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How to Conflict with Our Parents: A Healthier Option From A First Generation, Jewish-Iranian Daughte

If you are the daughter or son of a family that is new to the USA, then you are probably struggling with managing collectivistic traditions (albeit, some incredibly rich and beautiful ones) with your new, individualistic identity.

When collective traditions clash with individual needs, conflict happens. Conflict is a difference between two opposing forces. Don't be afraid of conflict! Conflict can be healthy and it informs us about what is truly important in our lives; but it’s how we deal with it that matters.

So, how does conflict show up?

If you’re a teenager, your parents may expect you to be home at a certain time while your American friends may not have a curfew.

If you’re in your twenties, your parents may make plans on your behalf this Friday night with out checking in with you (Shabbat < Happy Hour), while your American friends may not have seen their family since thanksgiving and are planning to go to Hollywood.

If you’re in your thirties, your parents may have a million uninvited opinions about how to raise your kids while your American friends have visiting hours for grandma and grandpa.

How can we mediate these arguments so they don’t become a major blow up? How can we go from ignoring and resenting each other, to connection and support? How can we bring a voice to both sides and resolve conflict with integrity? Check out the following Conversation Map for ten steps to better conflict!

Sometimes, the patterns of behavior are too deep, the beliefs are too strong, or we just feel stuck. I suggest a third party to help navigate these difficulties- it can be a friend you trust, clergy, or counselor to help you get the ball rolling until you can fly once again on our own.

I give you major props for taking the time to read this article and learn about how to improve your relationship. If you have a son, daughter, sibling or parent who would benefit from this information, I invite you to share it with them. Don't just take my word; try these skills today and see what happens. If there is a language barrier, don't be discouraged. Be patient and make sure you understand the talker by asking them to clarify or repeat back what you heard. Good Luck!

Nicole Nowparvar is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Life Coach. She specializes in helping young adults balance old traditions with modern identity, turn challenges into opportunities, & understand their past so they can reach their goals. She provides individual, family, and group counseling. She will be co-facilitating a group for Jewish Iranian Daughters and Mothers on improving their relationships in July and August 2017. For more information, email her at



Call for a Free 15 Minute Consultation at (424) 284-9212

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