Talking with parents that have grown old can be rather tiring – due to the age gap, it can often lead to conflicts and different problems. An artist named Alexander Galitski has been working with older people for years, teaching them how to make wood sculptures or how to paint. Here are his tips that will help you communicate with your aging parents easier:
Don’t try to change them
When we were kids, it was exhausting to hear about that neighbor’s boy who has perfect scores and who always listens to his parents. Now that they’re old, you’re probably going to hear how the neighbor “goes out every day, while you sit all day inside doing nothing”. Although it can be pretty annoying to hear them talk like that, don’t try to change them. You just can’t change people in that age – accept them as they are.
Just like with children, you need to be patient with older parents. Don’t react to their aggression or grudges – if you do it, you lose. Listen to them and try to solve the real problem – it’s the only way not to feel guilty in the end.
Don’t expect the conversation to be pleasant
They get nervous and moody just like us. Hey, they’re only human after all. Whenever they’re angry, try talking to them and never spare them just because they’re old.
Here’s what steps you can take to help your aging parents:
Show compassion, but no pity
Compassion is important, but don’t act like they’re helpless and poor.
Be their shoulder to cry on
Never go to your parents to whine. You always need to have two stories – the truth, and a story only for them. Your parents have spent the whole life supporting you, and it’s time for you to return the favor. Of course, we’re not saying that you should lie to them, but you’re far more capable than them, so be their support.
Learning how to forgive the past is very important. If you don’t forgive your parents today, tomorrow may be too late. If you want to move forward, you have to be strong and learn how to forgive.
Remember – you’re the only thing they have left, and you will always be their child.