AverageNation™ Contributor Ciara ushers in our newest Poppin' Tag, Human Nature, today. That's right, AB.com is getting in touch with it's feminine side. As usual, show our guest some love you-know-where.]
“When you get older, it will get easier to talk to Dad, I promise.” My brother uttered those words to me a few weeks ago when I expressed – better yet, vented – about my life at this point. I went off for about 20 minutes about how my Dad wouldn’t let me grow up and do me. You know, that “When will you stop treating me like a child?!” diatribe that everyone participates in one time in life. I was talking a big game, saying that I wish my Dad would just let me support myself knowing damn well I would be a**ed out if he just let me go. My brother’s response: “Oh no, you don’t want that. Nope. That man put me out on the streets once I said that. Promise me, don’t say that when you talk to him about what’s going on.”
Problem is that I can’t talk to my Dad about my life; it’s incredibly difficult just to sit down with the man and engage in a healthy discussion about where my life should be heading. My brother can talk to my Dad without a hitch but me? Nope.
My Dad always says “You’re an adult, so I can’t tell you what to do”
yet I know he wants to. I think every parent has that “Let me save my child from inevitable disaster” instinct in them. So when he offers his brand of “suggestions” and “critiques”, I go on the defensive and get snappy. A level of snappy that would have got my behind beat more than five years ago.
Five years ago, I graduated from high school and was heading off to college when a crazy thing happened: my Dad wanted to have “adult”
conversations with me; it was that instant. He told me things about my family that I always wanted to know but as a teenager I had NO business asking about. It freaked me out. My Dad looked at me differently just because I was now a legal adult.
Even after four years of this, it’s still hard to talk to my Dad as an adult and not like that teenager who just had to sit there and take that lecture. I don’t know how to react to his criticism except just to get a slight attitude and for my brother to say “You and Dad have beef? Damn.” Maybe things will get better but at this point, I rather just sit there in silence than try to converse with the guy. As his daughter, that hurts.
Question: How important is it for parents to build healthy communication with their children? Did you parents talk to you differently once you became an adult? Was it difficult for you to talk to your parents about adult issues once you reached that age? Do fathers talk differently with their daughters than their sons?
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