I recently discovered this article I tried getting published on a community blog.
I’m sure it lacked something.
Despite that, I feel it’s worth sharing, so here it is:
“I hate talking to her!”
Not the greatest conversation with mom?
Or maybe it was an hours worth of lecturing from dad.
Many adult children struggle to have healthy relationships with their parents. Sometimes it can be difficult to have a simple conversation.
It breaks my heart to see and hear this sort of thing happen between parent and child.
These dysfunctional relationships are destroying society.
They’ve poisoned our past and are setting fire to our present and future.
As I kiss my three little children goodnight, I look at them wistfully. Will they hate me someday? Ofcourse not. I’m going to be a different kind of parent. A better one. I’m doing the best I can!
Isn’t that what my mother may have said to herself so many years ago?
“Rabbir ham huma kama rabba-yanee sagheera.” Quran 17:24
“Lord be merciful to them for they have brought me up in my childhood.”
As the prayer finally sinks in, I cry, on my knees, guilty of a life of resentment, finally understanding my parents and what they must have done for me when I was a child.
They did the best they knew.
We all make mistakes, but respect for our parents is a God given mandate. A responsibility despite their imperfections, despite that lingering feeling that they actually might have made our lives difficult.
I really do wish I could tell some parents how unfair and uncompromising they are to their children, maybe someday I’ll get through to them, insha Allah.
Having any kind of relationship with such parents can almost feel toxic.
But how do you carry out a conversation?
To help those of you out there sifting helplessly through information trying to “bridge that gap”, I’ve put together this acronym “CARRVE”.
I owe this to my husband who I have observed and learnt from over the years. I’ve watched him hold his tongue and deal with his parents with “Ihsan”. Most of the time he seems to do all the things outlined right here and by the Mercy of Allah he has a beautiful relationship with his parents and I’ve improved mine with his help.
I hope the acronym below will be helpful to most people. It should be possible to carry regular short conversations with parents by following it.
With many duas for all of you I hope this helps you too. Just one sentence from each of these categories should suffice.
Let’s CARRVE out some love in Mom and Dad!
Concern – Ask Questions about their life, health, things that are important to them as well as their day to day activities.
Appreciation – Appreciate their love and
Reinforce positively – the actions that you want to encourage by appreciating and praising their efforts.
Reminisce – Look back at your childhood with them, even ask them to tell stories from their childhood and things they enjoyed doing as children.
Validate – Let them feel at liberty to experience life as they do by acknowledging and affirming their emotions.
Empathize – Let them know you feel their pain, sorrow, joy or anger.
and end it with an “I love you.”