How to help Parents when they just won’t Listen?
Whoever thought they would be trying to give their parents advice only to have them refuse to listen? So, what do you do?
I have found that it is important to ask myself why they are resisting. What is driving their behavior. Often, they are embarrassed because they never dreamed, they would ever need help in those areas. They were always the ones helping other people.
Sometimes approaching the situation from a different angle is helpful – having it be their idea, in a sense, makes the decision a bit easier.
Unfortunately, all too often a crisis must happen before change can start to happen. A fall or an illness sends them to the ER and the doctor says they are not safe to return home without help in place, and suddenly a crisis is created.
Don’t feel guilty if this is what happens as there is often very little we can do when there is resistance. We must always respect them as our parents even if we don’t agree with what they are choosing to do.
Bringing in outside help can be very helpful sometimes. Our parents tend to listen to the professional over their adult children – even if they are saying the exact same thing. Bringing in outside help can at times prevent that crisis from happening and if it still happens, you often already have things in place which can help make it less of a crisis.
I think the main message in this area is to know that our parents have the right to make their own decisions and all we can do is be available to help if things don’t go as planned. We need to pick our battles and ask ourselves if the decisions they are making could cause themselves or someone else harm. If something harmful is happening then we need to react, but if not then step back and be ok with it.
Sometimes having that outside professional come in and assess the situation is very helpful as well as putting fresh eyes on the home and having someone to talk to for guidance and reassurance. It helps to know a person is not alone in this journey and reaching out to others is good for all involved. It gives us as the adult children an outlet for our concern and frustration as well as advice from people who do this work for a living.
So, lets embrace those parents of ours and be thankful we still have them and be patient. They are going through so many emotions and struggles giving up independence and the uncertainty of what the future holds. It is a tough time for everyone. But how blessed they are to have children who love and care about their wellbeing. Keep up the good work!!