Setting healthy boundaries in any relationship is essential as it helps to make the relationship stronger. When it comes to dealing with difficult elderly parents emotions may blur your judgment and affect your decisions. However,Difficult Aging Parents with your difficult elderly parents can make the caretaking process smoother.
Below-mentioned tips will help you navigate your way while you take care of your aging parents
Implement Changes Now!
When you change the way, you communicate with your parents brace yourself for an emotional reaction. These changes might make your parents feel off-balance as well as you are likely to face criticism and negativity. Their reaction is normal and does not indicate that you made the wrong choice. As you are now aware that setting boundaries is the right way to go about and your parent’s emotional outburst is part of the process.
Have A Reliable Support System
If you have been dealing with difficult aging parents, stepping back from them will take every ounce of strength you possess. At this moment, it’s essential you have a strong reliable support system to help you out when required and back you up if need be. You may need to have one-on-one conversations with your parents and your support network can help you through it. With their support, you can take an important decision without second-guessing yourself.
Consider Seeking Professional Counseling
A professional mental health counselor can provide you with the emotional support you need to set boundaries with your parents by taking firm decisions. You must be emotionally prepared to deal with the outburst of your parents. A personal support system is critical but having professional help is a cherry on top. Last but not the least, working with a professional counselor can aid in reprocessing and navigating through the painful moments so you can continue setting the right boundaries.
Be Firm And Say “NO”
It’s okay to be repetitive with your parents. Your parents may not take “No” for an answer but with time they will get used to it. As cliché as it sounds but try practicing sayings. “No” so that you are confident when you have to say it to your parent’s unreasonable demands. Additionally, back up your statements with action so that your words are taken seriously and not disregarded.
Use Canned Phrases In Difficult Situations
It’s easy to trip over your words when you are emotionally overwhelmed. A difficult parent will try to get an upper hand in these moments that make you overwhelmed. The antidote to getting through these difficult moments is to pretend that their words don’t have an impact on you. Instead of getting sad or angry at the hurtful words, your parents say trying calming down your parents by using the phrases mentioned below. This technique can help you stand your ground when you are faced with criticism or unreasonable demands.
“I’m sorry you are feeling that way.”
“That’s something to ponder about.”
“I’d like to talk with you but argue.”
“Thanks for your suggestions, unfortunately, it won’t work for me”
Setting healthy boundaries can be tough but it’s essential to sustain a loving relationship with your parents. You might feel guilty in the beginning but with time the guilt will turn into gratitude as you will realize the importance of healthy boundaries and their positive impacts. You are not a machine so you also need to understand your limitations. Just because you have the time doesn’t mean you have to do everything and be an all-rounder when it comes to taking care of your elderly parents. At the end of the day, if you are heavily fatigued you won’t be of any use to them either. So, take care of your mental and physical well-being first to care for others.