Parenting Parents 101: The Essentials
Parents have one role in life: to look after their children. However, there are times in life when the script flips and the children have to parent the parents. Don’t worry because your five-year-old son or daughter isn’t going to have to take up the slack anytime soon. When parents get older, they need a support group to ensure their health and well-being, and the kids are the first port of call.
For those of you who don’t know how to act, it can be a difficult transition. Thankfully, there are ways to make sure things go to plan, at least as much as possible. Here are the rules for parenting your parents.
Although they are adults, they are at a crossing point in their lives. As a result, your mum and dad might not know what is best for them. Of course, you do but don’t want to impose yourself on the situation. Sadly, this is not a course of action because every parent needs to be assertive to get results. Just remember that you will have to tell them what to do in the future like you would your children. There is no need to be a dictator, but there is no room to be childlike any longer.
Taking on a new role means there is going to be pushback. Let’s face it – an independent person isn’t going to take it lying down. Don’t see this as a challenge but an opportunity to gain their trust. When they don’t want to do something such as move into a nursing home, listen to their opinions as you might be able to change their mind. If they’re worried about losing their independence, then tell them about homes with separate living quarters. Or, you might change your thoughts. By listening, it might become apparent that moving isn’t best for your parents.
There is a lot to take on, which is why you need as much support as your parents. The key is to think about the areas which are the most important and fill them with professionals. Take looking after your mum and dad as an example. Lots of children decide that organisations such as Porthaven have excellent facilities and can offer a better service of care. Others hate the idea and take on the responsibility with the help of a caregiver. Then, there is the financial aspect which will require a solicitor and an accountant.
No one else is going to offer to take care of your parents. It is down to you and your siblings, and that is an important thing to accept. Without you, they are pretty helpless because the roles reverse. Circumstances change, and it’s vital that you understand your role is different. It doesn’t mean you have to do it alone, but it does indicate that they are your responsibility. Simply put, you are the parent and they are the children.
With these tips, the transition should be as close to seamless as possible.