How Your Relationship with Your Parents Changes as You Get Older

posted on April 21, 2020 | by Kelley Matney

How Your Relationship with Your Parents Changes as You Get Older

As we enter our thirties, our relationship with our parents can drastically change. As an adult, you typically don’t need the support of your parents to get through daily life like you did when you were younger. It is an unavoidable transformation that is both uncomfortable and awkward, yet also wonderful and exciting. As your relationship evolves, you leave behind a lot of that parent/child dynamic (though some of that will always be there) and grow into one on more equal footing.

You see them as people, not just your parents

As children, we never really saw our parents as more than the authoritative figures who were responsible for our well-being. As you get older, you realize that they had whole entire lives before you. They had their own hopes and dreams, some of which were realized and others that were not. You understand that they are flawed human beings just like you and have their own problems to manage, ones that have nothing to do with you. When you recognize this, you feel a whole new level of compassion for them.

You feel grateful

As you grow into an adult who, for the most part, can take care of yourself and don’t need your parents’ support as much as before, you become much more grateful for them. Many of the things you are now doing for yourself are things that your parents were responsible for doing for you (on top of doing them for themselves). It makes you realize that you didn’t thank them enough for everything they did (while usually having to deal with your moody attitudes) and how lucky you are to have them.

Sometimes they’ll come to you for advice.

Also, as you age, your relationship with your parents becomes more reciprocal. You will still ask for their advice and guidance, but it becomes a two-way street. They will realize that you have also had an abundance of life experiences that they can draw from and they will be willing to take your advice and opinions seriously.

You start to worry about them just as much as they worry for you.

In all this recognition that your parents are actual human beings just like you there will be a sense of responsibility and worry that comes with it. Just in the way that they have always worried for your health and well-being you will start to truly worry about theirs. But a nice thing that comes from this is that you also see that you have the ability to help them and support them as they always did for you.

You actually want to spend time with them.

As I’ve gotten older, I realized my parents have a lot of interesting stories to tell. They have had a wealth of experiences that you can learn from—now that you are an adult you can take the time to get to know them in a way you never could have when you were younger.