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Accepting Your Aging Parents for Who They Are

iStock_000004883490_ExtraSmallDo you ever struggle, trying to see eye-to-eye with one or more of your aging parents? Does it sometimes seem as if you’re from different worlds? Or at least different cultures? Maybe what’s missing is that you no longer have similar interests, ideas and opinions — but maybe you never did.

But do you need to share these in order to have a harmonious relationship? Do you need to agree on politics in order to enjoy some music together that they used to play when you were growing up? Probably not.

As the POParent you now are, you can certainly learn to accept your parents and love them with their differences, can’t you? Maybe you could even get “big” enough to love them FOR their differences and those differences can teach you something useful for yourself?

Maybe your mother seems loud and opinionated to you but, to your friend whose Mom is no longer alive, your mother’s vitality and engagement seem “wonderful.” Or perhaps you’re more reserved and introverted than your Mom, but when you stop being annoyed by her “extroverted ways,” you notice that together you and she meet some interesting neighbors on the street walking their dogs. And, as a concerned POParent, you might derive some peace of mind realizing that your mother’s ability to voice her opinions and be heard could actually help her, when you’re not around.

EXPANDING YOUR THINKING about perceived faults or weaknesses in your aging parents and seeing that these can actually be strengths you didn’t yet recognize will help alleviate much of your frustration and worries. Not only that, but you can gain renewed respect for your elders and, interestingly enough, for yourself!

Share your experiences about how you’ve turned your “struggles” into more joy with others. And, if you wish to get some focused and effective guidance to undermine the strains in your new relationships with your parents and navigate the long and winding road of your POPcycle, contact us to find a Certified POP Family Coach to help you work through problems and come up with new solutions.

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