We’ve all heard the joke about the English and the Americans…two peoples separated by a common language.
Well, as I tell my clients, the same could be true of communication between seniors and their adult children. Our words may be the same. But the meanings, perceptions, and the ways in which our experiences have colored them may be very different.
The result? Just when we need to develop ways of communicating better, we often end up talking (or shouting) at each other, not with each other.
Here are some tips…
IT TAKES TIME: You can’t have an important conversation if you’re rushed for time. Boomers, however, are busy these days, always rushing, and often caught between the demands of their growing children and their elderly parents. But unless they take time to slow down, and be in the moment with their parents, it’s a waste of time. Lose the cell. And realize that you may need further conversations to resolve the issue.
LISTEN! Pay attention to what your parents are saying – and feeling! Try to see things from their perspective. Be genuinely open to different options. And you’ll be surprised at how much your parent will do the same thing.
RESPECT YOUR ELDERS: Speak respectfully. Don’t be dismissive of your parent’s opinions. If your parent becomes angry, it might be wise to put the conversation off for another time.
For many Boomers and their parents, trying to have a civil conversation is like walking through a minefield…you never know when something will blow up! But we can help.
At The Law Offices of Alice Reiter Feld & Associates, we practice Elder Law. For the past 34 years, we’ve been walking South Florida families through the minefield of Elder Law, answering questions like “How to Say It to a Senior.” And with comprehensive estate planning, wills, trusts, powers of attorney, long-term care planning, asset-protection plans, and assistance with Medicaid and the VA.
We can walk your family through the Elder Law minefield. And we’re just a phone call away.