Informing Parents about bad parenting

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    I am male,24.
    I have working parents, both always involved in hefty work. We are a family of 3, so it means that I am a single child. We live apart from our matriachal or patriachal relatives. So far that I had very little interaction with my cousins or uncle and aunts. There had been a lot of concerns which I wanted my parents to know. I was an infant, say upto 10 yrs age, most of the times I have remained confined within the walls of our house, due to incapability of my parents to take any firm step to remove my loneliness. I always had a trouble communicating well and being adjusted with society as I was never introduced to the outside world, probably the only reason of having least number of friends. Neither my wishes used to fullfill in my childhood due to utter fear of my father of being getting spoiled in such things. No matter how many times I had tried to communicate my problems to them, all was in vain. So, in all I do have a troubled childhood and it has hampered my personality a lot.

    As of today, I am just a person who works and lives his life. But the problem lies in childhood. Somewhere down the line, I now don’t feel happiness or sadness with the things occasions that life throws at me. Now, my parents who have retired now, complain that I don’t feel compassion towards life or whenever I talk to them, they don’t get positive vibes from me.

    What I feel is that finally they have got free time after leading a half century of hectic work life and now are looking for a friend in their son. I am their friend. But I certainly don’t feel anything in the world. Although I am trying to change, but I can’t guarantee by what time, I would be able to change myself. But at this point, I have a big question that whether I should communicate the same thing to them which I had been trying to tell them for 15 years. Since, they are now old and I don’t know how they are going to take it. I had already tried communicating the same earlier also but it was all in vain due to their utter involvement in work. I am unable to decide whether this dilemma needs to be discussed or buried in me.


    Hi Markiv,

    It’s courageous that you’re able to talk about what is going on with you, in such clear terms. I understand what you have described. I think it would be a good idea to sit down with them and have a heart – to – heart about how you feel. There are a few things you can be careful about while having this discussion :

    – Broach the subject in a non – threatening, non – hostile manner
    – Before starting, tell them that what you’re going to say is not a judgement on their parenting, but merely a disclosure of your feelings and should be taken in the right spirit
    – Avoid using “you” as much as possible and start your sentences with “I feel”, “I felt”, “I found it difficult…” This way you prevent the other person from going into defensive mode
    – Try to be mindful of the fact that when they worked, they probably thought that this was what they needed to do best to provide for you (remember all parents follow the model of their parents and try to avoid THEIR mistakes with their own children. Maybe it was their long term plan to work as much as possible and then later spend their time with you. So it wouldn’t be a good idea to try and convince them that it was bad patenting because they thought they were doing what was best. Instead you can try and show them an objective picture of what you went through at that time, without passing any judgements. This way, you’ll be able to get everything off your chest without giving rise to any hard feelings.
    – Finally, conclude the discussion by communicating what you told us – that you are their friend, you may find it difficult to express yourself in the way they want, but you’re their for them and maybe in their new phase of life, the three of you can find ways to reconnect and make up for lost time.

    I wish you all the best!

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