My incredulous statements start with: “Surely our folks must recognize we see through their thinly-disguised veneer. Don’t they?” [Their heads move side to side in a “no”.] I go on to question: “They must be deluded that we’re not adults in our own right but still think of us as five years of age!” [Now, heads nod in a “yes”.
Fresh thinking is required!
I admit it. I “cheated” on this last of the ACTION acronym! I sought a word that captured the requirement for novel approaches to cope with Un-cope-able Parents.
Innovation is it. With its connotation of novelty and originality, innovation perfectly expresses how out-of-the-box your solutions need to be in order to stay a step ahead (at minimum) of your wily elders!
Just as standard answers don’t work for the truly impossible, so too don’t any of the negative A to Z formulas you may have experimented with in the past.
An A to Z list that works…
Like the astute Mother Superior in The Sound of Music (film) counsels Sisters frantically searching for Maria within the abbey, I’d suggest you look in the unfamiliar places for cleverness that brings you tangible results with your aging folks.
Now, at first blush, the following (positive) A to Z list may strike you as somewhat simplistic. I hear you.
On other hand, haven’t you already tried all the unreasonable tactics? How far did they get you? Not so much!
Here’s your compendium of what does work – even with Un-cope-able Parents:
- Acknowledgement (of their inner Essence)
- Balance (maintain your own center through it all)
- Hope (keep up the faith!)
- Joking (not at their expense, but offering almost a sense of playfulness)
- Mastery (of self)
- Questioning (in the positive sense of showing sincere interest)
- Thankfulness (for what they sacrificed on your behalf)
- Vulnerability (not as a psychological ruse but rather as tenderness)
- X-treme self-care
- Yearning (to ease their burden)
- Zen (calmness)
Wasn’t it inventor Einstein who said: “The problems of tomorrow cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that created them in the first place”?
How valid! You’ve already experimented – like Edison discovering 9,999 ways how not to create a light bulb – with every technique that doesn’t work.
Or, as author and journalist Arthur Koestler succinctly put it: “Creativity is the defeat of habit by originality.”