Studies suggest that most aging parents are unhappy with their children and complain for the lack of ‘understanding’. On the other hand, children believe that parents have very high expectations from them. In addition to this, most children don’t even know what their parents actually ‘want’ from them. This causes the tiff that most parents and children find hard to end.
To help you strengthen your bond with your aging parents, given below are six things your parents actually expect from you.
1. Time: Sit With Them!
“Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.” – Proverbs 23:22
Time, without a doubt, is the biggest asset. According to reports, most parents wait for their children to visit home and give them time and attention.
Your parents understand that you have to go and live your life, however, they expect you to come to them or at least call them to talk to them. They do not want to be a part of those 70% of people who only speak to their parents once a month.
A good option is to remember their milestones, such as their birthdays and wedding anniversaries. Pay them a visit on their special day, or make your presence felt with the help of gifts. And in case you live in the same town as your parents, you may have a day dedicated to your parents.
If you do not know how to strike a conversation, talk to them about your past moments. Look at old photographs and remember happy times.
2. Emotional Support: I’m Here For You!
You need to understand that your parents are getting old and they may not be as strong or quick as they once were. You need to meet pace with them and lend them emotional support when needed. This is why it is important to communicate with your parents. If you do not talk to them, you will not realize their issues or the problems they face.
You should also look at finding a caregiver for them to make them feel less dependable. An app like Honor can help you find the right help and stay in touch with your parents. When they have someone hired by you taking care of them, they will feel you are there for them and you actually do care, even if you are not physically present there.
3. Financial Support: They Helped You Too!
Be a giver, it will make you feel more satisfied. It may sound like a burden, but it’s important to stay connected with your parents. You may divide responsibility between siblings to ease off some of the pressure.
Also remember that there are tax implications of supporting your parent, which may be beneficial for you.
Other than this, you may help find financial aid programs for your parents and help them signup. The department of ageing can help you do this.
4. Decision Making: Hear What They Have to Say
You have to give respect to your parents and listen to what they have to say. There seems to be a generation gap and most children believe that their parents do not understand their problems. However, we tend to neglect the real life experience our parents have.
Your parents may have some excellent life and career related suggestions for you. Let your parents be a part of your life by letting them know of your important decisions, including moving out, job and marriage. While you may not necessary do as they want you to do, but listening to them would really help.
Remember that there exists a very thin line between controlling and caring, and you need to see it and make it matter. A good example would be The Gilmore Girls, a show that highlighted parenting issues. On one side is Lorelai’s relationship with her bossy parents, and on the other hand is her relationship with her daughter where they listen to each other but do as they please.
5. Work Hard: They Want You to Succeed
Your parents want you to find success and be happy. They do not want children who have no aim in life. Remember what your parents taught you and let them know their teachings matter.
According to a 2004 study, old people often realize the mistake they have made and do not want their children to repeat the same. They want you to be a better human and find success in what you do.
It should also be remembered that the culture you live in also changes what your parents expect out of you. For example, 70% of Indian parents want to live with their children, while a majority of American parents prefer to live on their own. The solution lies in being there for your parents and listening to them. Also, remember that you will need a lot of patience to deal with your parents, but once you learn the art it would be a smooth sail.