Here are six simple ways to develop a better relationship with your working parent.
When your mom or dad works all day, it can be hard to feel like you have a good relationship with her or him—especially if there’s only one parent in your family. But there are a few steps you can take to develop a meaningful relationship with your parent:
“In family relation-
ships love is really spelled t-i-m-e.” —President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
1. Use your time well.
Make sure that the time you do have with your parent is used well. You could talk to your mom or dad about how to do this. Your parent wants a good relationship with you too and will help you work on it. Try asking what he or she would appreciate: coming home to a clean house? doing an activity together? just talking with you? As you regularly do activities that your parent appreciates, your relationship will improve.
Of course, you could plan some fun activities to do together, but any meaningful time together—such as washing the dishes or reading the scriptures—can be a great way to build your relationship.
2. Plan time for communication.
Understanding one another is a key ingredient in good relationships. One thing to discuss is how your mom or dad’s work schedule will affect your relationship. You can avoid misunderstandings if you talk about your expectations as well as your parent’s.
Families are important to Heavenly Father, so He can inspire you to know how to improve your relationship with your mom or dad. Don’t ignore a prompting to do something that seems small (see Alma 37:6). A hug and a smile, for example, can make a big difference.
4. Write a Note.
Irinka E. from Ukraine loves writing notes to her mother. “Even if you have very little time together, you can still express your love to your mother,” she says. “Write her thoughtful, secret notes. As she reads them at work, she will think of you. Do as much as you can for her. Think about her more often and pray for her. Ask the Lord to inspire you and prompt you regarding how you can improve your relationship.”
5. Read Scriptures Together.
Reading scriptures together can be a great way to connect with your parent. “Both of you could set a goal to read together every day, even just five minutes, from the Book of Mormon or any other Church book,” says Laura M. from Córdoba, Argentina. “It will strengthen your relationship and nourish you with the word of God so you can be ready to face each day. Remember also to pray to God and ask for His help. I know He hears you and loves you.”
6. Help at Home.
Heather B. from Oregon, USA, likes to help at home. “Do some extra chores around the house,” she says. “Your mom has been working all day. If she has less work to do when she gets home, she’ll probably be happier and have more time to talk and do things with you. While you are talking, you can ask about her day at work. It will show her that you care, and it will open doors for other topics of discussion, allowing you to grow closer.”
Responses from youth are intended for help and perspective, not as official pronouncements of Church doctrine.
Learn from Your Parents
“No one has a greater interest in your welfare, in your happiness, in your future than do your mothers and fathers. They are of a prior generation. That is true. But they were once the age that you are now. Your problems are not substantially different from what theirs were. … What they ask you to do may not be to your liking. But you will be much happier if you do it” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “Stand True and Faithful,” Ensign, May 1996, 92–93).
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