What’s Really Going On Here?

Adult children and aging parents view the same situation from very different perspectives.  And both are absolutely sure their interpretation of its meaning as well as their ideas about how to deal with it are correct.  Not surprising, each party is at a loss as to why the other party is so blind to what seems so obvious.  Where do you go from here?

The temptation is for adult children to hold their position and search for ways to get their parens to see the light.  That proves to be a low yield strategy that generally makes things worse.  Perspectives that are expressions of developmental needs do go gently into that good night.

A more effective approach is to work with an aging parent’s perspective with these “battle for control” flash points.  Opting to put aside the who’s right issue, adult children can focus their energy and creativity on identifying language and behaviors that facilitate their parent’s needs. It is an accommodation that signals “I may not agree with how you see the situation, but I do see how important  it is to you and I want to help you find what you need to manage it.”

This link is to a blog post that has a number of examples of a how to successfully partner with the perspective of aging parents to help them navigate tough choices while at the same time preserve the right to choose and the dignity choice offers: How To Communicate Tough Choices To Aging Parents.

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