We learn from them how to walk, speak and what it means to love: our parents shape us for life. That applies to both the positive and the negative. As we grow up, we can hardly imagine that there will ever be a life without these (ideally) two people by our side. And then we grow up ourselves, start our everyday working lives and begin to lead our own lives.
As a result, our parents suddenly play a smaller role in our everyday lives. Not because the love for them has changed - but because the focus naturally shifts to friendships, work and starting one's own family and fulfilling dreams. However, sometimes it happens that we lose the connection to the people who have generally been with us from the moment we took our first breath.
The lack of time together is often not to blame. According to recent surveys, more than half of young adults phone their parents at least once a week. For many adults, their own parents are still the first point of contact in the particularly bad and beautiful moments of life.
And yet the parent-child relationship often lacks depth when children become adults. Precisely because we often fall into old patterns. At least that's what the Hamburg communication psychologist Constanze Bossemeyer says in an earlier interview with the star: "Adult children quickly react tensely if they are already waiting for their parents to treat them like children again."
As a result, adults tend to behave like children again in their parental home, and the level of equality that a relationship between adult children and their parents could achieve is becoming far more distant. As adults, we have the wonderful opportunity to get to know our parents in a completely new way.
When both parties have reached a certain age, it is not only easier to get rid of old issues. We can also learn a lot about life from our parents. About theirs and about ours. "The family has a lot of power," says the psychologist Klaus A. Schneewind in an interview with "GEO". No one can escape the influence of their parents.
It is all the more important that we really get to know our parents. And not only in their parental role, which we are used to, but also as a person. Because from them we learn to perceive and classify the world. It is not for nothing that psychotherapy is based on the principle that childhood can affect our whole life. When we understand what motivated our parents to do certain things, it becomes easier for us to deal with them.
But how do you get to know people you think you've known your whole life? As so often - with the right questions and an honest and open interest in the other person. While the open mind should come naturally, you can get inspiration for the questions. We have a few initial ideas.
Of course, the questions are just a selection from the endless possibilities of questions that you can and should ask your parents. In general, ask what really interests you. The most important thing is to approach the conversation with an open mind. Our parents often have different attitudes than we do.
Here it is important to deal with possible differences of opinion with respect and to leave room for your own perspectives. Those who succeed in doing this are well on the way to a deeper connection to their mother and/or father. And by the way, you also learn something about yourself in the exchange with your parents.
Sources: Survey of adult children's relationship to their parents (Redaktions Netzwerk Deutschland), study of adult children's alienation from their parents