Relationships

Dealing With a Bitter Aging Parent

Millions of people deal with this every year: an aging parent, cynical, negative, berating and bitter because of the onset of old age. What makes this worse is that avoiding them like you would any other negative person just isn’t an option here. You have to take care of them. Learn what it takes to keep your mental health intact while taking care of your bitter aging parent.

Instructions

  1. Allow them to express their negativity. The elderly often feel like their opinions and thoughts don’t matter. If you allow them to have their say without any retort, that will likely be the key that allows them to soften a bit. The saying of “in one ear and out the other” applies here. You may not agree with what they have to say, but realizing that it isn’t a personal attack against you can alleviate a load of stress.
  2. Practice being patient. Because they can’t do things on their own, they feel inclined to tell you exactly how to do it. Your position is that it will get done, regardless. Their position is that it won’t be done right unless you do it they way–the way they would’ve done it. Sometimes letting it go in one ear and out the other works here, and sometimes it doesn’t. In those instances where you feel ready to explode, it’s best to take a break, step outside for a few minutes and take deep, calming breaths. When you’ve cleared your mind, you can go back in with renewed energy and complete the task
  3. Smile often. It’s hard to smile during a time when you feel your efforts are in vain. Tuning out the negativity and thinking about a funny joke or something humorous your children have done can produce a genuine smile. This often works to stop the criticism and alleviate tension. When your parent sees you smiling, tell them the joke or story you were thinking about and have a good laugh together.
  4. Go in with gusto! When you have mentally prepared yourself not to be stressed, you will be able to have more patience to deal with your parent. Go in talking about anything or everything. Talking about other things with you takes their mind off the bitterness and helplessness they feel. Ask what their opinions on different topics are. Ask them questions. Ask them to tell you stories about their life. This makes them feel useful, and gives them a feeling that they have something important to contribute.
  5. Sometimes it is necessary to get away for a few days. Ask a close family member or a friend to take over for you for a few days. Take this time to spend with others or by yourself doing what you want to do. Take in a couple of movies and escape into fantasy for awhile. Getting away every so often will give you a renewed sense of hope and allow you more patience to deal with your parents for another week or two.
Anthony-Claret Onwutalobi
Anthony-Claret Onwutalobi
Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC and CEO of Portia Web Solutions. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
https://www.codewit.com

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