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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Strengthening connection: 15 questions we should definitely ask our parents

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I have been working in news websites for the past three years. I am currently an author at 24 hours world, where I mainly cover world news. I have also written for The Huffington Post and The New York Observer.
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The parent-child relationship is one of the most intense that life has to offer. Despite this, adults sometimes become alienated from their parents when their own lives come into focus. The key to a deep connection is open communication.

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We learn from them how to walk, speak and what it means to love: our parents shape us for life. That applies to both the positive and the negative. As we grow up, we can hardly imagine that there will ever be a life without these (ideally) two people by our side. And then we grow up ourselves, start our everyday working lives and begin to lead our own lives.

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As a result, our parents suddenly play a smaller role in our everyday lives. Not because the love for them has changed – but because the focus naturally shifts to friendships, work and starting one’s own family and fulfilling dreams. However, sometimes it happens that we lose the connection to the people who have generally been with us from the moment we took our first breath.

The problem with the usual role models

The lack of time together is often not to blame. According to recent surveys, more than half of young adults phone their parents at least once a week. For many adults, their own parents are still the first point of contact in the particularly bad and beautiful moments of life.

And yet the parent-child relationship often lacks depth when children become adults. Precisely because we often fall into old patterns. At least that’s what the Hamburg communication psychologist Constanze Bossemeyer says in an earlier : “Grown-up children quickly react tensely when they’re already standing at attention waiting for their parents to treat them like children again.”

As a result, adults tend to behave like children again in their parental home, and the level of equality that a relationship between adult children and their parents could achieve is becoming far more distant. As adults, we have the wonderful opportunity to get to know our parents in a completely new way.

Getting to know our parents as people

When both parties have reached a certain age, it is not only easier to get rid of old issues. We can also learn a lot about life from our parents. About theirs and about ours. “The family has a lot of power,” says psychologist Klaus A. Schneewind in an interview with “”. No one can escape the influence of their parents.

It is all the more important that we really get to know our parents. And not only in their parental role, which we are used to, but also as a person. Because from them we learn to perceive and classify the world. It is not for nothing that psychotherapy is based on the principle that childhood can affect our whole life. When we understand what motives our parents had for certain things, it becomes easier for us to deal with them.

But how do you get to know people you think you’ve known your whole life? As so often – with the right questions and an honest and open interest in the other person. While the open mind should come naturally, you can get inspiration for the questions. We have a few initial ideas.

15 questions to ask our parents

  1. How did you picture your life as a teenager?
  2. What is the best memory of your youth?
  3. When was the best time in your life – and why?
  4. And what was the hardest time?
  5. how do you see the world
  6. How has being a parent changed your life?
  7. What values ​​are important to you in life?
  8. What advice did your parents give you along the way?
  9. When do you feel really carefree and alive?
  10. What kind of person do you want to be – and what is stopping you?
  11. What do you regret not having done so far?
  12. What does love, friendship, money and success mean to you?
  13. What dream do you still want to fulfill?
  14. How do you deal with your own mortality?
  15. What kind of person would you like to be remembered as?

Of course, the questions are just a selection from the endless possibilities of questions that you can and should ask your parents. In general, ask what really interests you. The most important thing is to approach the conversation with an open mind. Our parents often have different attitudes than we do.

Here it is important to deal with possible differences of opinion with respect and to leave room for your own perspectives. Those who succeed in doing this are well on the way to a deeper connection to their mother and/or father. And by the way, you also learn something about yourself in the exchange with your parents.

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Source: Stern

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