Ignoring Your Parents’ Calls

You see ‘Mom’ or ‘Dad’ pop up on your caller ID and you hit ignore right away, or maybe let it ring. For the first, second, third, and even fourth time. Some of us have those parents.

They only want to make sure you’re not dead. Although it sounds extreme, it is true. I can count the number of times I went days without speaking to my parents, because the first time I did they called my landlord to check the apartment and make sure I was alive. The second time, they called my best friends and made them pick me up over Thanksgiving, fretting since I hadn’t spoken to them in three days. If you pay attention, though, there is an easy way to avoid your parents if you are studying, at a party, or just not in the mood to talk-without compelling them to file a missing person’s report. Texting.

If you send a text as simple as, “Hi mom, doing fine, but busy”, no one back home will see a need to call the police when you don’t pick up the phone. There were multiple instances during college when I was either bogged down with homework and could not spare the hour or two-long conversation I knew my mom wanted to begin, so I didn’t pick up her calls. But I followed up with a text. This usually calmed her down, and she settled for a rain check phone date. She called almost every day though so I couldn’t always promise that I would call her back right away. In fact, sometimes I did not answer at all, but I made sure that a long period of time did not pass where no one in my family heard from me. For example, my dad preferred to send me messages before bed that said, ‘goodnight’. As long as I replied, he was fine. He didn’t care who I was dating, if I was taking my vitamins, wearing shower shoes, or how late I was staying out every night, but if I ever missed one or more of those goodnight texts, then he called. The point is that each parent and child has a different relationship, and you just have to figure out what is the happy medium between keeping your parents relaxed and keeping you sane once you head off to college and are on your own.

Just try to put yourself in their shoes. If you had a daughter that had just left home, and you did not know what she were doing, how she was feeling, or if she was eating or sleeping well, it could weigh down on you a bit. When you call them crazy or get upset with them, it is only going to make the situation worse, because they are going to ask if something is wrong with you or why you have an attitude. Parents do not speak the same language as us, so you have to keep it as simple as possible, so that it makes sense on both ends.

Eventually, you will miss your parents, and if you are lucky enough to be going to school near home, it would not be a bad idea to try to go home one weekend a month like some of my friends would do. If you’re thousands of miles away, like I was, then try to go skip that spring break trip to Cancun just once and surprise your parents. They will really appreciate it, and who knows, maybe you will enjoy it more than you thought you would. There really is no place like home, especially when you haven’t been there for months.

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