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Caroline Rules

How Can I Get My Parents To Stop Putting Me In The Middle?

Caroline Manzo puts the real in The Real Housewives of New Jersey, and her fans relate to the reality star's no-nonsense attitude, focus on family and, above all, abundant common sense. In this column, Caroline helps solve your most pressing dilemmas.

The Dilemma: I am 21, and for the past seven years, my parents have had an on-again, off-again relationship. I have asked them many times not to put me in the middle of their fights, yet they both still come to me to complain about the other. I don't want to be disrespectful, but how do I deal with my parents' constantly involving me in their brawls? —T

Caroline's Ruling: I'm sorry to hear you've had to deal with this for so long. Unfortunately, what you're going through isn't uncommon. I sometimes think that parents get so lost in their own anger and frustration that they forget how it affects their children.

I like that you want to approach them with your issue but are concerned about crossing the line and disrespecting the parent/child relationship. It sounds to me like you are acting more like the parent and them the children—again, not uncommon.

I would suggest that you speak to them together (if possible) and calmly tell them that you love them both equally but that it's difficult to hear them speak negatively about one and other.

Hopefully they'll hear what you're saying and commit to making some changes. Remember, as parents, we should show our children that even though life has difficult moments, all is never lost.

Good luck, honey.

  • From marriage dilemmas to family issues, Caroline's got the answers!

    Photo by Michael T. Greco
Caroline Rules
How Can I Get My Parents To Stop Putting Me In The Middle?
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