“You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family,” this famous phrase was probably spoken by someone struggling with toxic parents. The relationship we have with our parents can be one of the most important in our lives while also being one of the most contentious. Even if we consider our parents to be toxic, meaning they exhibit harmful behavior, that doesn’t mean we necessarily want to cut them out of our lives completely. While a clean break might be the correct answer for some people, others may want to rebuild that relationship into a more healthy form. We have the most effective tips for rebuilding a better relationship with your parent(s).
Build Your Boundaries First
One of the most crucial aspects of rebuilding your relationship with your parents would be to spend some time carefully reassessing and rebuilding the boundaries you have in your relationship with your parents. Boundaries are essentially what you will and won’t allow; for example, you might deem judgment and criticism towards your job as unacceptable. Your boundary around this issue would be to clearly state you are not okay with this act when it happens and then follow through if your boundary is not respected by leaving the conversation. It’s essential to have firm boundaries in particular with toxic parents because those boundaries will help protect you from feeling resentful and mistreated.
Try a Fresh Start
Creating new traditions in your family can be a great way to break old patterns. Try coming up with some fun and new activities you could do with your parents that will allow you both to start fresh and build healthier habits from neutral ground instead of trying to uproot old habits. Whether it’s a restaurant night or a monthly letter-writing project, doing new things with your family can help undo some old, toxic patterns you’re all used to.
Work on Yourself
Even if the fault lies with your parents’ own toxic traits, working on yourself so you’re better able to handle those issues will be beneficial. Practicing mindfulness will allow you to be less reactive, and working on your patience will better equip you to deal with your toxic parents.
Trying to rebuild your relationship with toxic parents can be extremely taxing and is not guaranteed to succeed. Still, if you apply some of these tips, you might make some satisfying progress that will ultimately help you and your parents get along better.