What We Wish We Could Tell Our Parents

what i wish i could tell my parents

By the Literally, Darling Editorial Board

Even as an adult, is there anything more difficult and trying at times than your relationship with your parents? For those of us who are close to ours it’s often as or more difficult, as the need to please and make them happy can be as hard to live with as those who are disapproving and taciturn. We all carry the baggage of our parents, what they’ve sacrificed for us and what they could’ve done better, and internalized it. Even those of us brave enough to say what we’re really feeling to their faces end up feeling worse after the fact. So today, we’re getting it out in the open on the bet that many of you can relate to this as well. This is what we wish we could say to our parents.


“Your happiness and the decisions you make are not my responsibility. It’s up to you to see these through fruition and to take the steps you need to be content. I can’t make my entire life about fixing your self-made source of unhappiness.”

“I don’t know why you guys keep telling me that you’re proud of me because I feel like a giant f*ck up all the time. But thank you, I appreciate it. And I love you both. Although I’d love you more if you sent texts instead of leaving voicemails.”

“Can you just get a divorce already? I’m old now and I’m tired of the fighting.”

“There is no phrase more unhelpful than ‘I don’t care about what so-and-so got/did/etc, I care about what you got/did/etc.’ Context is everything. Please don’t make me feel bad for getting a B in a room full of D’s.”

“There’s no way you can be two parents at once. You can’t fill the void that’s left by a missing parent. So please stop trying, and just be yourself.”

“I know I’ve said that I understand your choice to divorce my dad, but I really, really don’t. I don’t think I ever will. I know his alcoholism and death isn’t your fault and I will never understand what you went through while you were married to him, but a part of me really believes that if you had stayed together, he might still be alive.”

“I’m not sure what I’m doing with myself, but I’m learning to be OK with that, and I really need you to be OK with that too. I’m not lazy; I’m just trying to figure out what my next step is, and I can’t do that if you’re pressuring me to pick a path just because it’s what you would have done/would like me to do. I put enough pressure on myself already—trust me—what I need is support and patience.”

“I’m not you. I may look like you and I may sound like you, but I am my own person and I do not want the same things you did or do. Please let me figure things out for myself. I promise I can handle myself—you’ve taught me well.”

“Dad, you have an anxiety disorder. Mom, you have severe control issues. It’s alright—it’s just something to be aware of. Although I do wish you’d seek help and learn how to manage things better: I don’t think you realize just how deeply this affects your everyday life and your relationship with the rest of the family.”

“Please, please, please stop drawing comparisons between us daughters—it serves absolutely no one (least of all sibling solidarity). We’re different people with different talents, interests, and hopes for the future: Let us be. If you can’t help it, at least make sure we can’t hear you when you do.”

“It is never, ever, EVER OK to try and pit your children against one another. Competition may help some people achieve more but there is no place for it in a family.”

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