Blame it on the vicious cycle of life and well, the ticking time, our once-strong, independent parents lean on us for support as they age.
Unfortunately, this process also brings with it a communication gap between us and our old parents, which seems almost impossible to fill.
“When age takes toll on our parents,they have their own set of problems and so
do we. But, most of the time, we lack empathy and concern about how our parents are feeling,” explains Dr. Poonam Poonia, Ph.D in clinical psychology and psychotherapist at Wellstar Clinic & Diagnostic Pvt. Ltd., Gurgaon.
However, a little effort from our side can help bridge this gap and make their time with us a memorable one. For starters, understand the five things your ageing parents want from you even though they may never say it out loud and then act accordingly.
1. Your time
“Most parents want their children to give them time and to talk to them,” Dr. Poonia points out.
After all, your world once revolved around them and now that you’re adulting, they’re no longer a part of your world the way they used to be. Damn right! They’re bound to feel left out and lonely.
If you live with your parents, dedicate a part of your day for them. Visit them every week if you live nearby, or at least maintain touch through video calls and messages. All these efforts can help, according to Dr. Poonia.
You’ve got to understand that your ageing parents may not be as quick and strong as they once were. Plus, they themselves might be facing anxiety or fear of losing their strength and getting old.
Hence, you need to match their pace, try to step into their shoes, think from their perspective once in a while, and lend them the required emotional support and reassurance, according to Dr. Poonia.
How’d you feel if your parents forgot your birthday? Now, imagine how they’d feel if you forget their special occasions at this point in their lives?
“Remember their birthdays and wedding anniversaries. Pay them a visit on their special day, or make your presence felt with the help of gifts,” Dr. Poonia suggests.
4. Communicate with them
No matter how old your parents get, they’d still want you to come up to them with your problems just the way you used to when you were little. At this point in their lives, they might even want to convey their problems to you too.
“If you do not talk to them, you will not realise their issues or the problems they face,” says Dr. Poonia.
Hence, listen to them and if you’re facing a problem with your parents or are having a tough time with their crankiness, communicate the issue to them, politely, of course.
5. Let them contribute in the decision-making
“There seems to be a generation gap and most children believe that their parents do not understand their problems. This is why we tend to neglect the real-life experience our parents have,” Dr. Poonia explains.
But you know what? Baap, baap hota hai. And quite rightly so. So, lend them a patient ear and let them be a part of the decision-making process. Not only can doing so make them feel more wanted, their vast life-experience can help you make some of the best decisions of your life too. Win, win, we say.
So, what are you waiting for? Rush to your parents right away and spend some quality time with them.