Pearls of Wisdom from Adult Children to Their Parents

By Wendy Garson, LCSW-C

I’ve been thinking about the common themes I hear from the grown children of my older adult clients. Here are some of the things they want to tell their parents, but for some reason they just haven’t found the right time to tell them, or perhaps they just can’t find the right words.

  • Worry works two ways. While parents will always worry about their children — no matter what their age, remember it works both ways. Children worry just as much about their aging parents.
  • Sometimes problems (whether they are yours or your child’s) are really just challenges.  Yes, how you view your “problems” does make a difference.
  • Sometimes asking for help is not just an option; it is a necessity.
  • Children are always busy. That doesn’t mean that they won’t make time for you, but it does mean you have to ask if it hasn’t been offered.
  • Remember that while your health may be your major concern at this time, you also have thoughts, views and concerns on a whole range of other topics.  Don’t forget to share them as well.
  • While no one expects you to understand today’s technology fully, showing an interest in and appreciation for this new and exciting world makes you ageless.
  • Life is not a competition. Everyone has a plate full of different ingredients. Your plate is no better or worse than your neighbor’s or your children’s; it is just different.
  • Family cannot take the place of friends. You are truly blessed if you have both, and neither should be taken for granted.

Here’s what I tell the children: It doesn’t matter whether you are age 29 or 89; communication is the key to a good relationship.  Even people who have known us all our lives can’t read our minds.  We need to share our thoughts and feelings if we want them to be heard.  Just remember: it’s always easier to hear a message when it is delivered within a context of caring.

By Wendy Garson, LCSW-C, Service Coordination, Jewish Community Services, Baltimore, MD

To learn more about how JCS can help you solve life’s puzzles, visit www.jcsbaltimore.org or call 410-466-9200.  Jewish Community Services is an agency of THE ASSOCIATED: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore.

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