How to Go from Self Centered to Respectful Towards Parents

Опубликовал Admin
24-09-2016, 02:40
3 409
You've been self-absorbed and a little snarky with your folks. But now you would like to improve your relationship with them. Still, it's kinda hard when you've been behaving a certain way - you almost feel that you're expected to continue to act in the same ways. The good news is that you can choose to behave any way you wish to - and this change will be one your parents will truly appreciate.


  1. Be prepared for shock and awe. If you have been particularly self-absorbed, your folks and siblings may not even believe the change in you is possible. Blow off any teasing, jibes, or jokes, and just stay on your new course. Also, be aware of your manners.
  2. Be interested in them. Instead of your usual grunted greeting and not looking up from your texting, stop what you're doing and say, "Hi, Mom. How was your day? Here, let me take that stuff for you." Get up, help her with whatever she's carried in, and let her talk about her day a little bit. It shows that you are thinking of her, and not just off in your own little world with your friends.
  3. Ask for things you want - don't demand. Instead of telling your parents that you want to go to a party, ask. Instead of informing your parents that they will be spending untold hundreds of dollars on your new wardrobe or school trip, ask if there's a chance you could get some new clothes or go on the trip. Also ask what you can do to help contribute to the cost. The tone of a request is so much different than the tone of you demanding, cajoling, wheedling and whining. It is much more mature, because it shows respect for the fact that your parents may have unexpected expenses (like the doctor, or the tires on the car are bald) that you are unaware of. Parents are not a money fountain that you can always dip into. They work hard for their money and have to pay bills, purchase food, and cover expenses for everyone that resides in the house, not just you. The following examples are ways you can show your folks that you respect them as your parents, and understand that they are dealing with more than just your problems. Next time you want something, instead of the usual way you approach them, try these examples:
    • "Mom, my friend Derek is having a party on Friday night. Is it okay with you if I go? Here's Derek's mom's phone number. There will be adult supervision. My friends will be there for me to hang out with. Of course it's okay with me if you call. Will it be okay with you, assuming you say yes, if I get home no later than 11:00?
    • "Dad, I need to ask you something. I was at practice yesterday and noticed that my cleats are falling apart. (Show him.) Do you think we could get me some new ones?"
    • "Mom, I don't really like this cell phone. I know it's not that old, but I really want a new one (show her the one you want) when my contract is up. I realize it will cost money. I'm not just asking you to shell out for it, I'm willing to work for it. Is there some way I could earn this phone?"
  4. Anticipate their needs. Part of being respectful and less self-absorbed is looking around and seeing what's going on around you. When your mom comes home from the grocery store, she's tired from walking around and shopping (you'll understand this better 10 years from now). You know those groceries aren't going to walk in on their own and put themselves away - go help her! Bring in the groceries, and then help her put things away. Don't say you don't know where they go. You eat. You know where things are. And if you don't, it's time you learned! And look around at the house. You know that your folks do not like clutter and things being left out. If you see stuff lying around, get your siblings to pitch in and help tidy up before you're asked. Take it upon yourself to do household chores like vacuum, dust, empty the dishwasher, clean the bathroom, clean your room, wash a load of clothes, etc. Do it without being asked. Your parents will appreciate your help in this, and will respect your maturity.
  5. Participate in family life. Sitting in your room, on the phone, texting or on the Internet is not respecting the family. It's okay to be on your own for some time, but do make time for them. They care about you, and part of respecting them and being less self-centered is taking the time to involve yourself in what they are doing. Even if you just watch a TV show with them, go for a walk around the neighborhood with them, sit down for dinner together, or ask for help with homework for a little while, it means a lot to them. You can text your friends and do all that stuff, on your own. But when you're with your family, turn the phone off, or let it go to voice mail; this means no texting either, turn all electronics off. This says to your parents that you are no longer allowing selfish concerns to intrude on family time. They will appreciate that, and respect you for it. Besides, it won't hurt your friends to realize you do have a life other than with them and you are not always waiting around to respond instantly to their messages.
  6. Accept defeat with grace. If you do ask for something respectfully, and they still say no, understand that they don't just say no to make you angry. They really are trying to act in your best interest. When they say no to something, they have reasons you may not be aware of - if they say no to a new cell phone, it may be that they had an unexpected car breakdown, or doctor bill, or even a tax bill. Or it may be that they know that if they pay for a new cell phone, they won't have the money for your prom dress, or your football uniform. When you've made your best case to them, and they still turn you down, accept it with calm and maturity. Just say, "Okay. Well, thanks for thinking about it." They'll be amazed that you took it so well, and they will certainly want to say yes to you that much more, later.
  7. Respect them, and they will respect you. The interesting thing about respect is that it multiplies, like. By showing respect for your parents, you are showing that you are deserving of respect in turn. The more respect and compassion you show your parents, the more appreciative your parents will be that you are turning out to be such a nice person. It will make them respect you as a person, and as a young adult.


  • They (or your siblings) may be so surprised at the change in your attitude that they tease you. Let them do it for a little while, but then say seriously to them, "I thought you would appreciate the fact that I'm trying to make a positive change here. You're not really showing me much support." Bet they stop.


  • Don't expect them to believe your change is permanent right away. They're used to you living in your own world. Give them time to acclimate to the new you.
  • In an abusive situation, efforts to be more polite and respectful may rock the boat and escalate the abuse. However, the more respectful, polite and appropriate your behavior is, the easier it will be to get help from others. Seek help - no one deserves to be abused.
  • Be aware that you can't control their reactions. No matter how they behave, your changing your attitude to behave more maturely and respectfully will help you in dealing with other authorities in the future. If your role in the family is the "scapegoat," (e.g. reactions of hostility, increased demands to the point of impossible or contradictory demands, and/or escalating criticism of everything you do or think is common), you're not alone. Be patient and seek help and advice from your teachers, school counselor, family therapist, or pastor. Don't let your self esteem or your new politeness rest on expecting positive reactions from parents. This can happen in non-abusive families because it's very hard for anyone to change a previous opinion of someone. No matter how many times they've told you they want you to behave this way, if you decide to and begin doing it, that changes their lives in a big way.
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