Sometime when you hit early adulthood is when you will begin to see your parents as equals, not as mom and dad, or people you need to fear. All relationships evolve, and this significant change is one of the ways in which a parent-child relationship does too.
You'll know it's true when conversations that used to include 'have you eaten your vegetables?' now veer towards, 'have you made your dentist's appointment?' This marks the wonderful time when your relationship isn't all about rebelling and getting scolded, it's also about deepening your relationship with them, making them not just parents but supportive loved ones.
As an adult, if you'd like to bond with your parents and grow closer to them on the same level, here are a few ways in which you can do so.
1. Learn A New Skill Together
Take on a new challenge together and keep in mind their preferences. Try a baking class, a terranium building workshop or learn how to play sudoku together. When you tackle a task together, the similar experiences you share from it make for great bonding material.
2. Talk To Them
Of course you already talk to your parents about picking up laundry, going grocery shopping and grabbing your birthday presents for relatives. But that's not what we're referring to. Talk to them about more than just the itinerary of your day. Open up and talk about how you're dealing with your work assignments, the tapas restaurant you're dying to try and the new friends you've made recently.
3. Plan A Pamper Party
After years of family vacations where your parents have put up with sweltering heat and screaming toddlers, a pamper party will be a great idea. So schedule pedicures, head massages and foot rubs for the day followed by a delicious lunch -- no, not just for mom, get dad in on the action too! Not only will it be a great relaxer, it's a wonderful environment in which to share a bond.
4. Know Your Limit
Once you get the hang of it, bonding with parents can be incredibly fun but don't forget, at the end of it, they are still mom and dad. Understand the level of comfort you share with them, which will better help you approach the subjects you can talk about. This also helps steer clear from topics you may be uncomfortable discussing with them, like finances or your love life. Also keep in mind their limitations. A topic you want to discuss might make them horribly uncomfortable, at least initially. Respect that.
5. Practice Inclusion
It's easy to organise a fancy sit-down dinner for your parents' anniversary and then forget about them for the rest of the year. Remember, bonding isn't a one-time thing. It requires continuous effort so make sure you include your parents in your life all year round. Text them at work, grab ice-cream with them over the weekends, shower them with presents during the holidays and take them on a trip during summer. No matter how tiny your gesture, including them in your daily life is what counts.
6. Try Some Friendly Competition
There's nothing like some friendly competition to bring out the best in your parents and you. Whether you set the timer on Sundays to see who can solve the crossword the quickest or challenge them to a step count contest on their fitness tracker, lighthearted competition always brings a wonderful spirit and a few laughs with it.