PSYCHOLOGY

5 Mistakes Of Grown Children That Cut Aging Parents Like A Knife

June 25, 2019 10:44

As soon as we become independent and build our own families, our parents fade into the background. We don’t need their care anymore and, at times, even find it annoying. We brush off their advice without realizing how much we hurt them. Adult children aren’t always aware that the quality of life decreases over the years, and this process is not only related to health. What can each of us do so as not to be left with regret when it's too late?

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1. Treating them like children

Perhaps, the elderly parents aren’t as “efficient” as they used to be, but we shouldn’t try to control their every step. No doubt, it wouldn’t be superfluous to sometimes ask if they need anything, if they have taken their medicines, etc. But they shouldn’t be treated like children. Over the years, they may indeed require more care and attention, but it hurts them to feel helpless and dependent.

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2. Excluding them from decision making

Not every thought or idea of an elderly person is right because many things may well be outside a grandparent’s grasp. Tips are sometimes uninvited and even preposterous, just like memories of similar situations. Although they look at things differently, they have a priceless gift – experience – from which we can still learn. And even if you opt to do it your way in the end, let them feel part of the family.

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3. Unwillingness to adapt to their new needs

Old age doesn't do anyone better, but the line between helping and patronizing should not be overstepped. Try not to hurry, reproach, or interrupt your elderly parent; don’t roll your eyes or jump to any conclusions. They need more time to adapt to new conditions than young people, but they still can do it. The need to feel needed also grows with age: don’t reject their care, because you have become almost the only meaning in life for them.

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4. Trying to change them

The beliefs that have been firmly established over the years are an older person’s second nature. It is almost impossible to change their mind, but it’s easy to annoy or upset them with insistent persuasion or imposing of your opinion. Obstinacy in such cases rarely leads to any positive outcome. As long as your parents are of sound mind, they know what is best for them and how they should live. You can gently correct irrational thinking, but not by suppressing or ordering about.

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5. Intolerance and anger

There is a lot of fear in an elderly person’s life. They are afraid of suddenly failing health, financial instability, and death; they dread becoming a burden, losing memory, or loneliness in old age. With that, older people are often quarrelsome and disobedient. Don’t tell them off for this; it will only create more problems and stress. In the end, it may well be the side effects of medications. Emotional connection is what they need, not worries and drama.

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After we become financially independent, mature adults, we must be prepared that with time, we will have to take care of our elderly parents. We should understand and accept the differences between generations and get used to their new needs. There aren’t such things as ideal parents, children, or relationships between them. The need to help restricts our freedom and takes time, but what will happen when there is no one to take care of? Can’t we provide them with comfort in the last chapter of their lives as they did in our first?


The material in this article is for informational purposes only and does not replace the advice of a certified specialist.