ProConnect

Creating Family Acceptance

By

Creating Family Acceptance
Guidelines for Growing Up within Your Family

Lately, I’ve gotten so many anguished questions from people who are being criticized and rejected by family for making relationship choices the families don’t like, usually for cultural or religious reasons, that I changed my mind about what I was going to write this month.

If your choice of a partner, lifestyle, religion or place to live has received a lot of criticism and threats of rejection from your family, you are probably experiencing pain and confusion. Families do this because they don’t accept that you’re an adult, free to make your own choices, good or bad, and they assume your choices will either be bad for you or a negative reflection on them. Otherwise loving and caring parents can become surprisingly cruel and heartless in these situations, because they are afraid—and they turn that fear into anger. It may not be possible to get them to approve of your decision, but if you get them to think of you as an independent adult, they may be able to accept it with a little more grace.

More from YourTango: Dear Dr. Romance: What Should A Twentysomething Grad Student Do?

Moving On
If you’re an adult, and in college, working, or married, it’s time to grow up and move on from your family and your childhood. While it’s lovely to be close to your family if you have a good relationship with them, it is also time to build a life of your own, and the sooner you begin, the quicker you will become well- established. It’s a big change when you first leave home to think of yourself as being in charge of your life. “I’m 31 years old,” said a client “and I still feel as if someone else is running my life.” That is not a good place to be.

The key is to decide that you, and only you are in charge of what you do from this day on. You can discuss your life issues with your parents, siblings, spouse and friends, and make use of their experience and differing view points; but in the end, you are the one who must make the decisions about what to do. Even if you manage to allow someone else to make the decisions for you, you will have to live with the consequences of those decisions.

To change your relationship with your family from that of a dependent child to a fully respected adult, you must first change the way you think of yourself in relationship to your family. In other words, to stop being treated as you were when you were a child, you must stop behaving the way you did as a child. If you treat the others in your family as “fellow adults”, you’re more likely to get treated like one yourself. The ways your family interact are just habits, and they can change. Following are some guidelines:

More from YourTango: Dr. Romance On The 9 Worst Marital Habits To Avoid

Guidelines for Growing Up within Your Family
1. Call your parents “Mother and Father” or “Mom and Dad”, instead of childlike names such as Mommy, Daddy, Poppy, etc. It will make you think differently about your interaction.

2. Change your conversation to be more like the conversations you have with friends. Don’t limit it strictly to family memories, or gossip about family members, or questions about your personal life. Before you speak with family members, take a minute to think of what “adult” topics you’d like to talk about. Current events, sports, work issues (just facts and events—avoid complaining) political or local neighborhood issues are all adult topics.

Share this with someone you love (or even like a lot)!

Let's make it
FB official
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Tina Tessina

Author

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D.
http://www.tinatessina.com
tina@tinatessina.com
562-438-8077
Dr. Romance Blog: http://drromance.typepad.com/dr_romance_blog/
http://www.twitter.com/tinatessina
http://www.facebook.com/#!/DrRomanceBlog
Amazon author page http://amzn.to/rar7RC
 

Location: Long Beach, CA
Credentials: LMFT, MFT, PhD
Other Articles/News by Dr. Tina Tessina:

Dear Dr. Romance: What Should A Twentysomething Grad Student Do?

By

Dear Dr. Romance, We are co-workers and I've know him for about two years. He's very nice, funny and in very good shape. We've built a pretty solid friendship. We hang out a couple times a month (when I'm home from school). But, lately he's been pushing for a relationship (seeing as how I'm graduating next year). He's very ... Read more

Dr. Romance On The 9 Worst Marital Habits To Avoid

By

I sees many clients who are having marital problems because of the following bad habits. If you find yourself doing any of these things, consider changing your behavior or getting counseling. 1. You place social media above real communication. This can be a big problem, especially with younger couples. Feeling that you’ve discussed something because ... Read more

Dear Dr. Romance: I can now free myself and enjoy helping people

By

Dear Dr. Romance: I came across your web site when I was desperately looking for motivation. I'm a salesman selling first class products but I couldn't get motivated and it's been a problem for months. It's been getting worse. I read "Motivation and How to Create It (Good Boss/Bad Boss)" and now I'm sorted out. I ... Read more

See More

Recent Expert Posts
deep breath

Should I stay or Should i go? 5 Ways To Make The Best Decision

Are you confused about staying or going in a relationship? Read on...

shame

How to Get Over Your Stinkin' Thinkin'

Recognize "Stinkin Thinkin" that leads to depression and turn it into positive action and success.

valentines-flowers-surprise

Why Breakups Hurt

Breakups hurt us even when there is no love lost.

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

Resources
How to find the right pro for you
10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

YourTango Experts can help your business go from good to great.

10 Steps To Improve Your Coaching Business

Take your coaching business from mediocre to great in no time…

Frequently Asked Questions About YourTango Experts

Thinking of joining? Here's all the facts you need to know to make the most of your membership.

Getting Your Guy To Join You In A Therapy Or Coaching Session

So how can your get your strong, self-reliant, superman to talk to an Expert with you?

Therapist/Counselors: Who We Are & What We Do

What exactly does a therapist/counselor do and can they really help?

See more resources>
HOT STUFF!
FROM OUR PARTNERS