When we become adults, our relationship with our parents changes. We don't depend on them anymore, therefore they start to treat us as equals (well, it doesn't always work like that, but we are talking about an ideal situation here). Being equal with your parents means you can offer then advice when you need it. How to give advice to your parents?
Make sure you're on good terms. The key to building a successful relationship with your parents when you're grown up is to resolve past issues. You need to make sure that you don't hold grudges against each other.
Talk to them regularly. If you want your parents to treat you like their equal and take your advice seriously, you should talk to them regularly about things other than your personal life or family-related topics. Learn to talk with them just as you would with any other friend.
Obtain permission to provide advice. There are situations when people don't want any advice because they prefer to work through the problem on their own. It has nothing to do with them being your parents. Sometimes your input is just not needed and/or wanted. So before giving advice to your folks, make sure they want it. If not, just keep your opinion to yourself because no one likes unsolicited advice.
Don't be arrogant or assuming. There are two common mistakes people make when they try to give advice: they assume they know better or they tell others what to do. You have the right to give your parents advice, but it is they who choose whether to follow it or not. Forget about the words “should” and “can't”, they make will make your advice sound like commands or criticism. Choose more neutral wording, such as “Have you considered...”
Don't take sides. If your parents are having a fight and ask you to arbitrate, you probably shouldn't take anyone's side because you won't be able to be completely detached. Even if your advice is 100% rational, the parent who hasn't gained your support might feel hurt, and it may put a strain on your relationship.
Be understanding and patient. You need to understand that many parents have a hard time taking advice from their adult children. Even if they want to treat their children as equals, it can be difficult for them to deal with the reversal of traditional roles. You need to accept it. Don't be too pushy, simply suggest a few options and leave the rest to them.
Don't question their choices. Even if you think that your parents have made the wrong choice, you need to be supportive. You are an important part of their support system, and you need to be there for them.
- How to Build a Good Parent and Child Relationship, How to Handle Unsolicited Advice From Your Relatives, How to Become Friends With Your Parents, How to Become Friends With Your Adult Children