfortable conversations and even moments of stable misery. Parts of you may freak out at the thought of creating disappointment in the eyes of your parents. But the rewards of a functional relationship built on mutual respect and understanding are immeasurable.
By transforming our interactions with our parents, we can break free from negative patterns of behavior and establish healthier ways of relating to others. It’s like finding our true north, and using that compass to guide us through the rough waters of life.
But please know that you’re not alone in navigating the rough waters of personal growth and the parent-child relationship. I created this audio post because I was inspired by a T2T member who shared her struggles with this very issue. 
If you’re feeling stuck or overwhelmed by the tension between your personal growth journey and your parents’ expectations, know that you have the power to make positive changes.
I hope the short video helped you feel more empowered, supported, and confident in navigating your family of origin relationships and your personal growth journey.

7 Responses

  1. Such a powerful video. I felt “lifted up” and even more self-empowered from just those four minutes. I know from following Dr. Willis for years that it’s just a snippet of the amazing transformative relationship and personal growth techniques that Lynetta is guiding people through. The opportunities she offers and inspiring suggestions she gives are absolutely life-changing!

  2. I relate to that so much! I have traveled very far from my parents views and the way that I was raised. In some things I still see same as them but in many areas I have shifted. I had to physically travel far to the other side of the globe in order to be able to do that without feeling in constant stress. Now every time I visit them or they visit me that stress around them becomes more unbearable. I keep quiet about things they say that are against my beliefs, I try to ignore their ridicule of my choices, because I don’t want to cause a fight. When the visit ends I am drained but they don’t see how much I hurt. They go back home smiling. I feel so disconnected from them and it hurts because I can’t be free around them.

  3. Your video was very good. I’ve been going away from my parents teaching for many years now and sometimes it truly hurts because they don’t understand. Right now is so hard since we see them often out of necessity and I just don’t know how to explain the differences and that they aren’t bad for me. At times I just want to move far away physically so I can continue to grow without their constant judgement. Thank you for helping me feel not alone in this journey and that this happens with many people.

  4. Dr. Willis,
    Thank you so much for your wise words! YOU inspire! Keep up the incredible work.
    Warm regards,

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Hi, I'm Lynyetta

I'm a psychologist and family empowerment coach for self-aware women and their families.