Parent-child relationships can be complex, but when you enter adulthood, the complexity can multiply. Whether you've had a great lifelong relationship with your parents or it's been a constant struggle to stay on their good side (or vise versa), as an adult, there are certain things you should never put up with from your parents.
Whether they mean to push boundaries or not, as you grow up, so should the parent-child relationship. For some, enjoying a great, mutually-respectful relationship with their parents is the norm. For others, constant discord is their "normal" when dealing with their mom and / or dad.
Although most can probably come to the same conclusion without the data, a study published in the National Institutes of Health determined that conflict within the parent and adult-child relationship is common. The history of the quality of the relationship, it determined, was the main indicator of whether or not a parent and their adult child would go on to experience problems later on.
Instead of simply writing off your poor relationship, knowing what is and isn't acceptable behavior from your parents can help you learn to set healthy boundaries and, if necessary, talk with them about why the following behaviors only drive the wedge further.
1. General Rudeness
An article from Huff Post noted that an attitude of rudeness from parents often causes adult-children to feel disrespected — like their parents don't respect the fact that they're fully grown adults. Ya think? Whether it's rudeness towards your spouse, or a general air of negativity about your decisions, rudeness shouldn't be the norm in a parent-child relationship, regardless of whether or not the two of you agree on a particular subject.
2. Constant Intrusion
If having your parents constantly show up unannounced or not asking permission before whisking your kids off sounds familiar, they're definitely crossing the line. An article from The Seattle Times pointed out that boundaries, both physical and emotional, are important for adult children to form. Whether your parent simply has a hard time letting go or they have actual control issues, setting boundaries when you start to feel stifled is important for the both of you.
3. Unsolicited Input
That aforementioned lack of boundaries (or a parent who won't respect them) might result in constantly hearing opinions about your choices, lifestyle, clothes, job, relationship, or anything else they feel is comment-worthy. Although you should be able to go to your parents for help, you should never have to put up with continual unsolicited advice.
4. Abnormal Distance
On the other end of the spectrum, some deal with abnormal emotional distance from their parents that is harmful to everyone involved. Whether emotional neglect has been a pattern since you were young or it happened once you "left the nest," the Dr. Jonice Webb website suggested that even adult children should be able to enjoy a close, emotionally safe relationship with their parents. Consider having a conversation about your needs with your parent — it may change the dialogue altogether.
Favoritism is incredibly harmful during childhood, but it has damaging effects to an adult too. Whether your parent seems to prefer another sibling, your spouse, or your kids to you, playing favorites should have ended years ago.
6. Guilt Tripping
Guilt tripping is one of the most common of the parental woes. Psychology Today noted that you can respond with empathy, explain how these guilt trips really effect you, and try to deal with your own response to guilt, but nonetheless, you shouldn't have to walk on eggshells around your parents.