What is an “un-cope-able” parent?
Let me put it like this. If you’ve ever:
- Verbally fought just short of coming to blows over gently proposing a new life-chapter to your elderly parents;
- Met unquantifiable resistance in merely hinting your headstrong duo leave their soothingly-familiar residence (or at least consider in-home care because they no longer manage basic daily tasks);
- Applied your full catering power and still your exhausted capacity comes nowhere close to satisfying their needy bottomless pit.
Congratulations! You have impossible parents!
Oh, to have cooperative aging folks. Alas, you drew the proverbial straw’s short end and pulled resistant seniors.
Don’t I know it! As the only child of excruciating parents, I coined this unique expression to capture 54-plus years of impossibility persevered.
What’s there to celebrate?
Yes, I’m here to extend good news. There are absolute ways to prevail even with intractable elders.
Believe me! No stone remains unturned in terms of the “A to Z” strategies I’ve explored with my infuriating mother and father. Akin to an out-of-control pendulum, I’ve attempted the level-headed and ridiculous, the rational and irrational – and everything between.
I’ve also failed – miserably – at ploys remotely smacking of my hidden agendas. Not that I didn’t try to inflict my solutions until such unconstructive endeavors proved 100% fruitless.
Today, I convey sincere gratitude no victory with my pig-headed pair arrived easily. For, their unapologetic defiance resulted in down-to-earth tactics you’ll benefit from, too.
Here’s your Success Formula.
After massive trial and error, I’ve proven the only techniques that generate lasting impact are:
6 LOVING Attitudes + 6 Focused ACTIONS = 12 SUCCESS STRATEGIES
First off, the 6 LOVING Attitudes represent a state of BEING. Especially in fast-paced societies that over-emphasize Doing, we forget all productive action ought to be consistently preceded by deliberate intent. Embodying consciously-chosen qualities and traits allows you to stay centered during crazy-making exchanges.
While avoiding “analysis paralysis”, charging into DOING without reflection won’t generate desired outcomes. If anything, ill-considered deeds can quickly make your horrific situation worse! What if there were six targeted behaviors that simultaneously served what’s right while making a considerable difference? They exist!
Apart from an infant’s relentless demands, no other period on Earth will leech such tremendous energy from your precious stores. That is, if these objectionable effects are permitted. By instead applying the 12 KEYS to COPING, you’ll gain more than a fraction of serenity.
1. Laughter: Truly is the best medicine to avoid going off-the-wall in bizarre circumstances. Laugh rather than cry! If you don’t, you’ll find yourself curled indefinitely into a fetal position!
2. Openness. Warrior preparing to do battle, but stay open to new perspectives. Are your aging parents simply annoying? Or, is it possible beneath all the obfuscation, they’re afraid of passing away?
3. Vibration. Notice how beliefs translate into your experiences. Impatience incites elder crankiness. Kindness raises the likelihood of cooperation.
4. Intention. Focus on what you do want to happen regarding all aspects of their life. Unwanted brings more unwanted. Positive intention leads to beneficial results.
5. Neutrality. Detachment is akin to unconditional love. Remove your strong opinions. Ironically, caring too much what they decide isn’t helpful.
6. Grace. Self-mastery requires setting aside your opinions while maintaining self-care. Grace under pressure lowers aged stress levels – and reframes the desperation you frequently feel.
7. Advocate. Create a safe environment where both parties can speak their truth with you as their mediator. Don’t allow only the strongest voice to dominate.
8. Clarify. Ask plenty of open-ended questions to by-pass ploys that withhold critical information. Avoid the trap of taking their word on anything.
9. Trust. Find the equanimity to know all is unfolding in your lives according to a Higher Plan. Look from a 30,000 foot helicopter view.
10. Initiate. Don’t wait for an express invitation to intervene in your folks’ declining situation. Burying your head in the sand won’t forestall their inevitable transition.
11. Observe. Listen, watch body language and notice non-verbal mannerisms for discrepancies and downright lies. Their unsophisticated games have much in common with teenagers sneaking past curfew!
12. Innovate. Constantly seek out-of-the-box solutions to stay one step ahead of crafty elders. Pat answers and truisms most certainly don’t cut it with Un-cope-able Parents!
My parting encouragements…
If there were only a few messages to leave you with today, they’d be:
- You can see through your parents’ nerve-wracking transitions with compassion so the best for all concerned is attained.
- Senior care is a grueling marathon. When you think you can’t take another step, you will find the strength. It’s hard to believe right now. At the anguished height over my father’s unremitting negativity, I doubted my very survival. I succeeded.
- You’re not alone! Multiple Sandwich Generation members experience your despair.
We’re in this together. You have my earnest empathy and unbridled support.