How to deal with conservative parents

Okay. So as we know, our judgment of what exactly makes our parents conservative or liberal cannot be solely dependent on what our opinion has to offer. But of course, not to be mistaken as labeling, some parents are indeed conservative in the sense that they fit in to the definition in few situations. Call it a generation gap or just laggardness; the differences are extremely difficult to cope up with when your conservative parents are not ready to bend at any cost. You either succumb to their ‘pressures’ or just distance yourself drastically. While the former poses a threat to your personality, however the latter is highly a detestable idea because of the obvious reason – they’re your parents!!

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So here is a small guide on how to deal with your ‘rigid’ parents tactfully along with sticking to what you believe and want.

Manage your conversations with them

Let truth prevail – talking facts to your conservative parents don’t quite go well. They will believe what they do and expect you to follow suit. Maintaining your calm in such situations is highly recommended. You might try to change the subject which obviously will bring some peace of mind, somewhat like this – “Surely India is a country full of diversities and I happen to respect that people have different opinions. So.. Mom, could I get some tea please?”

Or else good luck to your poor sibling or that friend who is a frequent victim of your whining wrath.

Not all arguments are to be won

Yeah I understand how that concept stands against when it comes to a debatable issue with friends, no wonder you want to win! But hey, you don’t always have to win arguments with your parents right? It is perfectly okay if you let go sometimes which definitely doesn’t mean you’re a loser but the very smart brat who knows what’s what. You might be an atheist or an agnostic and your parents’ constant nudging you for attending temples or getting a ‘tilak’ on your forehead might be a matter of irritation but then there is no harm in giving in to their faith sometimes, especially if that makes them happy. Surely that wouldn’t change your perception but it would save you a fight. After all, who doesn’t want a friction-less relationship with loved ones?

Be a good listener

Just as you think you are needed to be heard, similarly few parents think they must have the last word. Parents who do not open up to ideas other than theirs must be handled very cautiously, and with much patience. And yes, let’s be practical – not always are we able to maintain our calm. Sometimes we do lose our rational selves. In those situations, don’t just bark even if you disagree to their idea. Listen to what they have to say, identify the source of their opinion formation and then do the math on how to convince them otherwise with your logic and examples.

Make them believe in change, believe in you

You’re in college yet you have to carry a cell without your parents knowing about it. You are into a co-ed institution but your parents are strictly against you making any guy friends. You have been learning all your life to not discriminate people on the basis of their castes yet your parents constantly warn you against making friends of other religion.

Sounds similar to some of you? Well, don’t get them wrong. We all are deprived of something or the other. Your parents may not be exposed to the openness you see around yourself, resulting in their eventual beliefs. I understand how hard it is to make them see reason on such issues but when you are polite in your approach, you can win anyone! Show them movies which are brimming with new ideas, talk about how education is changing the world, tell them why there is no harm in seeing a person of a different caste as just another normal human being. Give examples, be sophisticated while you do that and definitely win their trust.

Despite all, make them believe that you’re always there for them. They’re old and very unlikely to change completely. They have seen the world more than you and would hold on to their experiences no matter what. But an initiative from your end could do wonders, isn’t it?

Because I believe that, like us, they too need to be sensitized for the long-term and for a better family life.

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