home For the holidaze
Just because you’re home for the holidays doesn’t mean you're kid againg. So why it so freaking hard to stop yourself from acting like a teenager? Make this year your finally establish an adult relationship with your parents - no regressing!
There is a magical place that reverses almost every sign of aging. It’s your parents’ house—and chances are that, with the holidays coming up, you will soon be experiencing its power first-hand. Outside your childhood home, you are an independent grownup with a job and vague concerns about taking vitamins. Inside it, you’re still a cranky teenager. “I found myself stomping up the stairs, slamming the bedroom door and screaming, ‘You don’t understand!’” says Ana*, describing a recent fight she had with her dad. “It was ridiculous. I thought, ‘I’m 30 years old; I’m married; I manage a multimillion budget at my job.’ How did this happen?”
For women who have made their lives in a fast-paced city, the situation is even more complex. Michelle** is a 25-year-old salesand-marketing executive who adores her hectic lifestyle. “I’m always attending functions or meetings where everything is very corporate,” she says. “In my downtime, I do ballet, yoga, and photography.” Michelle explains that although she was born in a small town, she went to university in the big city. It’s no wonder that going home is a culture shock.
“It’s really hard for me to forget the things I learnt at school,” she says. “For example, I was taught that you have to look a person in the eye when you speak to them, but at home, this is seen as disrespectful. Everything is different at home.”
Things are even more difficult when she goes to visit her husband’s parents. Because she’s only been married a few years, Michelle is still regarded as a new bride. Michelle is expected to rise at dawn to take care of household duties, from washing dishes to making lunch. You don’t even have to be in a situation such as Michelle’s to find yourself cracking under the pressure—which can sometimes lead to tantrums. A smell, sound, or the way your parents talk to you can trigger a memory that brings out your angry 14-year-old, says psychiatrist Janet Taylor. “Especially during the holidays, it’s easy to fall back into expected roles,” she says.
Forget finding the right career, apartment, or mate: establishing a mature relationship with your parents is one of the biggest hurdles of your 20s and 30s. Your mom and dad realize you’re an adult but they also remember you as an infant whose nappies they had to deal with. You’re the one who has changed— so it’s your job to show them that, these days, you can handle your own (metaphorical) nappies. How? Follow this handy advice.
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