Do you feel 'at home' at home?

Whether you grew up in a strict household or were allowed to rule the roost, it’s completely normal to feel like you can’t behave the same way around your family as you would around your friends. Your family might still see you as the person you were when you were younger, or struggle to understand some of your life choices since.

So how do we feel strong, confident and unapologetic about who we are, whilst keeping the peace?

We talked to Ekow, Luxsiya and Jamie about how they change the way they speak or act around their families, and why.

Let’s recap on those bottom line basics so you can keep the peace, but still be yourself.

Always show respect

Our families feed us, look after us, tidy up after us, defend us, raise us and for those things, we definitely owe a little… R.E.S.P.E.C.T!

For Ekow, making sure he calls his parents ‘mum’ and ‘dad’ is important in demonstrating his respect for them. “When I was younger,” he says, “if I was to say something, especially to my mum, and I didn’t end it with ‘mum’ it would be problem!”

Every family has their own ways to show respect, and respect is a crucial part of any relationship. So don’t ignore the things that are important in your family, however small they may seem.

Consider cultural differences

Luxsiya was born and grew up in London, but her mum is from Sri-Lanka. She relocated to give her family a better life.

“Being part of an immigrant family, there is a lot of guilt associated with embracing the British part of your identity,” says Luxsiya.

To avoid upsetting her mum, Luxsiya keeps certain parts of her life more private because she knows they would hurt her. “I know that she loves me – it’s just a way of navigating things so that everyone’s happy,” she says.

Strike a balance

When Jamie goes home, they won’t tone down their physical appearance but they will adjust what they choose to talk about:

“Conversation does change, and there will definitely be things I won’t bring up.”

“I will just change my behaviour in a way that means that it’s enjoyable,” Jamie says. “I know that changing my behaviour is actually going to mean that I am having a nice time with my family.”

Sometimes tweaking your behaviour or the way you speak can create an environment that works to benefit your relationships with family members. Maybe they are tweaking things too! Family situations often involve finding a balance that suits everyone. Most of all, it’s important to feel that you can be yourself and that who you are is valued by the people close to you.

For more advice on support on being yourself have a look at our Bitesize Support Identity pages.

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