Our parents always asked us to listen to them, but what happens when they are the ones who refuse to listen to us? When parents get old they think, just like when we are children, that we know everything. And it is at this point that some adult children are discovering that their parents do not always know how to listen to advice or constructive criticism.
There are many examples, and they are usually related to their diet, driving, taking medications, health ... That is why we ask for your patience, the same patience that they had with us when educating us from childhood.
Helpful Tips for When Aging Parents Won't Listen
The general feeling for adult children is similar: they mostly believe that their parents are stubborn about taking their advice or getting help with everyday problems. There are many situations or daily conversations that fall on deaf ears, such as when it is necessary to explain a thousand times to remove the bathtub and replace it with a shower tray to avoid falls, or when we suggest that it may be okay to buy a pillbox to avoid being forgotten.
We are not going to deny it, upon reaching a certain age there are issues that are very delicate to deal with. Words like residence, professional caregiver, hearing aids, no salt or walker are difficult to speak to our parents, and the easiest way to avoid the problem is usually to look the other way and not listen to us.
What to do when your elderly parents don't listen
We want to warn you in advance: raising certain decisions to our elderly parents is not going to be easy, and making them change their minds will not be easy. Here are the tips that aged-care support like Connect Ability will repeat the most when we find ourselves in this situation:
1. Accept the situation
Although sometimes it hurts us and we do not fully agree, our parents are adults with the right to make decisions. There are decisions with many degrees of repercussion, and there will be cases in which we will have to give in and in others be more demanding. Everything will depend, in any case, on the physical and mental health of our parents, since in some cases we will have to speak for them.
2. Make the change for a loved one
If our father or mother are not willing to change their behavior on their own, it is good sometimes to use psychology. If they don't do it for them, you can try asking them to do it for us or their grandchildren. One approach might be this: “You don't want me to worry, do you? This will give me great peace of mind. Please do it for me!"
3. Decide how important the issue is
Is the issue you are concerned about a safety issue, a health issue, or something that is simply irritating but inconsequential? As the saying goes, choose your battles well and don't argue over things that are not of great importance.
4. Don't beat yourself up
Our obligation is to advise and be there for everything our parents need, even knowing that something could have been avoided and makes us feel guilty. However, we should not be hard on ourselves when something like this happens. Our advice is not to bang your head against the wall. Sometimes there is not much we can do, so we must stand by, observe the situation closely and be able to shake hands when and as often as necessary.
5. Find an outlet outside for your feelings
Getting angry or resentful at our parents is not the best way to make them see reason. If they perceive our displeasure, it will be easier for them to continue in their denial, so we must be cautious with our expressiveness and seek outside help. If our words are not enough, perhaps a friend, a therapist or another family member can make them understand better than we do the changes in habits they should make. And we, for our part, will have to find a way to make our anger disappear.
6. Look for alternatives to get them out of the house
Your parents are lazy about everything and don't want to leave the house? The best way to change their minds is to take them to some special celebration. When it comes to an anniversary, a graduation or a wedding, their mood improves dramatically, so don't think twice and take them with you.
7. Treat them like the adults they are
Dealing with stubborn parents is not the same as dealing with stubborn children. Older people should be autonomous, and this is what we must make them see. For this reason, if a decision has to be made so that they remain autonomous, they have to see it as adults, even though it has certain consequences in their daily lives.
8. Try to understand the motivation behind their behavior
Given the stubbornness of our parents, there are different questions that we must ask ourselves in order to find the answer to their behavior.
- Are they acting this way out of habit, to assert their independence, or because they are depressed or confused?
- What are they afraid of?
After giving you these tips in cases where your parents do not listen to you, could you tell us if you or your family have had a similar experience? What advice would you give to other people who can't get their parents to listen to them? We'd like to hear your story, so write it down in the comments below, or contact us to further assist you in this situation.
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