Talking to my dad is one of my biggest fears when it is time to tell him he has to stop driving or stop living by himself. It has been on my mind quite a bit lately. Not because he is ready to consider it, but because I am worried about how he is going to react to me suggesting he shouldn’t drive any more.
I have recently decided I would face my fears because most of the time it is not as bad as I think it is. I am the type of person that if I have more information the calmer I am about handling situations. So I have been doing some reading on how to talk to your parents. Here are a few tips I have picked up.
Tips for talking to your parents
- Pick the right place and time – Don’t start an in depth conversation 5 minutes before you have to pick up junior at his soccer game. Make sure there are no distractions. Is the setting is comfortable?
- Listen – Really listen to what they have to say. Don’t interrupt. A long pause maybe they are thinking about how to say it.
- Put yourself in their shoes – As your parents grow older they start loose control over things, their environment, their mobility, their memory and so on. Asking or accepting help can be thought as giving away their control.
- Enlist the help of a neutral party – If your parent is not listening to you. Seek out the help of a trusted friend, a member of the clergy or even a doctor. They maybe able to help get your point across.
Tips for you
- Find an outlet – If you find yourself angry, frustrated, or don’t know where to go from here after trying to talking to your parents. Try finding someone you can vent, strategize, and confide in. It can be a close friend, sibling, a geriatric care manager, any of which can help you fell better. Even if it is just for a laugh.
- Don’t beat yourself up – Sometimes your parents are just not ready to let go of the control they have over their lives. In those cases watch carefully and be ready to jump in to help when you are needed.
- Respect – In the end they are your parents, they are adults. Treat them as such.
- My last tip is don’t forget your sense of humor. Laughing can be the spoon full of sugar that helps the medicine go down.
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