communication conflicts with aging parents

Steady On…

Things periodically fall apart with our aging parents no matter how hard we try to avoid conflict.   Stay calm and let these episodes have their moment and then pass on. There’s no time to hold a grudge or prove who’s…

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Moving Control Options Beyond A Zero Sum Context

In their struggle to preserve control, aging parents may see their choices as primarily all or nothing decisions, a zero sum battle of wills with only winners and losers.  Unfortunately, this narrow perspective misses what appears to be  a more…

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Sometimes winning is no solution…

It’s a long game filled with constant temptations to prove you are right.  The real art of caring for aging parents may be having the insight and discipline to know what to ignore.  Looking back, these will be the moments…

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Avoid Ultimatums

The best way to make sure nothing changes in conversations with aging parents is to give them an ultimatum. It’s good for about 10 seconds of “take charge” pride followed by the long tail of days wishing you had tried…

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How to Communicate with Aging Parents about Money

Older adults have a deep resistance to having conversations with their adult children about money. Why? It arises from three psychological factors that coalesce in last phase of life to create resistive barriers to open discussions about financial issues. These…

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Why Would An Aging Parent Say That?

A reoccurring theme in caregiver support groups is disparaging and derogatory comments made by aging parents to their adult children who are struggling to do the right thing. Voicing anger and bitterness about how their life has turned out, these…

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The Secrets of Aging Parents

Adult children are frustrated by their aging parent’s unwillingness to share important information about their plans, health or finances. The withholding weakens the caregiving partnership and sets everyone up for poor outcomes. So why are they so secretive at the…

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From Pleading To Informing…

A lead caregiver of aging parents was going to extraordinary lengths to keep everything together only to find herself drowning in transactional quicksand. As her parents drifted into the land of “more and more care,” her uninvolved siblings either refused…

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Seeking Forgiveness: Linda Kriger

This deeply moving article by Linda Kriger was published in 2008: http://www.forward.com/articles/14255/ I have read and reread this tale of estrangement, bitterness, regret, and the search for “repair” because I heard endless versions of it from friends, colleagues, clients, and…

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