IFC Films

6 Reasons We Identify More With Our Parents As We Get Older

Growing up is never easy.

Our most prominent physical, mental and emotional transitions occur during our teenage years.

But in this whirlwind of transitions, we tend to forget the world is simultaneously changing with us.

We go through phases, try out new things and undoubtedly rebel against our parents.

Teenage rebellion: We have all experienced it in one way or another.

Whether it was tattoos and piercings or something less permanent, like sneaking out of the house to go to a party, in one way or another, we have all rebelled against our parents during our teenage years.

Why did we do it?

We did it because we strived for independence.

We couldn't stand living under the roof of our parents' rules anymore, and our teenage hormones just couldn't be tamed.

Throughout these years, we were constantly complaining about our parents.

We complained how annoying they were, how bothered we were by their rules and worst of all, how we had to spend time with them without our friends or our cell phones.

When we’re young, we tend not to look at the bigger picture of things.

It wasn't until I went off to college — moving four hours away from home — that I realized the importance behind a strong, genuine relationship with my parents.

It took a few months into my college independence for me to realize how much I took my parents for granted.

As contradicting as it sounds, moving away meant becoming closer to my parents.

As you grow up, you begin to realize how much your parents have done for you.

Appreciation for your parents starts with maturity, when you have the realization that sooner rather than later, you will become similar to your mom or dad.

It's a scary thought, but it’s the truth.

We are getting older, moving away, starting our own careers and families, and the foundation our parents built will soon be the only thing we can rely on for support when we feel we need a little guidance.

Many things change in your relationship with your parents as you grow up, but here are six important things you learn not to take for granted:

1. Reliability

We spend the first 18 or so years of our lives relying on our parents for just about everything.

We rely on our parents to feed us every single day for every single meal, and we even expect an abundance of food to be there in the times between meals.

This kind of reliability fades as we grow up.

When we move out, the closest we get to relying on someone for meals is the local McDonald's, and suddenly, we realize how much we took a home-cooked meal for granted.

Being reliable on our parents shifts drastically as we grow up, and before we know it, we not only are living on our own, but we're doing everything for ourselves.

2. Freedom

Ah, sweet freedom, the one thing we Millennials all hoped for while we lived under the roof of our parents.

When we grow up, that freedom we yearned for becomes reality, and we no longer live by any rules.

As great as it sounds, we have all come to know how much freedom can backfire.

Our parents might have kept us on a tight leash, but once we indulge ourselves in the undisputed freedom of adulthood, we begin to wish there was someone there to hold us down or clean up our mess.

That’s the true beauty behind freedom and the relationship we hold with our parents as we age.

We not only get to make our own messes, but we also have to pick up the pieces from the disasters.

3. Communication

Like many others, I can say the relationship I held with my parents while growing up at home consisted of little communication.

Although I lived in the same house as them and slept in the room next to them, I found that very minimal time of my days were spent communicating with my parents.

I was all too caught up in my high school days and spent most of my time outside of my house.

During the time I did spend in my house, I tried to pretend I wasn't there by texting, calling, Facebook chatting and doing just about anything to dodge talking to my parents.

As we grow up, this takes a total twist.

Not living at home means if there’s no communication via technology, there’s no communication at all.

It’s now become a daily routine to call my parents, and my day doesn’t quite feel complete without a conversation between us.

As we grow into adulthood, we find we connect more to our parents, and we desire that communication.

4. Honesty

As teenagers, we did whatever we could to keep our lives as private as possible from our parents, despite the fact we lived with them.

We didn’t want our parents to know about anything going on in our lives.

As we grow up, we find that honesty between our parents expands.

We begin to not only feel more comfortable telling them about everything that happens in our lives, but we also almost inclined.

I’ve found it more important to talk to my parents about all the things going on in my life — both good and bad — because I know they’ll be there to give support.

The relationship we hold with our parents as we get older and move away can become based on what we tell them about our lives.

We keep them involved in our lives since they can’t be there in person to witness it happening.

5. Empathy

It was always difficult to understand where my parents were coming from with certain rules they gave me when I was younger.

I always fought against them, and I never — for a second — considered the place they were coming from was for the better.

As you mature, you become more empathetic to your parents, and understanding them as people becomes easier over the years.

I never listened to my parents' rules when I was a teenager growing up in their home.

But as I moved into adulthood, I began to understand the motives behind the restrictions they put on me, and I found it easier to empathize with my parents.

As you grow up, you begin to realize it takes life experience to understand where your parents were coming from when they made these rules for you.

6. Appreciation

We not only begin to appreciate our parents more, but we also appreciate the world they’ve given us.

We have our parents to thank for our existence in this world, and we don’t completely begin to understand this until we grow up.

Appreciating the life our parents gave us is an essential part of the relationships we hold with them, and growing up, we find more and more to be thankful for when it comes to our parents.

No matter how much they get on our nerves, or how many rules they throw our way during our teenage years, our parents are the most important parts of our worlds.

They are the reason we are here today.

Although our teenage hormones disregard their importance, as we mature, we develop a stronger relationship with our parents.

When we grow up, our relationships with our parents become some of the most crucial things we experience.

After realizing the importance of our parents, we realize soon enough, we will become them.

That thought in itself is enough to be grateful for our relationships with our moms and dads.